Brad Paisley tour visits Vols

On Feb. 22, country music superstar Brad Paisley brought his “Weekend Warrior World Tour”  to Thompson-Boling Arena, the site of several country music tours slated for this year that attract fans from across the nation.

However, the home crowd became the focus in Paisley’s show. University of Tennessee students especially enjoyed the concert. Paisley even asked a UT business major to join him on stage for a song at the beginning of his set. 

Paisley continued to embrace the crowd and the venue. Though he played hit songs like “Whiskey Lullaby,” Paisley appealed to the audience by playing “Rocky Top.”

Being a Vol fan, Paisley reminded the crowd college football kicks off in September. The Vols face off against Paisley’s other favorite team, West Virginia, in a neutral site matchup Sept. 1. Paisley infuses his support into his music. In the music video for Paisley’s “Country Nation,” he wears a split jersey: half Mountaineer, half Volunteer.

Paisley further expressed his support on stage. He shocked a young fan when he gave him a signed guitar. Next to the signature, Paisley drew a “Power T” for Tennessee.

“You gotta learn how to play it now,” Paisley said. “Now that’s how you make a Kenny Chesney.”

Chesney, a fellow country artist, also supports the Vols. His song “Touchdown Tennessee” pays tribute to John Ward, famed former voice of the Vols.

Country artists embrace Tennessee, as Thompson-Boling attracts country acts each year. Couple Tim McGraw and Faith Hill brought their tour to the arena last September. Paisley kept the trend alive as Thompson-Boling prepares to host Miranda Lambert next week. Chris Stapleton brings his tour to Knoxville this October.

In addition to well-established artists, Thompson-Boling also hosts up-and-coming musicians invited to tour.

Opening acts Lindsay Ell, Chase Bryant and Dustin Lynch kicked off the Feb. 22 concert with several songs, including Lynch’s  “Small Town Boy” which currently sits at No. 43 on the iTunes Country chart.

For information about upcoming events at Thompson-Boling click here.

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Featured Image by TNJN

Edited by Lexie Little

UT choral department welcomes high school choirs

The University of Tennessee choral department continued its 2017-2018 season Feb. 13 showcasing talents to attract prospective students. Four university choirs and three local high school choirs took the Cox Auditorium stage in Alumni Memorial Building for the Choral Arts concert.

“The thought process behind this is to have different high schools from different areas of East Tennessee come together,” Dr. Angela Batey, director of choral activities, said.

Through a wide-range of pieces from various centuries, the UT choirs demonstrated collegiate musicianship. UT Concert Choir and Men’s Chorale performed more traditional choral works under the direction of Dr. Jaclyn Johnson.

L&N Stem Academy, Powell High School and Gibbs High School choirs demonstrated their skills in preparation for a competition later this month.

UT invites anyone, regardless of major, to sing. Some individuals perform in multiple choirs.

“I am also in the Concert Choir so for that just remembering all the pieces and the vowels and mouth shapes you have to make is the hardest part. While for UT Singers combining the music with choreography and timing is challenging,” Katey Hawkins, lead female in UT Singers, said.

UT Singers performed an electric mashup of “Rumor Has It” by Adele and “Natalie” by Bruno Mars. The set became an audience favorite.

The Choral Arts concert also featured the debuts of the first-year choral conducting graduate students.

During the UT Chamber Singers performance, Hannah Berkley, Andrea Markowitz, Jordan Sera, Brett Hopper and David Buchanan took the audience through musical history with pieces ranging from 1539-1978 in their conducting debuts.

Visit  for upcoming UT School of Music events.

Featured photo: TNJN

Edited by Lexie Little