I'm sure those of you that have attended will agree that convention has a certain atmosphere to it... the world and it's troubles seem to almost fade away, and you get to just enjoy your time there with likeminded people. Listening to the wonderful music, enjoying good Godly fellowship, hearing the morning speakers, etc. And that's just at the LeConte center!
|This photo is one of our first times at the LeConte Center!|
We were there all week long (including the special Sunday Night Bonus Concert!), and absolutely loved every minute of it. Times we weren't at the LeConte Center we were stopping in at our favorite PF restaurants (Z-Mex Grille, Pottery House Cafe, Mama's Farmhouse, The Old Mill...), making a run to Gatlinburg for the Donut Friar, checking out local attractions, etc. One morning we even headed out to the TN/NC state line at 6:00am to catch a stunning smoky mountain sunrise!
There were so many special moments on and off stage at convention this year. The reunions were so much fun-- Kingsmen reunion, Inspirations reunion, Gold City reunion, etc... the crowd loves to see current and former members come together for a special set on stage as part of the 60th Anniversary of NQC. Saturday afternoon featured a showcase remembering and honoring the Gospel Singing Jubilee show. It was a neat experience for all present as videos from the past were shown on the screens in between performances of current groups. The morning showcases were a fun way to start the day, getting to see some of the new talent in SG! A Bus Lot Jam Session on Thursday evening made a great end to the night.. from eleven-fifteen until twelve o'clock many of your favorite musicians gave an off the cuff concert.
Here are a few of Mercy's biggest highlights from NQC2017!
1. I was able to meet Kirk Talley!! I've been a Kirk fan for years, and was so excited when I saw him near the Talleys table. A photo was a must, of course.
|Hope and I with Kirk.|
|With Wes Hampton|
3. I know I said this after last years convention, but getting to see Joseph Habedank is always a big highlight for me! We rarely get to see him and hearing some of his new songs was fantastic. By the way, if you haven't heard his new music you need to go take a listen to it. "Here He Comes" is my favorite on his new cd, but they're all great songs with a great message.
4. Getting to see Jay Parrack again was a lot of fun! This was only my second time ever getting to see him. The Gold City reunion was amazing and we also got the chance to interview Jay (coming soon!).
5. Lastly, It was (as always) just so good to see everyone! NQC is always our time to hang out with friends, make new friends, and see people that we don't often get to see (and babysit lol). The entire week is so much fun and it's definitely something you don't want to miss. This year was fantastic with so many memories that we'll never forget.
|With Adaline (Aaron and Suzanne Hise's baby).|
Back to Modesty now- I want to take a minute and address a sort of controversial topic-- Louisville vs. Pigeon Forge. I have heard many arguments for both sides. I'll be honest, when the move from Louisville was announced, I had a few misgivings about it. I mean, Louisville had a lot of special memories attached to it and nobody knew what the new venue would be like. However, the first year in Pigeon Forge put all my fears to rest... the newly built LeConte Center was beautifully designed, the surrounding scenery is gorgeous, the many family attractions were a plus, everything you'd have need of (hotels/lodging, grocery stores, laundromats, restaurants...) all within a short distance. What hit me most of all though, was the very warm welcome and hospitality from the city of Pigeon Forge. Have there been a few glitches? Absolutely! The City of PF, the LeConte Staff, and Clark Beasley + the NQC Staff have gone above and beyond to work together and come up with solutions to any complications that arise. They have added larger viewing screens, as well as elevated and staggered seating to eliminate any viewing issues. They have installed acoustical treatment on the walls. Additional trolley lines were also set up to help move the attendees quicker and easier. So many improvements have been made since 2014. Golf carts make rounds in the parking lot to pick up/drop off at the convention center. I have personally seen officers of the PF Police Department helping elderly concert attendees into cars after the evening concerts. You aren't going to find that friendly and caring attitude just anywhere! So the next time you feel the urge to complain about a certain aspect, please have a little understanding and remember that they are doing everything they can to address the issues. If you attended in 2014 and haven't attended since due to being displeased with the venue, I highly encourage you to return in 2018 and give it another chance. I have been very impressed with NQC+The City of PF working together to make our time as pleasurable as possible, and I personally hope that the National Quartet Convention continues to be held in Pigeon Forge for many years to come!
More photos from convention can be found on the Memories by Modesty Facebook Page.
~Modesty + Mercy