By Stacy Keith
Two successful Lubbock musicians have the opportunity to share their skills and music across the globe this summer. Lubbock has always been unique in its artistic essence and that is has an uncanny ability to encourage people to develop not only their talent, but their business too. Performers need a stage and a method to foster a career and Lubbock offers that.
Joy Harris has been involved with the Buddy Holly Songwriters Retreat in Lubbock for the past two years. This unique event which the Lubbock Entertainment and Performing Arts Association organizes with the Buddy Holly Educational Foundation brings together music mentors and emerging artists for a unique opportunity to write songs together. Joy has cowritten several songs and has been invited to record them as well with mentoring songwriters. Lubbock born and raised, Joy is a great example of making a life and living doing what she loves in the Hub City. She holds a degree from Texas Tech University and is an instructor in the School of Music.
She volunteers countless hours on boards and with organizations including the Lubbock Live Festival and Caviel Museum of African American History all while maintaining a very busy performance and touring schedule.
“My homebase is Lubbock, but my music is for the world.” – Joy Harris
Chris Difford Songwriting Retreat by the Buddy Holly Educational Foundation features 30 successful or up and coming songwriters from all over the world and provides a way to connect and write songs, developing new friendships and expanding opportunities for attendees. This year, true to the legacy of Buddy Holly, a Lubbock citizen will be among this elite group of talented musicians invited from all over the world. Joy will spend a week at the retreat and be a part of this unique experience established by the Foundation created in honor of Lubbock’s native son, Buddy Holly.
Difford is a well-known English songwriter whose career has expanded over 40 years. His songs and lyrics have been performed by such notables as Elvis Costello and Sir Elton John. Difford created the retreat to allow a small group of songwriters to gather together to create in a relaxed and safe atmosphere. The retreat began in 2014 and has continued to be a prestigious opportunity for select songwriters.
Joy isn’t the only Lubbock musician traveling the world to share the magic of Lubbock. Kea Beasley, Education Director with the Lubbock Symphony Orchestra is also off to big adventures this summer. Kea is currently an LSO violinist. She also received master’s degrees in violin pedagogy and performance from Texas Tech University. She and some of her colleagues at Texas Tech University have been invited to participate in the Orfeo Music Festival in the Italian Alps. This is an internationally known music festival that connects talented musicians and educators from all over the world. For two weeks, musicians will participate in masterclasses, rehearsals and share beautiful music with the community. Participants will also explore the surrounding region with sightseeing tours, including the childhood home of Mozart in Salzburg! This festival is an amazing opportunity for artistic growth, networking, and professional development.
“It is the biggest adventure I’ve ever had, and I am truly honored for this opportunity.”- Kea Beasley
As a designated Texas Music Friendly Community Lubbock loves its musicians. We are so proud of Kea and Joy and that they are able to share their skills with the world, but are also really glad they both call Lubbock home.
**Featured image by Marc West. Picture of Joy Harris by Therese Barrett Photography.