Talent show expects high turnout

By Ryn Gargulinski: QCS

Tucumcari High School ninth-grader Will Bason said he once played the guitar so long that his fingers bled.

He said it was at last summer’s Quay County Fair where he strummed in nearly every set on every day of the fair.

“My fingers at first were pitch black,” Bason said, “and they did start to bleed.” He only stopped, he said, during the last set on the last day when his wrist started to hurt so he would not cause any permanent damage.

For Bason, this is not an anomaly, for this lad said he lives, breathes and, lately, even sleeps music.

He said in the last few weeks he has been falling asleep with the words and chords from Tracy Lawrence’s Sticks and Stones running through his head. After all, he’s been practicing it every day to prepare for Sunday’s Quay Council for Art and Humanities annual talent showcase.

Bason will be performing a duet with his music teacher, David Morris, who is part of the Eastern New Mexico Bluegrass and Old Tyme Music Association. They will be joining a handful of other performers at the 3 p.m. event in Tucumcari High School’s auditorium.

Tucumcari Quay County Chamber of Commerce’s Kim Andrews said seven people had already signed up by last week and the audience will be graced with guitar playing, singing, a Presbyterian choir and other acts lasting about five minutes each.

“I’ve only been through two talent shows,” Andrews said, “but we don’t have any weird performances. No one plays the kazoo.”

Rather, Andrews said it’s an annual family thing, with many folks streaming en masse to hear the local talent.

Although this will be Bason’s first time in the annual talent showcase, it is by no means his first experience on stage.

He said he’s played tuba, drums and bells with the school band, strums his guitar and sings with the bluegrass association and recently joined the choir.

“Music is my life,” this 14-year-old said. He said his greatest pleasures are country, Gospel and seeing the reaction of the audience.

He said his own adoration of music came from being an audience to his dad’s guitar playing and the harmonic influence of his Uncle Dusty George, who plays everything from the steel guitar to the harmonica.

Bason also said he does what he needs to do to perhaps someday get to New York City’s Carnegie Hall — practice, practice, practice.

“Since we live about 15 miles out of town, our nearest neighbors are a few miles away and they don’t complain,” Bason said. “But my parents have told me to shut up,” he laughed.

Even if it’s not Carnegie Hall he’s after, Bason said one of his dreams is to someday attend the Big Apple’s Julliard School of Music, after buckling down on the basics by finishing high school and attending Mesalands Community College.

In the meantime, one can find him with other local performers at the talent showcase on Sunday.

What: Quay Council for Art and Humanities annual talent showcase
When: 3 p.m. on Sunday
Where: Tucumcari High School auditorium
Tickets: $5 (Council season passes are valid)
Information: 461-1694