Photos and story by Enrique Geronimo / Contributing Writer
Johnny Guitar’s Music Institute has an event every year called Johnnaroo, and this year was special, as it marked the 10th annual Johnnaroo.
Johnnaroo has been held in Murfreesboro since 2008, and while it has changed locations on several occasions, the crowd seems to have gotten bigger. The event showcases students of the institute who want to experience what it’s like to play live in front of an audience. This is a great experience for musicians who have put in the time to practice.
Bob and Terri Fitzgerald opened Johnny Guitar’s, which is located on Battleground Drive, in 2007, and it has been growing in the Murfreesboro community since then.
This year’s event was held at Puckett’s in the Murfreesboro Public Square on Sunday. This location was perfect. The only issue was trying to find a seat.
Puckett’s was almost at full capacity as everyone was there to show support for these young musicians.
While the overall mood of the night was a happy one, there were a few serious moments. Recently, a student of theirs passed away.
Everyone was quiet for a moment as Terri Fitzgerald spoke, and she informed the crowd that the student’s mother had also passed away shortly before he did. It was an emotional moment that almost instantly turned to a joyful one as Terri Fitzgerald went on to show this year’s Johnnaroo T-shirt design.
The shirt featured a “guitar tree” growing from the ground, with deep roots and tall branches, which were holding many other small guitars.
There was also a smaller guitar in the top right corner with wings and a dragonfly flying in front of it.
The Fitzgeralds explained that the tree growing from the ground was supposed to represent the student who passed, and the guitar growing was one that looked just like the one that he played. The guitar with wings represents his mother because dragonflies were her favorite bugs.
The crowd seemed to enjoy the dedication, and the Fitzgeralds made some closing remarks before the show began.
The evening was full of music, and every performance shined in its own way.
The first group played more current hits like Sia’s “Cheap Thrills” and Capital Cities’ “Safe and Sound.”
The second performance was a solo act by Chelsea Lawson, who has been with Johnny Guitar’s for 10 years. She is now an instructor with them. She began with Bob Dylan’s “It Ain’t Me Babe,” which seemed to be a crowd favorite.
Another group that went by the name of Electric Crickets also played. They played a variety of songs, including a song by OneRepublic, and ended with a small jam.
The next group of young musicians opened with Nancy Sinatra’s “These Boots Are Made for Walkin’.” The sound of the group was very mature.
Overall, the crowd at Johnnaroo 2018 considered the showcase a success, and the following years are sure to impress as well.
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