FHS sophomore putting on youth-focused music fest; seeks GS Gold Award

Farragut High School sophomore Bailey Redmond is putting on a youth-focused music festival to showcase local talent as she works toward achieving her Girl Scout Gold Award.

She is hosting the first Admiral Music Festival from 4 to 8 p.m., Friday, June 2, in FHS’s Vickie B. Wells Auditorium, with a line-up of performers who went through an audition process earlier this school year.

A pianist and vocalist who also is a front ensemble percussionist with the FHS Marching Admirals band, Redmond had the idea to host a music festival when she realized the lack of opportunities and appropriate settings for youth performers.

“I had heard about the Open Chord and have gone there during their open mic nights, and we have had open mic nights with the school band, too, but there just aren’t many youth options available overall,” she said, noting she has personally performed for audiences for about two years and also worked with the youth musicians at Concord United Methodist Church.

When thinking about her Gold Award project, Redmond said she knew she wanted to do something relating to music. And while she could team up with a fellow Girl Scout from Troop No. 20391, she also realized she wanted to oversee a solo project.

“I knew it would be difficult to plan, but I liked the challenge,” Redmond said. “I really got the idea from going to Open Chord and realizing it was a long way away from being a youth setting.

“It’s a bar, and I just couldn’t find anything else that offered what I was looking for,” she added. “So I thought, ‘Why don’t I give them the opportunity?’ There are so many performers who have the potential and talent, but lack the venue.”

Redmond held digital auditions from October to Dec. 31 to select the lineup, which currently consists of Free Your Mind, The Woodhawks, Van Mercy, Boundless Trap, Backyard Dinner, Sophia Eason, the Blue Collar Quartet from East Tennessee State University and French Toast.

“I’m excited about giving youth performers and bands the opportunity to show off their skills and talents,” Redmond said.

The event is free to attend, but concessions will be sold.

Following up, Redmond plans to set up a form for spectators to fill out after the fact, and answer questions to provide feedback after the event.

She also has aligned various sponsors, including Bill Jones Music, Knox County Schools’ Performing Arts Department, FHS Orchestra Program and the Marching Admirals.

“The idea of being a Girl Scout was interesting. But as an only child, it also gave me the opportunity to socialize,” said Redmond, the daughter of Brad and Beth Redmond of Farragut.

Poster illustration by Bailey Redmond