Student Stage Gives Creative Outlet To Teen Talent - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

10/31/03

Student Stage Gives Creative Outlet To Teen Talent

A new outdoor stage at Ocean Springs High School gives aspiring musicians the chance to perform before a pretty tough crowd.

Teenagers are invited to take the stage in the courtyard and entertain fellow students during the lunch hour.

It's an effort to inspire the arts and give young musical talent a creative outlet.

A 15 year old county music singer captured the crowd's attention Friday morning.

"To convince myself that I'm not afraid," sang Brent Anderson, as he faced his fellow students.

Anderson isn't afraid of the stage. The teen first sang in public at the tender age of two, grabbing the microphone from his grandfather during a gospel music sing in Pascagoula. Thirteen years later he faces the high school lunch bunch.

"It's the toughest crowd you'll ever face. It really is. Your peers. But they seem to like it. It's a lot of fun to play," said Anderson.

"And now the times are a changing. Forget everything that's come and gone," the singer songwriter sang.

It's easy to forget the talented singer is just a high school sophomore. He spent the summer in Nashville and already has a manager shopping around Music City for a record deal.

"I'd like to get signed as an artist. I'd like to get the Horizon Award at the CMA awards, you know, for new artist. And I want to hear the crowd. I want to be up in front of sixty thousand people singing," he said.

For now, he'll settle for a short set before fellow high schoolers on lunch break. Early reviews are promising.

Senior, Ashley Davis, likes what she hears and sees.

"He's amazing. He's wonderful. I'm infatuated now. The infatuation has now grown. He's wonderful," said Davis.

"He's unique. Everything about him. He's got his own music. He's nobody else," Brittany Dees said.

And just maybe, when Brent Anderson steps into the spotlight at the Grand Ole Opry, he'll flashback to that concrete stage in the courtyard at Ocean Springs High.

Anderson loves country, but his roots are in gospel music. For years, he's been a singer with the "Gulf City Boys", a popular gospel group in Jackson County.

By Steve Phillips

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