Singer/songwriters and Belmont School of Music alumni Ginny Owens, ’97, and Andrew Greer, ’04, returned to campus on Wednesday for a chapel presentation featuring their newly released book, Transcending Mysteries: Who is God and What Does He Want from Us? Focusing on connecting stories from the Old Testament to personal stories from their lives, the book features chapters named from titles of Owens’s and Greer’s songs.
The duo’s chapel presentation included performances of their songs intermittently sprinkled through book excerpt readings, the way Greer said the book was designed to be read. Greer began with an excerpt from “Rescue Me,” a chapter named from his song of the same title, and described his recovery process and the challenges that came with doubting God’s love for him.
After an honest conversation with his father where he acknowledged past mistakes, Greer said he was able to rekindle knowledge of God’s welcoming and abundant love through his father’s words. “I love you, son. Not in spite of your stuff, but with all of it.” With the affirmation of his earthly father clear, the affirmation and desire to serve his Heavenly father became more and more clear.
With a focus on “coming home,” the week’s festivities included a homecoming concert featuring prominent Belmont alumni and friends, a pep rally and bonfire, a spirit walk and tower tailgate, an alumni social with special guest William Paul Young, a “Back to Blvd” celebration at Belmont Blvd. restaurants, a double header featuring both the men’s and women’s basketball teams and a canned food drive benefiting Nashville’s Second Harvest Food Bank, among others. The university’s annual Homecoming celebration includes a reunion for Tower Society members, Belmont alumni who graduated more than 50 years ago.
With a focus on celebrating’s Belmont desire to be “Nashville’s University,” the canned food drive was a staple part of this year’s Homecoming events. Faculty, staff, students and alumni were challenged to donate 1,000 canned food items to the local organization. The drive ran throughout the month of February and culminated at Saturday’s events. With more than 2,400 canned food items totaling more than 2,800 lbs., the Belmont family far exceeded its initial goal.
Belmont alumni Rayvon Owen, Cody Fry, KellyeAnn Rodgers and Piper Jones are competing on American Idol’s 14th season and last night, the four performed together in the group round as Blvd. “The really awesome thing is, we all went to college together. We’re all buddies – Belmont University!” Jones said.
Blvd performed their rendition of Idol star Kelly Clarkson’s “Since U Been Gone,” earning high remarks from the judging panel. “It was so smart to sing that song… Really impressive… That was my favorite one today,” said Idol judge and musician Harry Connick, Jr.
Following their performance, judge Jennifer Lopez wasted no time letting Blvd know they were safe. “I’ll just keep it very short, all of you are going through to the next round,” she said.
Once safe and off stage, Fry was grateful for the opportunity to perform with his friends and fellow Belmont students. “We all went to school together, and it was a once in a lifetime musical experience to be up on that world stage, just singing with some of my best friends.”
Tune into FOX next week to watch the contestants move forward in their Idol journeys.
Belmont University invites alumni, friends and family to attend Homecoming 2015 Feb. 26-28 for a variety of special events. The celebration, centered on the theme “Destination Belmont,” will feature the first Bruin Spirit Walk, two basketball games, a campus-wide canned food drive supporting Second Harvest Food Bank, a homecoming concert and a pep rally and bonfire. For a complete list of all Belmont Homecoming 2015 events and an opportunity to register, click here.
Julie Thomas, associate director of Alumni Relations, said, “Homecoming at Belmont University continues to grow into a true celebration of university life, and Homecoming 2015 is no exception. We view our alumni as part of our extended family, and we hope they will come home to experience the music, art, sports and friendships reminiscent of their time at Belmont. To quote the author John Ed Pearce, ‘Home is a place you grow up wanting to leave and grow old wanting to get back to.’ It’s time to come home and fall in love with Belmont all over again.” (more…)
Belmont alumni Jonathan and Moriah Murrell have launched The Escape Game Nashville, an entertainment concept that challenges participants to use a series of clues and escape from one of four predesigned rooms in less than 60 minutes.
The first of its kind in this region, The Escape Game was inspired after the concept began to take flight in a number of countries. Seeing only the online version locally, Moriah said she and Jonathan, with three other partners, decided to bring the concept to Nashville. Since the pair met in undergrad at Belmont and both studied business and entrepreneurship, they had experience launching and working on start-ups together.
The concept has been a hit with community members of all ages, with many Nashvillians and tourists coming through the door since The Escape Game opened in May 2014. Recently rated as the No. 1 thing to do in Nashville on TripAdvisor, Moriah said she is very proud of the game’s success and is happy to be working on the project with her husband, especially since the creation of a start-up can be so time consuming.
She said the greatest thing she has learned since the game’s start would be something that mentor and Belmont entrepreneurship professor Jeff Cornwall has said many times. For a start-up to be successful, “it takes a lot of hard work and a little bit of luck.” Moriah says that couldn’t be more true for The Escape Game Nashville. The couple luckily stumbled upon the idea, but the road since then has been a lot of hard work for the duo and the rest of their team.
When asked for a piece of advice, Moriah said it all comes down to teamwork. “If you ask anyone that’s played, they will say yes – that is true. Work together as a team, and you’ll have a great time.”
For more information or to plan your escape, click here.