July 31, 2013 was a day the Belmont Youth Band will forever remember. Vivian Lamont and the Belmont Youth Band (BYB) performed in Memphis, TN at the Annual Jus’ Blues Awards and Conference 2013. The BYB opened for professional performers, and Vivian performed, singing with a professional jam session consisting of various recording artists. They received standing ovations and members of the band and have been offered the opportunity to perform in Atlanta and Louisiana as well as a chance to record.
Their audience was international, consisting of people from various foreign countries – Africa, the U.K. and France, to name a few – as well as people from all over the United States.
Some of the performing artists, such as Benny Latimore, Millie Jackson and Bobby Rush were there and also taught the band a “Blues Got a Soul Education” workshop.
The band members learned about the history of the blues, how to copyright music, how to continue their musical studies through college, recording and finally, understanding contracts before signing them. Band members also learned about and got a chance to play a guitar made in South Africa, the body of which was made out of an oil can!
The students visited many important landmarks in Memphis. They spent a whole day on Beale Street and ate at BB King’s Restaurant and Blues Club. They visited the Stax Museum and Academy, The National Civil Rights Museum and the Historical Daisy, a prime surviving example of nickelodeon architecture from the early cinema era, and the Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum. They also managed to visit the Gibson guitar factory and music store, as well as a couple of recording studios.
“The entire trip from July 31, through August 2, 2013, was an opportunity of a lifetime for the BYB members. They had such a wonderfully, enjoyable time and were also invited to go back next year for the 14th Annual Jus’ Blues Awards and Conference,” said Vivian Lamont, founder.