By Casey Peacock: PNT Staff Writer
A long-standing tradition in the area, the annual Floyd Lions Club Jamboree has given many young people their musical start. Many have come back for years.
Life-long Roosevelt County resident Gary Modrell, first performed at the jamboree during the 1970’s. After a long hiatus, he returned to perform during the 50th anniversary of the jamboree, and has been a regular ever since, he said.
“It’s great, I’ve met some wonderful people,” Modrell said.
When he was younger, Modrell attended the jamboree with his family. It wasn’t until he was an adult, that he began playing at the jamboree, he said.
“I didn’t realize it was amateurs, I thought they were stars,” Modrell said of past jamboree performers.
Growing up, Modrell learned to play the guitar, and spent time picking with his father. Today he continues to play the guitar at the jamboree and on Sundays with the Back Porch Pickers, a group that gets together twice monthly, just to play, Modrell said.
Intermingled with the veteran performers is the younger generation who are also performing on the jamboree.
Beginning her musical career at the jamboree local performer Kacee Lovato has used the jamboree to hone her skills and launch her musical career. This will be her seventh year to perform at the jamboree, said Angela Lovato, Kacee’s mom and backup singer.
“She has just really gained a lot of experience performing out there,” Lovato said.
Wanting to be a country singer since she was 3, Kacee put together a band and performed at various venues in the area and in Amarillo, said Lovato.
“It is all about having fun and creating good music,” Lovato said of Kacee and her band.
Singing since she was in kindergarten, Portales resident Theta Ainsworth, 14, will be performing “Nothing Bout Love Makes Sense”. This will be her fourth year to perform at the jamboree, she said.
“I’m pretty excited and very, very nervous,” Ainsworth said.
“I think it’s great, the kids perform,” Modrell said.
At a glance
What: Floyd Lions Club Jamboree
When: 7 p.m. today and Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday (gospel)
Where: Floyd Schools Gym
Tickets: $5 per person
Concession stand will be available.