Homecoming as classroom
As regular readers know, I taught a seminar on gospel music and American literature last semester as part of my real-world job, and this semester I reprised the course at the graduate level. So when the Gaither tour came to town Friday, I organized a field trip with some of the students. Or, I should say, Deana Surles - the Homecoming road manager extraordinaire - did the organizing and my students and I reaped the benefits.
None of my students had experienced Homecoming before and they were pretty much awestruck from start to finish. Beyond David Phelps’s overpowering greatness as a singer (his hair on the other hand …), the general consensus was that they wished they had had the chance to see the concert before the class started, rather than after it ended. And I agree, to a point (given the way the snowbird population drives the economy down here, one doesn’t have an overwhelming lot of choices to hear southern gospel live in Southwest Florida before Thanksgiving). But I suspect they were able to appreciate some aspects of the show’s style and strategies better with the course at their back. And getting to watch them watch the show was a delight for me (one student even took notes!).
Anyway, a big shout out to Bill Gaither for his generosity in giving us what I’ll call the “education discount” and for offering to chat with the students for a few minutes before the show. And thanks to Deana for bringing us all together.Email this Post