Faculty, alumni band Vinyl Tap to make debut at ‘Uncommon Core’ art show

Katie Matthews, Entertainment Editor

Imagine a few teachers and couple former students getting together on a Friday night to jam out to some of students’ favorite classic music.

Weird to imagine, right?

Not for Vinyl Tap, a band made up of three Bearden teachers and two alumni, who will put on their debut performance at Bearden’s art department’s second annual “Uncommon Core” art show Friday.

Vinyl Tap features social studies teacher Mr. Matt McWhirter on guitar, choral director Ms. Mary Sexton on vocals, art teacher Mrs. Vicki May on vocals, and alumni Ben and Nick Sisco on bass, guitar, and drums.

The band started when one day Mr. McWhirter “looked at the calendar…and realized [he] wasn’t getting any younger,” so he decided to finally use his musical instruments that he had acquired over the years to good use.

The first person he went to was Ms. Sexton because clearly she would know someone who would be interested in singing for the band, and she said she knew a few people including herself.

Now that Vinyl Tap had Mr. McWhirter, Ms. Sexton, and Mrs. May on vocals and guitar, they needed somebody to play bass and drums. The Sisco twins were the answer. Now the band is almost complete. The only piece missing is a keyboard player, and they already have a person lined up.

“We got started in August at the beginning of the school year, and we’ve been trying to get some other musicians to join us,” Mrs. May said. “Our last musician we’re waiting on is a keyboardist, and hopefully she’s going to join us in January.”

The band members are taken care of, so the obvious question becomes “What kind of music does Vinyl Tap play?”

Apparently, it’s the oldies but the goodies.

“We like to do a lot of the older songs I guess some people your age would consider classics – Beatles and Fleetwood Mac – people like that that don’t go out of style, and we’re trying to do some songs that a lot of people don’t know that are not played over and over again by other cover bands,” Mrs. May said.

This will be Vinyl Tap’s first performance, but the band hopes to get more opportunities to perform especially once they have their keyboardist.

There is a lot of excitement surrounding Vinyl Tap’s debut, but Mr. McWhirter and Mrs. May believe it’s really about the students and their artwork.

“I’m interested in seeing the show because I didn’t go to the one last year…so I look forward to seeing it,” Mr. McWhirter said. “I love to see what students do when they’re actually taking what they’re learning and applying it…that’s the real reason I’m excited about it.”

Added Mrs. May: “I’m proud of the work they’ve done not only on their artwork, but what they’ve put into this show, and I get excited that all of their hard work is going to be viewed by others… You can’t get anymore excited as an art teacher.”

So come support Bearden’s art students Friday at 510 Williams Street downtown from 6 to 10 p.m. Vinyl Tap will play sometime between 7 and 8 p.m. and will play five or six songs, Mrs. May said, and Bearden’s female a cappella will perform as well.