Carly Rogers comes home: Bennington native turned Nashville songwriter makes school part of a busy weekend slate | Community News

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BENNINGTON — Country music singer and songwriter Carly Rogers has planned a busy Thanksgiving weekend as she tours her hometown — three shows in four days, all within walking distance of the Four Corners.

But that busy schedule didn’t stop Rogers from spending about an hour in Matt Edwards’ choir classroom at Mount Anthony Union Middle School on Tuesday, a classroom where she received training and inspiration. to realize his dreams.

For an hour, Rogers answered students’ questions, played his music, listened to their singing, and offered wisdom from his personal experience.

Rogers, who moved to Nashville after graduating from Mount Anthony Union High School in 2014, entered college with her guitar bag slung over her shoulder shortly before 10 a.m. Tuesday.

It brought back memories for Rogers and some teachers, who greeted her in the hall or walked into the classroom to watch and listen. As a child, Rogers was in the first sixth grade class at MAUMS.

Laurie Burdick, an intensive needs specialist at MAUMS, was among those who welcomed Rogers back to MAUMS. She has known Rogers since she was a child.

“She’s very dedicated to her craft,” Burdick said. “She’s been since she was little.”

After the students settled down and calmed down, Rogers sang verses from two of his songs— “These wallswhich she wrote about her family home in Bennington, and “Straight out of the country”, what one of the students asked.

The students returned the favor by singing “Dandelions” by Ruth Berhe and “Rolling in the Deep” by Adele.

Rogers, standing in front of the class, listened intently and nodded in rhythm. After the first song, she praised the soloists and suggested that they turn up the volume and their confidence a bit. They did on “Rolling in the Deep”, and Rogers said she was impressed with the band’s solos and harmonizing.

One of the young singers, after delivering a solo, had an emotional moment amid the music, sitting down to shed nervous tears as friends came to her side. After class, Rogers reassured the student that such strong emotions are natural and recounted times when she had experienced the exact same thing.

“I know that feeling of being so nervous that you can’t help but start reacting,” Rogers said. “It’s totally normal, and I felt that way about a lot of things.”

Edwards said the visit went even better than he had hoped.

“The kids asked great questions,” he said. “What I want my children to understand is that there is nothing magical about their dreams. You have to work hard on the specific things you need to do, and if you have the ability to get expert feedback, that’s pretty good value.”

Students also now know that “[Rogers] I was a kid here at school, just like me, so that makes it real,” he added.


While Rogers connects with former teachers and her college roots, she has a full plate for the rest of Thanksgiving weekend.

On Wednesday, from 8 to 11 p.m., Rogers will perform at the Madison Brewing Company on Main Street. Friday from 8:30 p.m. to 11 p.m., she will be at the Village Garage Distillery, as part of the launch party for her limited edition Village Fable Gin. Saturday from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., she will be at 421 Craft Bar and Kitchen.

For Rogers, it’s a way to play for family, friends and classmates who would otherwise have to drive the 1,025 miles to Nashville. His parents, Mike and Lisa Rogers, owned the Tastee Freez for years, having purchased it from Madison Brewing and 421 Craft Bar and Kitchen owner Mike Madison. And the Rogers family has known Village Distillery co-owner Glen Sauer for years, she said.

“It’s perfect for the family, like my grandmother, who can’t come to the big shows. Only a few close family members were able to make the trip,” she said. “So when I get home, it’s a cool jam session that I get to have. It gives me an excuse for everyone to get together. It’s a lot less messy than having a fire in the garden. And I love having the opportunity to help local businesses make money.

Rogers is especially happy to play for her grandmother, Carol Prenoveau.

“She was always my biggest champion. She was the first person to encourage me to sing in front of a crowd of people,” Rogers said.

The performance at 421 Craft Bar and Kitchen is a homecoming of a different kind: Rogers still has vivid memories of eating grilled cheese sandwiches (and only grilled cheese sandwiches) and coloring paper doilies when the restaurant was Carmody’s Irish Pub.


While listeners will be able to see and hear Rogers go through his songs this weekend, Edwards students got an even closer view – thanks for their in-depth questions about Rogers’ songwriting process, his inspiration and his heroes, and how she overcame obstacles along the way.

She doesn’t sugarcoat the hardships, saying money was tight when she moved to Nashville on her own when she was 17. “Also, the music industry can be quite competitive,” she said.

“Filter the negativity and believe in yourself,” she added.

While Edwards, Mount Anthony Union High School drama teacher Lynn Sweet, local musician Sam Clement and the late James Derby, the longtime MAUMS band manager, all played significant roles, Rogers says his parents are probably her biggest inspiration.

She advised budding musicians to be present on social media and work hard at their craft.

“Maybe start recording yourself – listening to yourself and improving yourself that way,” Rogers said. “Not everyone has the luxury of receiving lessons. But you still have your two ears and you still have your own device to record your voice or videos.

“Practice makes perfect,” she added. “I learned the guitar on my own at university. I was a bit obsessed with it. I Played Guitar Four Hours A Day For Six Months Because I Wanted To Play Broadway [in Nashville].”

Readers: This story was updated Nov. 23 to add quotes from MAU Middle School teacher Matt Edwards.


Carly Rogers comes home: Bennington native turned Nashville songwriter makes school part of a busy weekend slate | Community News

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