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Pianist Mote, ETSU ensemble to appear at church concert

September 23rd, 2011 9:39 pm by Staff Reports

PINEY FLATS — An evening of Christian music featuring Gordon Mote, pianist for the Gaither Vocal Band. and East Tennessee State University’s 12BucsWorth men’s ensemble will be presented on Oct. 6 at Piney Flats First Baptist Church. U.S. Highway 19E.
The concert is being organized by Brian Wilson, director of music at Piney Flats First Baptist. Wilson said he thought it would make a great evening to have the young and talented 12BucsWorth and then the musical genius of Mote.
“Gordon and the 12BucsWorth are both such-high caliber musicians, especially under their director, Dr. Thomas Jenrette of the ETSU Department of Music,” Wilson said. He hopes they may even get together for a combined effort or two.
Mote is a well known but still remarkable story. Born blind, Mote showed his musical talent when he stunned his parents at the age of 3 by playing “Jesus Loves Me” on the piano with both hands.
Mote became one of the first blind students in the nation to mainstream into the public school, graduating from high school with honors, while serving as band captain of his school’s award winning marching band. Throughout high school he also dedicated himself to playing and singing on weekends in churches or wherever the opportunities were presented.
Following high school, Mote received a full scholarship to Jacksonville (Ala.) State University. After three years, he transferred to Belmont University in Nashville, where he graduated with cum laude honors and a music degree.
Following graduation, Mote pursued a career in music, performing with such artists as Lee Greenwood, Martha McBride, Alan Jackson, Rascal Flatts, Josh Turner, Carrie Underwood and Porter Wagoner. Mote was awarded Piano/Keyboard Player of the Year by the Academy of Country Music in 2009 and 2011.
12BucsWorth is a male vocal ensemble of ETSU students founded in 1989 by Jenrette. Their repertoire, which in the past has been mostly pop music made famous by male vocal groups from the 1950s to the present, has expanded to include gospel music, like that made popular by groups such as the Gaither Vocal Band and Signature Sound.
12BucsWorth has performed in concert tours to Austria, England, France, Germany, Hungary, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands and Venezuela. In March, the group will take a concert tour of Costa Rica.
The have also performed twice at the White House.
The members of 12BucsWorth are all undergraduate students at ETSU. They are John Bell, a senior vocal music major from Jefferson City; Wade Cole, a sophomore biology major from Jonesborough; Paka Cordeiro, a junior vocal music major from Limestone; Daniel Couper, a sophomore psychology major from Johnson City; David Godsey, a senior vocal music major from Bristol, Va.; Sean Johnson, a junior biology major from Telford; Nick Monroe, a sophomore vocal music major from Athens; Matt Neas, a senior Spanish major from Greeneville; Seth O’Kegley, a sophomore vocal music major from King George, Va.; John Overholt, a senior vocal music major from Newport; Matt Reaves, a senior vocal music major from Greeneville; and Caleb Smith, a sophomore pre-med major from Chattanooga. Their accompanist is Matthew Brickey, a junior piano major from Kingsport.
Suggested price for tickets is $10 each. For more information, call 538-8304 or email

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