BARRY COURTER: Lisa, you might remember a couple of weeks ago when I couldn't stop talking about a bunch of high school students who had decided to raise money for art equipment for local public schools. They spent almost two years on the project, which included recording local musicians for a compilation CD.
Well, they will be holding their first public event on Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Chattanooga Theatre Centre, complete with live music and the official release of the CD.
LISA DENTON: When I first heard about "Let Beauty Awaken," I thought it was a Lifetime movie. I have since discovered that it's the name of the fundraising project and the CD, which features classical, blues, bluegrass, jazz, gospel and folk music from 14 teenage musicians in the area. Some of those young musicians will perform Thursday, along with The Dismembered Tennesseans and the WTM Blues Band. You need to reserve your tickets online so organizers can get a head count, then pay $30 at the door.
BARRY: I got to hear some of the CD several weeks ago, and it will surprise people. Not just the talent of the young performers, but the diversity. I believe they also plan to announce future plans for the program and maybe even a name change.
The whole thing was the idea of Thomas West, a senior at McCallie. He enlisted the help of classmate Ralston Hartness and Baylor School seniors McKenna Quatro and Megan Daniel, and the four have made countless phone calls, sent hundreds of emails and knocked on dozens of doors, telling people about their idea. The goal is to rally young people in our area to help fund the arts. It is an ambitious and worthy goal.
LISA: I love their passion. They are learning to be movers and shakers before they even finish high school. Pretty impressive.
Speaking of moving and shaking, I may get to suspend my Black Friday training regimen - and it's not because more stores are opening on Thanksgiving this year. Instead, it's a new event called the HoHo Expo that the Times Free Press is sponsoring Saturday and Sunday at the Chattanooga Convention Center. I can get my Christmas shopping done extra early that way.
BARRY: You know, I like these expos because you get everyone under one roof. One-stop shopping is for me. Now, if I can convince someone to put it all on a big truck and drive it to my house, it would be perfect.
We should probably also mention, even though it is sold out, that Florida Georgia Line is at Track 29 Wednesday to play a fundraiser for the Forgotten Child Fund. People are still talking about the huge crowd they drew for their show at Riverbend last summer.
I just learned a new term this week to describe their music: "bro country." Somebody even wrote up a funny-cause-it's-true list of bro country lyric topics - the summers are endless, all action takes place under moonlight, usually on a beach in the back of a truck, the beer is ice cold and all females are known simply as "girl."
LISA: To quote Tim McGraw: "You're right on the money. Truck yeah."
Don't forget that several of the city's big holiday events start this weekend: North Pole Limited train rides at Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum, Enchanted Garden of Lights at Rock City, Holidays Under the Peaks at the Tennessee Aquarium and Holiday Enchantment at the Chattanooga Choo Choo.
And soon it will be Thanksgiving.
Get event details every Thursday in Chattanooga Now or online anytime at www.ChattanoogaNow.com.
Contact Barry Courter at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6354. Contact Lisa Denton at email@example.com or 423-757-6281.