40 Years of Makin’ Music

Makin' Music // June 29, 2017

Emotions and energy were high, as thousands of guests celebrated Makin’ Music’s 40th anniversary April 7-8. Reunions held on- and off-stage were marked by beautiful music, happy tears and lots of photos. Dozens of former hosts and hostesses, directed by alumna Peggy Weaver, wowed audiences when they took the Loyd stage again, and a cast of alumni under the direction of Austin and Hannah Painter were greeted with cheers when they paid tribute to club shows from the past decade. Alumnae Belinda Anderson, Becky Welch and Beth Anne Clayton worked with staff member Tonya Hyde, WFHU and Bramblett Group to host Party on the Green, providing a venue for future, present and past students to eat and visit between Saturday shows. The FHU Associates, Mid-South Youth Camp board, Sawyer’s Catering and Kona Ice of Mt. Juliet provided food.

Makin’ Music Producer Tony Allen was assisted by coordinators, Cody Nicholson and Lanae Hodnett, and a team of volunteers. The 2017 hosts and hostesses were Madison Darby, Anna Farley, Logan Foote, Meredith Goodman, Elisabeth Hibbett and Brett Simpson. In club shows, Xi Chi Delta faked the moon landing in “A History in the Faking,” and Phi Kappa Alpha showed the clash between rich and poor in a “French Resolution.” It was the summer versus the winter Olympics in Sigma Rho’s “Freeze or Burn,” Chi Beta Chi sent a reporter on a dangerous assignment in “Haunted Headlines,” and Theta Nu told a prison break story in “Clever in the Slammer.” Xi Chi Delta received the Spirit of Makin’ Music Award, and sweepstakes winners were Phi Kappa Alpha (first), Xi Chi Delta (second) and Sigma Rho (third). The show was dedicated to Vice President Wayne Scott for his love of the FHU family through the years.


Rebecca Taylor Davis, ’78, coordinator of the first MM

“What the show is today is what we dreamed about when we started that first year. My favorite thing has been to see how much my children loved being part of the show when they were students.”


Jonathan Davis, ’14,  former MM coordinator

“Coming back and being a part of the anniversary show, seeing friends and catching up on each other’s lives is an amazing reminder of the blessing that Freed-Hardeman is and what an integral part Makin’ Music plays.”


Matt Sokoloski, ’03, alumni host

“It was a wonderful weekend. It refreshed my spirit in a way I didn’t even know I needed — to come back to this special place where so many memories were made, to be a small part of this big show, to sing with such talented folks, to reconnect with old friends and to walk around campus hand-in-hand with my love.”


Leigh Anne Walker Sanderson, ’89, alumni hostess

“MM40 seemed to capture the ultimate spirit of Makin’ Music! Not only was beautiful music created, but also new friendships were formed and relationships renewed. One of the best moments was the warm-up time when we sang hymns. It reminded us of the reason we share a bond.”


Matt Newbill, ’80, alumni host

“It was a humbling experience to be part of MM 40; it was evident that those of us from the very early years were just a small part of this great tradition of talent. The friendships formed within our host and hostess group from 1980 are still viable today. That made the weekend so much more special, not just singing together again but singing and laughing together!”


Caz Williams, ’11, alumni cast

“Makin’ Music has been a big part of our family. My mother performed in the first show as a Philomathian, and she loved watching my sister, Ann Marie, and me perform as students. She was really excited about seeing the alumni perform in the 40th Anniversary Show, but she passed away March 1. I performed in the alumni show to pay tribute to her.”


Katie Powell Bell, ’08, alumni hostess

“Makin’ Music has brought people together since its creation, and it was an incredibly humbling experience to be a small part of the big show. I will forever be thankful to Freed-Hardeman for bringing good people together and giving us a glimpse of what heaven will be like.”


Brittany Ringold Evans, ’05,  former coordinator

“Party on the Green was such a great way to catch up with old friends in a fun and relaxing environment! I loved being in the center of campus and seeing past and present students connect and share memories.”


Shea Brown, ’14

“The best thing about Makin’ Music is that it brings people together. MM40 and the Party on the Green provided even more opportunities to connect to new friends and reconnect with old ones.”


Hannah Clayton Danley, ’04, alumni hostess

“The whole weekend was fun, exhausting and magical. While singing ‘A Common Love’ Saturday night, I was overcome with emotion. I stood on the stage surrounded by my brothers and sisters in Christ, who are my fondest FHU memories. Being back with them was so good for my soul.”


Elizabeth Wisdom, ’20, freshman cast member

“I LOVED the alumni. All of the shows were so good. There was a huge competition, and it was very intense. We put so much work into it, and I had a lot of fun doing it.”


Robin Edwards Davidson, ’90, alumni hostess

“Makin’ Music holds my favorite college memories. The theme for 1988 was ‘The Time of our Lives,’ and there is no truer statement. I hope this show continues to bring as much joy to FHU students as it has to me. Taking the stage with my daughter in performing with alumni hosts and hostesses was incredible!”


Paige Watson, ’20, freshman cast member

“One of my favorite things was seeing the history of Makin’ Music and how it came to be what it is today. This show has brought so many people together, and I believe it will continue to do that for a long time.“