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Merryman outlines plan to attract songwriters

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Steve Kaufman

Terri Merryman, Director of the Wilson County Convention and Visitors Bureau, is on a mission to "develop our destination" as a steppingstone to Music City, U.S.A.

"I want to turn Wilson County into a music incubator. You come here and hone your craft and learn from these professionals. Then you go on to Nashville," she said.

Due to our close proximity to Nashville and assortment of venues to host both classes and concerts, including the upcoming Expo Center, Merryman doesn't see why this dream cannot become a reality.

She plans to unofficially become part of Tennessee's music path, piggybacking on Tennessee's new branding "The Soundtrack of America - Made in Tennessee."

"I like to say 'The Soundtrack of America - Made in Tennessee' perfected in Wilson County," Merryman said.

The first step begins this fall. Merryman proudly announced three-time National Flatpicking Champion Steve Kaufman will be in Lebanon in November for workshops and a concert.

Kaufman is offering all-level guitar and mandolin workshops in Fiddlers Grove at the James E. Ward Ag Center from Nov. 13-15; however, space is limited so those interested need to apply quickly. The guitar workshop is that Friday and Saturday and is $90. The mandolin workshop will take place Sunday, Nov. 15 and is $50 per person.

The Remembering Miss Dixie Committee, established in memory of country great Tom T. Hall's late wife Miss Dixie Hall, will be offering two scholarships per workshop for musicians 21 years of age and under. To apply for the scholarship or register for workshops, contact Merryman at (615) 453-9644 or email terrimerryman@visitwilsoncounty.com.

On Saturday evening a concert featuring Kaufman, opened by Southern Image, will be held at The Capitol Theatre. Tickets for the concert are available for $15 per person and may be purchased at www.CapitolTheatreTN.com.

Merryman said the dancefloor will be open during the Southern Image performance, but she wouldn't be surprised if folks returned to their seats to hear Kaufman. "You hear him play and you are just in awe. He'll transition from bluegrass to just good ole country."

Staff Writer Sabrina Garrett may be contacted at sgarrett@wilsonpost.com.

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music, musician, songwriter, Terri Merryman, tourism, Wilson County
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