EDITOR’S NOTE: Cassidy Huff is a special needs student at Mt. Rainier High School. In 2016, she was named “Citizen of the Year” by the City of Burien. Hey B-Town Readers! I’ve had a lot of crazy, wonderful things happen in the past couple months! One of them I’m going to write about today! On Friday, March 22, 2019, I took part in a musical program called More Music at the Moore! More Music at the Moore (MM@M) is a program for youth musicians! I was able to watch the auditions for MM@M last year through one of the internships that I’m involved in and thought I’d give it a shot and audition! When I found out I got into the program, I was shocked and ecstatic. I heard some of the other performers audition and I was terrified I wasn’t near as good as they were. I think that’s something everyone does regardless of their career or craft. We constantly compare ourselves to others and then psych ourselves out! The first time I met all of the other performers, we were all in this big room at Nickerson Studios. Some of the other artists new each other from previous competitions or programs, but I didn’t know anyone. We got to see everyone perform in front of the group, and I was amazed at these kids’ talents. They were all so talented and it made me nervous to go up there and sing in front of them! But I conquered my fear and they couldn’t have been more supportive. Now it was time for us to choose the songs we wanted to perform at the Moore in about a month. Everyone seemed to have a general idea of what they wanted. However, I had no clue. I’d never worked with other musicians this closely either on or off the stage. I kind of hung back and observed as everyone else chose their songs until one of the mentors addressed the whole group and says “Ya know, Cass hasn’t been chosen for anything yet.” As soon as he said that, I was thrown into the mix of it all! When it got to my turn of having to choose a song, I said “Well, I was thinking of performing Jolene by Dolly Parton.” this idea got a resounding “YES!!!” from everyone in the room and I had people asking me left and right if they could be in it. I’ll never forget the first time we all practiced Jolene together. Everyone was practicing with their “bands” for their individual songs. So I pulled my group of people into a practice room and started spilling my crazy ideas that I never even knew I had. We started out with a drummer, one backup singer, a percussionist, a guitarist, a fiddle, and a mandolin. And they were all backing ME up!!! It was ALREADY beyond my wildest dreams and I hadn’t even played with them yet! The first time we ran through Jolene, it was kind of rough. The idea and potential were definitely there, but we had some kinks to work out. We figured out we needed to add another backup singer to get the nice three part harmonies going. And by the third run through, we had the song down!!! Everyone was on board and it sounded really really good! Fast forward through the next couple weeks, I eventually was in two other numbers. I was singing backup for the wonderful Alex Cade, and I was singing a duet with the amazingly talented Benicio Bryant! Not to mention the group songs we were all doing! Next thing we knew, we were moving into rehearsals in the Moore Theatre! That’s when it all became very real and started moving very fast. We would rehearse every night for a week before the show in the theatre from 3:30pm-9pm. It was exhausting and all of us started to get sick. But the bonds between all of the musicians became so strong, we started becoming family at this point. This environment was different for me and definitely something I had to get used to. But we all adjusted quickly. There was always one or more of us singing at all times, there was endless run through’s of songs that we still didn’t have down, there was a lot of standing, a lot of “take it from the top”, and someone was always sick. Although it was stressful, there was also constant laughter, backstage shenanigans, impromptu acoustic jam sessions, and ALWAYS music playing, whether it was our own voices rehearsing, or someone playing something on their phone. I’ve only dreamed of being in that environment! I was with people my age, who actually, genuinely understand what it’s like to be young in the music business. What it’s like to try and balance school, social lives, and full on careers. A couple days before the show, all of the songs were a mess because EVERYONE was feeling the pressure. From the artists, to the stage crew, to our music director, mentors, and everyone else who was involved. We ran Jolene a total of five times(?) in the time span of twenty minutes. People were coming in at the wrong time, I was messing up words, I was coming in too early, or the beat was coming in too late, people didn’t know when to come in with their solos, and to add to it, my poor bassist Ethan was thrown into the song three days before the show! (He was a great sport about it though!) Luckily we got it down! There were a lot of other issues that came up with people being sick and having to miss rehearsals, or someone’s voice being gone and having to run their song anyway, or people’s instruments being out of tune. But you know what they say, the show must go on! And so it did! The day of show was bittersweet for all of us. We were SO excited that we were finally getting to showcase what we’d been putting so much work into for months, but it was also the last time that we would all be together. They would tell us to go to our dressing rooms but instead, all of us would be dying laughing backstage in a big clump together! The day was a blur. But it was filled with a lot of laughing, a “Hot Fries” debate (that we still haven’t settled), a lot of impromptu jam sessions, lots of tea, and “shots” of disgusting throat coat spray that we all forced ourselves to take. I’ll never forget this moment. We were all sitting around a table doing paperwork when Beni started tapping on the table with his pen. We’d all gotten used to the constant music around us, but this time was different. Someone started humming something, Zo grabbed a random guitar that was laying around, Bailey started drumming on a box she was sitting on, and it took off into our last full on impromptu acoustic jam session. We did the first matinee show in front of 900 kids. It was one of the best shows I’ve ever played, they would cheer for anything! There were a bunch of students from a school (the name of the school completely escapes my mind now) who all had disabilities and had specifically come to see me perform! After the show, I made it a point to go out and meet and hug each and every one of them. After the matinee, I went out to dinner with my family and went back to the theatre for the final show. There were definitely some tears shed during the final circle and on stage. The show went flawlessly and the months of rehearsals really paid off. I can’t tell you how much MM@M helped my confidence and how much I learned from this program. I was able to meet some very talented artists that I’m now proud to call my family. I’m proud to say that I will be performing at the Paramount on May 4th for Seattle Theatre Group’s annual DOORS fundraiser AND I will be performing our exact same MM@M set on the MoPOP stage at the Folklife Festival on May 27th. (There’s a special additional song that I’m doing for that performance!) Couldn’t make it to the show? No worries! All of the songs that we did are now on YouTube and I will link the songs that I’m in down below! I’ll also leave the official 2019 More Music at the Moore lineup down below so you can check out all of these amazing artists! Thank you all for your endless love and support as I’m rising in the music business! I truly cannot thank you enough and I’m so lucky that I get to take all of you on this journey with me through this blog! I’ll see ya next time! Much Love, Cass 2019 More Music at the Moore Lineup:

  • Alex Cade
  • Amanda Jarman
  • Benicio Bryant
  • Bianca Tran
  • Brograss
  • Cassidy Huff
  • Lianna Walters
  • Rucker
  • Savannah Blackwell
  • Save the Bees
  • Zoser
VIDEOS The songs that I was in: Jolene (my solo song): [embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pl9orXAwXx0[/embed] Titanium with Benicio Bryant and Bailey Bruce: [embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Gi2PFMQMOo[/embed] No Chance by Alex Cade (I’m a backup singer): [embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gbruE29KQs8[/embed] GROUP SONGS: Feeling Good by Nina Simone: [embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WOCB8W0E2xw[/embed] The Story by Brandi Carlile: [embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i91uCcvpb9s[/embed]]]>

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