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Friday, May 6, 2016

Area girls return from Nashville singing engagement

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The girls of the country music trio from southwest Missouri, Totally unTamed, are shown in their performance garb at the Country Music Association Music Fest in Nashville. From left are: Miranda Garrer, of Nixa, Jacy Taylor, of Purdy, and Rachel Wentler, of Springfield. Below, the girls signed autographs between shows.
Three southwest Missouri teens have returned from Nashville, Tenn., after appearing at the Country Music Association Music Fest in the young country groups division.

The trio Totally unTamed is composed of Jacy Taylor, 13, of Purdy, Miranda Garrer, 15, of Nixa, and Rachel Wentler, 15, of Springfield. 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 girls wanted to try different material and 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 were 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 ran June 7 through June 10 and draws more than 60,000 visitors to downtown Nashville. During the festival, the girls performed a morning show at Tootsie's Orchid Lounge and an afternoon at Honky Tonk Central each day.

"The girls returned with a renewed energy and excitement for their music," Deborah reported. "It was a fabulous time The crowds were great and the girls really enjoyed being able to share their music with some of the best country performers in the nation."

Between shows the trio signed autographs at the Fan Fair Hall Convention Center and talked with visitors about their music.

"The girls got to meet several performers including Scotty McCreary, Little Big Town, Hunter Hayes and Laura Bell Bundy," Deborah said. "They are looking forward to working hard in the upcoming months and returning to the CMA Music Festival next year."

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