A Different Concert

OASIS, the group I volunteer to tutor reading through, has an annual volunteer appreciation event. In the past this has been a luncheon at one of the area’s hotels. This year they tried something different.

Instead of a luncheon, they hosted a concert by Kathy Mattea at the Touhill Center on the campus of UMSL. The concert was yesterday afternoon. It was preceded by light refreshments. I got there about 20 minutes before the program was scheduled to begin. They had several food stations set up in the lobby and I got in line. By the time I reached the food, it was mostly gone. Here’s what I think was offered: crudites, cheese cubes, something — maybe chicken — on skewers (they were all gone) and cookies and fancy little cheesecake type desserts. I managed to collect a few crudites, a few cubes of cheese, and a cookie. They had tea, lemonaid and water for drinks.

I found a table where I could sit to eat my munchies. I shared it with a very nice older lady and her daughter. It wasn’t long before the announcement was made that it was time to enter the concert hall. So I got in another line to get a seat. On my way in the hall, I picked up what I thought was a program. It turned out to be just a folder listing all the volunteers. Of course, I immediately looked for my name.

I found a seat about half-way to the front. In a few minutes the program started with a welcome by the Volunteer Coordinator and the Director of the program. Then Kathy Mattea and her three back-up musicians took the stage.

I had no idea what kind of music they performed. Turned out she is a country singer although I would characterize her music more as folk music. It certainly wasn’t the kind of country music that focuses on “my woman done me wrong.” She’s from West Virginia and a number of her songs are about coal mining. She had interesting comments to make between them. Her back-up musicians were excellent.

The concert lasted about an hour — maybe a little longer — and was a very enjoyable show. I hope OASIS does as well by its volunteers next year.

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