My wife Sarah has found so much favor in her job at Belmont. I think it's because she loves to inspire people. She also loves leadership and is not afraid to walk into conflict knowing that something great can come out of resolving it. For several years, she was the staff advisor for the student showcase council and walked closely with them as they planned the showcases throughout the year. A couple of years ago, Belmont allowed her to hire and lead someone in those responsibilities. She has a new employee in that position and is still in the process training and equipping her. Because of this, Sarah has been more directly involved with the students as they prepared for The Best of the Best. A few weeks ago, the student council went to breakfast with Vince Gill at Noshville and the students talked about how selfless he was. He made the statement, "What if we lived in a world where we always put ourselves last?" This quote was directly in line with what my wife has been telling the students. She has kept saying, "This is not about you. This is about honoring someone and it will make your show SO much bigger."
They succeeded in really making the show about Vince. Sarah had hired a former student to do several videos about Vince's life as a musician, as a family man, and as a philanthropist. They were very moving to watch and I teared up a few times. There were also video tributes from Dolly Parton and Brad Paisley. During the tribute, Vince's daughter Jenni played a song and told a story about asking her dad to play at he first grade talent show. The week before, he was asked to play on the Grand Ole Opry for the FIRST time. He turned it down to play for his daughter. It reminds me of a Kyle Mathews song called "The Way We Go About It Matters". His wife, Amy Grant and his friend Rodney Crowell both played a song.
When Vince accepted the Robert E Mulloy Award of Excellence(which were replicas of his and Amy's basketball seats in the Curb Event Center), he kept telling stories that honored other people. Vince is an AMAZING musician but what makes him truly great is much more than his voice and guitar ability. He is so generous with his time and resources. I was a recipient of his generosity in college. I received one of his scholarships and was able to thank him at a reception before the show.
The students who produced the Best of the Best succeeded in making their show SO much bigger by honoring Vince Gill. It was a wonderful evening with so much good music that was filled with true greatness.