Peay, Clovers and Com­pany to give free con­cert

The Covington News - - LOOKING BACK -

Ev­ery­one is in­vited to a free con­cert on Wed­nes­day start­ing at 7 p.m. at the Rock Ea­gle 4-H Center in Eatonton.

It will be a high-en­ergy, toe-tap­ping, fam­ily-friendly good time as Clovers and Com­pany takes the stage for a one- hour con­cert.

This is the only lo­cal, open to the pub­lic con­cert this year, so it is an op­por­tu­nity not to miss.

If you would like to car­pool or fol­low other fam­i­lies, email tkim­ble@uga. edu for de­par­ture time and de­tails.

Each year youths ages 9 to 19 au­di­tion for a spot in the statewide per­form­ing arts group, and only about 40 singers, dancers and band mem­bers are se­lected.

I might be a lit­tle bi­ased, but I’d say a cer­tain Newton 4-H mem­ber is one of the stars of the show. (Come to think of it, I al­ways thought alumna Mary Lathem had all the best songs, too!)

Even if I didn’t tell you which youth to look for, I imag­ine you’d come home talk­ing about her per­for­mance, any­way.

What is most mag­i­cal to me, though, is that just a few years ago I’d never have imag­ined this 4-H’er steal­ing the show in a Clovers and Com­pany per­for­mance.

She joined the home -school 4-H club in mid­dle school. She at­tended meet­ings and came to day camp, but the only thing I re­ally re­mem­ber about this 4-H’er was her love of large and rather unique hats.

One par­tic­u­lar fa­vorite was trimmed out with a real squir­rel tail.

She pre­ferred to work on her own and was very quiet.

In eighth grade she pre­pared a demon­stra­tion on bal­let that re­ally blew me away. The only prob­lem was that she was trem­bling so hard while she stood in front of me to prac­tice, I was wor­ried she’d never be able to see her cards.

She told me it was the first time she had pre­sented a pa­per in front of any­one other than her par­ents. As she con­tin­ued to present her demon­stra­tion for her club and at com­pe­ti­tions, she con­tin­ued to cling to cards I was sure she al­ready had mem­o­rized, and her eyes stayed glued to her ner­vously shak­ing hands.

In ninth grade she won a trip to State 4-H Congress with her project, but by this time I re­al­ized she was used to per­form­ing in front of huge au­di­ences. She sang and acted in Ox­ford Youth Singers pro­duc­tions and danced with the Cov­ing­ton Re­gional Bal­let.

Un­der the bright lights of the stage, she flaw­lessly show­cased her artis­tic tal­ent with­out any ap­par­ent ner­vous­ness.

What if she could see pub­lic speak­ing as a per­for­mance? Just like “The Nutcracker,” a 4-H demon­stra­tion re­quires you to prac­tice, dress the part and plas­ter a smile across your face.

I wasn’t sure it would work, but it was worth a try.

I have to ad­mit, at State 4-H Congress I fought back tears as she took the floor the same way she takes a stage, with her eyes glued on the au­di­ence and with­out those cards.

She sur­prised me again when I learned she also plays fid­dle with Ap­palachian Rhythm, a lo­cal old­time mu­sic group.

As I watch­ing her jam one night at Cow­boys BBQ, her per­for­mance was in­cred­i­ble, but she seemed a lit­tle re­served.

I wor­ried the Clovers wouldn’t think she fit their show, and I think we were equally ner­vous await­ing the ac­cep­tance let­ter. I shouldn’t have wor­ried; I’ve never seen her light up the way she did read­ing that let­ter from Clovers and Com­pany.

When I saw her on stage with Clovers this fall, I was in for another round of blink­ing back tears as she bloomed on stage in a way I’ve never seen her be­fore.

This Wed­nes­day night, you can see Flan­nery Peay bring down the house as du­el­ing fid­dles bat­tle it out in “The Devil Went Down to Ge­or­gia.”

A lit­tle bird told me this per­form­ing group just might re­turn to Cov­ing­ton next year, but the show changes ev­ery year, so this is a night you can’t pass up.

Let me know if I can save you a seat with other Newton County folks as we en­sure that Flan­nery has the big­gest crowd at the show. Email me at tkim­ble@uga. edu.

Terri Kim­ble Fuller­ton is a Newton County 4-H Agent through UGA Co­op­er­a­tive Ex­ten­sion. She can be reached at tkim­ble@ uga.edu.

TERRI KIM­BLE FULLER­TON

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