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Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016

Purdy girl in trio bound for Nashville

Thursday, May 24, 2012

The members of Totally unTamed are shown above. Band members are, from left, Jacy Taylor, of Purdy, Miranda Garrer, of Nixa, and Rachel Wentler, of Springfield.
Three southwest Missouri teens will be headed for Nashville, Tenn., in June to appear at the Country Music Association Music Fest in the young country groups division.

The ensemble is composed of Jacy Taylor, 13, of Purdy, Miranda Garrer, 15, of Nixa, and Rachel Wentler, 15, of Springfield. Their group is called Totally unTamed. They have sung together for three years.

"They met through a group called United We Stand with the American Kids organization," said Deborah Wentler, Rachel's mother. "It is a group that gets kids together to share their talents with their communities and to help bring together kids with similar interests in music. It is geared towards trying to build kids self-esteem, teach team building, and family values."

The girls still belong to United We Stand, which includes around eight girls from southwest Missouri. United We Stand mainly performs patriotic and oldies songs and recently sang at a benefit for Vietnam veterans at the Hamner Barber Theater.

The trio in Totally UnTamed wanted to try different material. They have performed at the Ozark Empire Fair and different Branson venues. Rachel and Miranda provide accompaniment on acoustic guitars. Their love for country music led them to Nashville.

"Their style is their idea of country with a kick," Deborah said. "They put their youthful love of pop and hip-hop into some of the great oldies from musicians like Patsy Cline's 'Walking After Midnight' or Tammy Wynette's 'Your Good Girls Gonna Go Bad' or Lorrie Morgan's 'Except For Monday.' For their Nashville show, there are modern country songs mixed with the great oldies from past eras."

The girls sent an audition video of local performances to festival organizers in Nashville, who invited them to make a live audition at Tootsie's, a well-known performance venue in the country music capital. The girls spent their spring break performing around the city.

The CMA Music Fest, which begins June 6, is expected to draw more than 60,000 visitors to downtown Nashville. During the festival, the girls will perform daily and sign autographs at the Fan Fair Hall.

"The girls put so much fun into enjoying their friendship, love of music and experiences that the audiences just love them," Deborah said. "The parents are all supportive. We love seeing them continue their connection to music and commitment to lessons in voice and/or guitar."

"We're loving life and expressing ourselves through songs," Jacy added.

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