Gary Powell brings 33 years of experience coaching singers in the recording studio presenting his skills to universities and vocal studios around the country. As an alumnus of Sam Houston State University, the university music department invited Gary to work with their student singers. Singers were auditioned on the first day followed by three nights of workshop rehearsals and vocal exercises; 12 hours of solo vocal exploration and ensemble singing. These singers, most music and musical theater majors, were wonderful to work with and eager to have fun while in the process. Cheers to all involved.
Let’s tell the story of a woman courting a deep East Texas drawl, Donna Dorrell, who finds and shares a defining perspective from her life through songwriting. Is her disarmingly insightful lyric born from the song-farms of major recording centers, or from somewhere else? That rhetorical question is only meant to wake us up to the idea that people like Donna Dorrell who have lived a conscious and mindful life make excellent artists – regardless of age.
The media loves to tell the story of the naturally talented performer â€œdiscoveredâ€ by chance. This one myth, however, has done more harm than good in promoting business infrastructures that favor chance over discipline, luck over persistence, and style over substance. Even a more insidious result this myth can cause is to push the truly gifted performers, composers, or artists many times, and understandably, to simply exit the premises to avoid the inbred structure of nepotism and pretense.
This music video is a part of a twelve minute historical video production which was played live at the 50th Anniversary Gala on two twelve foot screens. The song’s lyric was inspired by the club motto, “It’s Not Who You Are, but What You Are”. I took a little liberty with the exact wording to accommodate the rhythm of the language musically.
Some 700 still images used in the video were scanned from many photo albums and newsletters of club history. The video elements were shot during the gala event itself on January 12th, 2006. You will certainly recognize many of our state and national leaders from politics, business, education, science and the media who have been a part of this Austin press club since its inception in 1956.
My special thanks to Larry Seyer as usual for his talent and loyalty and also to Leslie Whiteley, a music teacher in Killeen, Texas, who is relatively new to my bank of session singers. Thank you, Leslie, for delivering the perfect vocal performance for this lyric.
MUSIC & LYRIC BY: Gary Powell
SONG PRODUCED BY: Gary Powell
SUNG BY: Leslie Whiteley
PIANO: Gary Powell
GUITARS: Larry Seyer
VIDEO PRODUCED BY: Gary Powell & Larry Seyer
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: John Harms
OFF-LINE EDITOR: Glenn Wolfe
ON-LINE EDITOR: Bill Lewis
COMPOSER: Gary Powell
ORCHESTRATOR: Gary Powell
RECORDING & MIXING ENGINEER: Larry Seyer
(Musical Score Copyright 1989 Jesmax Music, BMI
Copyright IBM Corporation 1989 All Rights Reserved)
The call came in from John Harms of River City Productions in Austin, Texas for an original film-score for an IBM project. I had composed and produced dozens of these in the past usually around some new computer chip rollout. This time, John says, “This one is different. No talking heads. Only beautiful shots of Texas landscapes and people.” The date is October, 1989!