While interning at local app development company Aloompa, Belmont senior Bryn Bodayle partnered with photographer Jeremy Cowart as the primary developer on OKDOTHIS, an iOS app that provides an idea community for photography. The app has been steadily climbing the Apple App Store charts since its launch in late November. Aloompa, which was co-founded by two Belmont alumni, specializes in mobile apps for music, food, conference and community events.
OKDOTHIS allows users to share both their favorite photos and the creative ideas (“DOs”) that led to it. Users can connect with other photographers, become inspired by their DOs, and watch as their DOs spark the creativity of others. Recent examples of inspiring “DOs”include “Use car headlights to light a subject” and “Show off a piece of art that a friend made.”
“It has been great to work on an app of such scale and potential. It’s been incredibly rewarding to see how users have used the app as a creative tool,” Bodayle said. “It’s really a new kind of social network, and I’m excited to see it continue to grow.”
The School of Music honored alumnus Danny Wells (’83) with the Curtain Call Award on Thursday evening. During the ceremony, Wells performed a few selections from his significant songwriting catalog. The Curtain Call Award is presented annually to a School of Music alumnus in honor of achievement in the field of commercial and popular music.
“Wells was chosen because of his outstanding achievement in songwriting. Some of his number one hits include George Strait’s ‘Check Yes or No,’ Rascal Flatts’ ‘These Days’ and Craig Morgan’s ‘Little Bit of Life.’ He is a member of BMI’s ultra-exclusive Million-Air Club and has written songs for a long list of artists,” Belmont School of Music Assistant Professor Sandra Dudley said.
Show to air nationwide on PBS in December
Hosted by internationally renowned mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves and taped at Nashville’s Schermerhorn Symphony Center, nearly 700 student musicians join the Belmont School of Music faculty and the Nashville Children’s Choir later this month for the taping of “Christmas at Belmont.” The annual production of traditional carols, classical masterworks, world music and light-hearted seasonal favorites, produced by Nashville Public Television (NPT), will premiere on NPT on Thurs., Dec. 19 at 8 p.m. Central followed by the PBS premiere on December 20 at 9 p.m. Central, with an encore broadcast Christmas Eve at 7 p.m. Central. This is the 11th consecutive year “Christmas at Belmont” has been seen by a national audience on PBS.
This year’s edition of “Christmas at Belmont” features the University Symphony Orchestra, Belmont Chorale, Percussion Ensemble, Musical Theatre, Jazz Ensemble and Bluegrass Ensemble, as well as mass choir. The performance includes both classic sacred holiday music such as “The First Noel” and “God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen,” as well as festive seasonal songs such as “Carol of the Bells” and “We Need a Little Christmas,” to name a few.
The Belmont University School of Music presented the 2013 Encore Award Thursday evening to worship pastor/songwriter/Christian artist Travis Cottrell during a concert in his honor. The Encore Award was created in 2008 to honor a Belmont University School of Music alumnus for achievement in the field of classical music. During last night’s award presentation in McAfee Concert Hall, Cottrell performed a selection of classical and sacred pieces as well as two original compositions: “Forevermore (Psalm 145)” and “Christ Be With Me (St. Patrick’s Breastplate).”
Cottrell, a native of Boone, North Carolina, graduated from Belmont (magna cum laude) with a degree in Church Music in 1992. His vocal talent was evident during his student years at Belmont. He became a Metropolitan Opera competition finalist and sang the role of Tevye in Belmont’s production of Fiddler on the Roof in 1992.
He currently serves as Worship Pastor at Englewood Baptist Church in Jackson, Tenn. A prolific songwriter and sought-after performer, Cottrell has performed or recorded with artists such as Amy Grant, Garth Brooks, Melinda Doolittle and CeCe Winans. He has also recorded several solo projects, including Found, Ring the Bells, When the Stars Burn Down and the Dove award-winning Jesus Saves Live. In 2010, Zondervan Press published his first book, Surprised by Worship: Discovering God Where You least Expect It, and in 2013 a journal version of the same book titled He Knows Your Name. Travis has been married to his wife Angela (a Belmont alumna) for 19 years, and they have three children – Jack, 16, Lily Kate, 13 and Levi, 10.
Previous Encore Award honorees include Clifton Forbis (2008), Daniel Weeks (2009), Drs. Daniel and Sharon Lawhon (2010), Maestra Teresa Cheung (2011) and Dr. Alfredo Colman (2012).
Who needs Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway? Belmont’s Musical Theatre program is stepping up to the plate to take on the challenge of being the first American university to stage a performance of the Tony Award-winning musical, Les Miserables.
“Belmont is fortunate to be the first university to receive the rights to stage a production of Les Miserables,” said Marjorie Halbert, coordinator of the musical theatre program. “Until December, rights were only available for professional theatre companies and an edited version for high schools.”
With the success of both the Broadway musical and the recent movie (starring Jackman and Hathaway), Les Miserables is the most recognized musical in the world. Forty-three musical theatre majors will be used in the 10 performances that tell the epic story of Jean Valjean amidst the destruction and passion in 19th century France.
Senior musical theatre major and Russellville, Ala. native Tucker Hammock is tackling the lead role of Valjean. “Les Miserables has such a beautiful message of grace, second chances and forgiveness… I have to say the biggest challenge is finding ways to make the characters/ story/songs our own. Most people are familiar with Les Mis; they’ve either seen the movie, or seen the show and heard the music. Our job is to make it like the audience is watching it for the very first time.”