Band comes to campus, sings about love

Taylor Boydstun

Staff Writer

The Juilliard-trained and Nashville-grown Annie Moses Band performed in Claudia Crosby Theater on Tuesday, Sept. 20.

The show, titled “The Art of the Love Song,” is based on the simple idea that love songs are not written as well as they used to be.

The group draws songs from the “Great American Songbook,” as well as music from the 1960s and 1970s, to highlight its unique blend of classical, folk, bluegrass and pop.

The band is composed of siblings; each member contributes vocals, instruments, or both to the performance.

Their parents, Bill and Robin Wolaver, are award-winning songwriters and composers. They moved to Nashville in the late 1980s and raised their family there.

Brianna Luria, a former Troy student from Huntsville, said: “I love how passionate and dedicated each member is and how they use their music to inspire others and to glorify God. They aren’t after fame at all.”

“Music really bonded us as a family,” said Annie Dupre, violinist and lead singer of the group. “The Annie Moses Band was very much born out of that.

“Initially, we thought we were going to pursue classical careers, and that’s what initially led my family to the New York area. We studied at Juilliard for some time.”

Being the lead singer, Dupre acts as the primary storyteller throughout the show, not only by singing powerful ballads, but also by weaving old-fashioned love stories between them.

She told stories of various family members’ lives and loves, all the way back to her great-grandmother’s grandmother in the soulful song “Cherokee.”

“From an instrumental side, I’m just very inspired by the pursuit of beauty, as creating something that is highly excellent and beautiful and commanding for the audience,” Dupre said. “I think the Annie Moses Band pulls from both of those things to create a show that is both highly entertaining but also deeply meaningful, too.”

The Annie Moses Band began several years ago when the older siblings were in high school and the youngest still in elementary.

“During that season when we were at Juilliard, we began really forming and making decisions together about whether we wanted to make music together as a family in a professional capacity,” Dupre said. “We embarked upon that in 2002, and it’s been a wonderful adventure.“

The band has traveled all over the United States, as well as Europe and Asia.

“It’s been very adventurous tackling the triumphs and challenges of being a professional musician,” Dupre said.

“One minute, they were playing Bluegrass; the next, they had a rock/pop sound,” said John Jinright, associate professor of double reeds and piano and member of the Troy Arts Council. “The three vocalists were well-trained and had impressive ranges, too.”

He said he most enjoyed their performance of “Grow Old With Me.”

“Annie has an unusual high voice and a delicate vibrato,” Jinright said. “She effectively gave us background information and family stories that took the song to a whole new level.”

The audience, speckled with several elderly white-haired couples, listened attentively as the group sang of pure and true life-long love.

The second-to-last song of the show was a rendition of 1 Corinthians 13.

Jenna Viets, sophomore communication major from Dothan, said she “loved hearing 1 Corinthians 13 brought to life in music.

“It was the perfect conclusion to a show focused on love in the romantic, lifelong sense of the word that is so often ignored in today’s society.”

“I think my favorite part of performing is really the chance to communicate something deep to the audience,” Dupre said. “As a singer, you have the great opportunity to communicate a message in the things that you say, and so the things that you choose to say are incredibly important.

“I love that — the idea of embodying a song and being able to speak those words with authority and meaning, hopefully inspiring and touching some point of personal experience in the life of the people who are listening.”

The band will continue its tour, performing “The Art of the Love Song” throughout the United States until Dec. 17, when it will take a break during the holiday season.

Fans can visit its website to view dates, buy music and read more about the band.

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