January 2015

Songwriters in the round

Author: BECCA EDWARDS

Create something that moves you,” began Steve Bogard. “Because if it moves you, it will move other people.” You might not recognize Bogard’s name, but you would recognize his work—after all he has two Grammy nominations and nine number one country music hits, making his résumé sing. (His most recent chart topper is the Rascal Flatts’ debut single, “Prayin’ for Daylight.”)

Joined by student-musicians from the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities (SCGSAH) and other award-winning songwriters such as Carly Pearce, Josh Dorr, and Phillip Lammonds (founding member of the Blue Dogs), Bogard performed for the SCGSAH Foundation’s Songwriters in the Round November 21 in an airplane hangar transformed into a cool, candlelit concert venue. Over 130 people sipped cocktails, nibbled on Lowcountry fare and swayed like content groupies, listening to the artists sing, banter and inspire everyone to get in syncopation with a great cause.

“The evening was so special because it was not your typical fundraiser,” said Liz MacLeod, event chair and Foundation board member. “The combination of the different venue, different entertainment and an innovative setting got the attendees truly excited about what they were a part of.”

Raising approximately $95,500, proceeds from the event will benefit SCGSAH—an organization that echoes Bogard’s words. The mission of SCGSAH is “to serve the artistically talented high school students of South Carolina through programs of pre-professional instruction in an environment of artistic and academic excellence.” Every year SCGSAH is nationally recognized for its achievements. US News and World Report ranked the school the second best in South Carolina and the forty-fifth best high school in the nation. The 2014 graduating class of 99 students earned more than $23 million in scholarships. The school consistently ranks as one of South Carolina’s top three public high schools in SAT scores. And for 2014, the composite SAT score in South Carolina was 1436; the national composite score was 1498; SCGSAH’s score was 1688.

By giving these gifted students an amazing education, SCGSAH is not only helping build successful careers, it is also perpetuating the positive impact the arts and humanities have on our culture. “The main objective of the [SCGSAH] Foundation is to increase awareness of the school and to raise revenues. One hundred percent of funds raised goes toward student support,” MacLeod said. “Over 30 percent of the students attending the school cannot afford the annual meal plan of $3,400. The Foundation gives the opportunity to many talented students to attend the SCGSAH, the best school of its kind in the country. An opportunity they would not have without the help of the Foundation.”

Attending and performing at Songwriters in the Round was also SCGSAH senior Garrett Brittain and, as he played an original song, everyone in the audience was struck not only by his talent, but also by his confidence and composure. Like the voice of Alison Krauss, it was pitch-perfect clear that Bogard and the other songwriters had not only moved the crowd, but he and his fellow musicians had also moved a youth who seems destined now to be a star. 

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