For us, #NQC2014 started Monday afternoon, when we arrived in Pigeon Forge, TN. This is the NQC's first year in PF, and it was very exciting to see all the local businesses welcoming NQC!
Monday afternoon we attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Leconte Center, the new venue for Quartet Convention. Guest speakers included NQC board members, as well as the Pigeon Forge mayor and other local officials. Just before cutting the ribbon, everyone joined in a couple verses of "Amazing Grace".
Let me tell you, the Leconte Center is absolutely gorgeous! The layout is different than Freedom Hall in Louisville, where NQC has been hosted for the past years, but it has a much more home-y, rustic feel to it. Very nice!
The lineup for Monday evening included some of our favorite groups. Tribute Quartet, Triumphant Quartet, Legacy Five, and Mark Bishop. Anyone who knows Mark Bishop's music is familiar with the family group he started with, The Bishops, which was comprised of himself, his brother Kenny, and their dad, Kenneth. The Bishops retired quite a few years ago, and it was such a thrill to have Mark bring his dad up on stage to sing a few songs with him on this night! We were also able to meet him afterwards, a very exciting moment for us Bishops fans!
Another really exciting part of Monday evening was the appearance of the Army Quartet singing The Star-Spangled Banner. I had no idea there was an Army Quartet, but they did an amazing job...to close out this first part of my NQC features, I'll share the video. Please excuse the quality; I was at the back of the hall for this part, so zooming in caused some shaking.