Posted on Jan 10, 2019
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L-R: Brandon Hodges, Amie Nunez, Justin Nunez, and Erin Granberry.
Brandon Hodges presided over today’s meeting. Mike McPhail gave today’s invocation. Joe Meador led us in the Pledge of Allegiance. Thanks to Mark Killingsworth and Leanne Cross who served as our greeters today.
Brandon Hodges thanked those who helped with today’s meeting and then introduced today’s guests. Scott Hummel has Spencer Layten, Rachel Smith and Katelyn Farris as his guests today.
Wes Brooks introduced A.D. Hunt who is re-joining the Hattiesburg Rotary Club. A.D. is a previous member of our club. He transferred to the Sunrise Club and is now transferring back to our organization. Welcome back, A.D.
Brandon then noted that Jamie Mitchell has had to resign from our club. He has taken a job in Brandon and is no longer able to be a member of our club. Brandon also noted that the board met yesterday and in considering Jamie’s resignation, appointed Steven Utroska, President-Elect to fulfill Jamie’s remaining term. Steven will then fulfill his term as President beginning in July of this year. Mark Killingsworth was appointed by the board to fill the President-Elect’s position vacated by Steven’s appointment. Brandon wished Jamie the best of luck in his new endeavors.
Four new board member candidates are needed for the 2019-2021 term. Volunteers are needed now because the election is scheduled in three weeks. A candidate for President-Elect is also needed. Anyone interested in serving the club is asked to let Brandon know in the very near future. An email will be sent to all members defining board responsibilities and requesting candidates. Brandon also noted that the board plans to look at the club’s bylaws, and will propose updated changes for consideration.
Erin Granberry then introduced today’s guest speakers, Amie and Justin Nunez. The husband and wife team created the Groovehouse, which is a local business that provides private music education to all ages in the Hattiesburg area.
Both Amie and Justin started out early in their life taking the classical piano lessons. They discovered that music education is much more than just learning how to play an instrument. Making a living with music requires creativity, flexibility and skill. Groovehouse has created an environment where anyone can have fun learning to play the music they love.
Currently the facility has twelve instructors who teach private lessons in private studios. They serve as a hub for musical instruction throughout the area. They teach over 300 lessons using various instruments each week. They also offer instruction in stage performance and voice. Their focus is on the commercial aspect of music. Lessons are personalized to the kinds of music that the student loves and wants to play, which leads them to want to practice and to find other students who they want to play with.
Groovehouse also teaches music theory, music writing and production. One of their students just won second place in a song writing contest in Jackson. She is twelve years old and will likely get a recording contract out of the award. Other students are playing in bands in downtown Hattiesburg and getting their feet inside the doors of the commercial musical industry.
They offer their students a chance to participate in an annual Showcase performance, a Battle of the Bands, and an annual in-house show. All are designed to give the students a “real life” musical performance experience. Their students range in age from four to seventy-six years of age.
Their students have performed at The Venue, Parkway Heights, The Sanger Theater, The Bottling Company, T-Bones, Town Square Park and Brewky’s. The Groovehouse also works with student bands to book local performances when someone or an organization needs a performance.
To learn more about Groovehouse visit
Brandon thanked today’s speakers and adjourned the meeting with our motto, “Service Above Self.”