November 18, 2011 -- Although it was a return appearance for Melissa at the Frank Brown International Songwriters Festival in Alabama, there were still new developments that made memories that 2010 didn’t have.
This year at Frank Brown, Melissa played shows at three different venues, none of which she had performed at last year. In addition, she did get a chance for a brief return to the Silver Moon stage, playing two songs there this past Sunday afternoon (photo from that here).
She also, of course, saw many of the songwriters that she has been building relationships with over the last year. Included in that group is CJ Watson, who Melissa co-wrote a new song with late Sunday afternoon. The two had worked together earlier this year in Nashville. Though presently untitled, the song was inspired by another that Melissa had written Sunday morning, called, “These Two Wheels.”
During her shows Melissa was also performing “Feeling That I Found,” which she wrote last month at the 3rd Pensacola Beach Songwriters Festival.
The fifth day of the Frank Brown trip was highlighted by a visit to Woodlawn Beach Middle School in Gulf Breeze, Florida (just east of Pensacola).
Melissa spent the day as a guest speaker at her former middle school. It was an opportunity to both reconnect with her former chorus teacher and talk to the students about music. She emphasized the importance of staying in school and going to college even if their dreams are of pursuing a life in the music business. She also encouraged students to learn to play an instrument and gain as much knowledge in music theory as possible. "Learn all you can now and never stop pushing yourself to the next level,” she told them. “Like most endeavors in life, there is always room for improvement even when you find yourself satisfied with your skills."
Melissa ended each presentation by answering questions and playing a couple of her own songs for the students. She said that being a positive influence on the aspiring musicians was inspiring.
The students all asked Melissa for autographs after each class, which she cheerfully obliged, along with posing for some pictures.
Melissa and her former chorus teacher (center) pose with one of the middle school classes.
Melissa also donated copies of her "Waiting" CD for the music department to use to raise funds for a trip being planned for early next year.
The first weekend of this month saw Melissa at the 11th Annual DeLand (FL) Original Music Festival. Last weekend it was the Frank Brown Festival. And now this weekend it’s back on stage for shows tonight and tomorrow in St. Petersburg, Florida. And the beat goes on!