Joining Generations Multimedia Contest Winner 2014

Multimedia Project brings musicians from different generations together

By Daniel Sheahan, Brashier Middle College Charter HS, Simpsonville, SC

When I first heard of the Joining Generations contest, I was intrigued because I had never thought of literally “joining generations” before. The possibility of a monetary award of between $250 and $750 was quite an incentive too.

When trying to decide who would be a good person to interview, I started with people I knew. I’m a huge fan of music, so that definitely narrowed down my options. Then I thought about a local music shop – Eastside Guitars – where I take drum lessons.I was looking for someone over age sixty, but someone who still played several instruments and had an interesting back story.  Iew the owner of the music store well, and he pointed me in the direction of Ted Dillard. The owner pointed me toward Dillard because he had been friends with him for about 50 years and he thought he would be a good candidate for the video.

I received Dillard’s phone number through the owner and we talked and decided to meet at Eastside Guitars. Prior to setting up the interview with Dillard, I talked with my Newspaper instructor Katie Yon and my editor Mary Alice Schultz. I had proposed some questions that I might ask Dillard and the two of them helped me tailor my questions so that I could learn as much as possible about Dillard.

During my interviews, outside small conversations with Dillard, editing and clipping all of the video clips together and writing my story, I learned many things not just from Dillard, but also from the people who helped me.  I am no great writer by any means, which is why my video was so strong compared to my writing portion. I had to sit down with Schultz and Yon to get help writing my essay. I had never written a feature story before because I always posted videos on the online newspaper.

Yon and Schultz taught me how to add quotes, format my essay, make words fit together and smoothly transition from one idea to another.

Dillard also taught me, but he taught me about music. I learned about what music truly is, what every musician should be able to do, the variety of music and how people are easily influenced by music. I was impressed with how diverse Dillard is, how much love and compassion he puts into his music and how one person can change the world for the better. He put his heart and soul into everything he did and he did not let anything hold him back from following his dreams. Dillard created music for the love and life of people and for the entertainment that we hear daily, but we don’t realize it. He had defended our country and was not afraid to do so and he’d discovered many things as a scientist that surely in some way helped our day-to-day lives.

I was in awe of how one man could be loved by so many people.

When I finished my project, I was almost disappointed because he was so interesting and I wanted to go back and talk to Dillard more. I wanted to just sit in front of him and let him lecture me about every single little detail in his life. I have become great friends with Dillard since this contest had began. We talk from time to time, but when I was talking to Dillard during the interviews, there was just something that drew me closer to him. I was so intrigued by his life, no matter how boring or complex it was. There was so much information that he gave me, and I’m sure that he had tons more to tell me.

There was one quote that stuck with me, and I guarantee I will never forget it. I will tell this to anyone who enjoys music and hope they learn as much from it as I did. “Music is joy. That’s a fact.”

I love what SCSPA, with scholarship funding from the Central Carolina Community Foundation and the continued support of the S.C. Lieutenant Governor’s Office on Aging,has done with this project. It makes a high school student go deep into someone’s life from an entirely different generation and really realize how different someone can be.

I would highly encourage anyone to take part in this contest because it has been an absolute life changing experience for me!

Keep an eye on this link for the 2014-15 Joining Generations contest.



Daniel Sheahan was a reporter on the Brashier Middle College Newspaper Staff during 2013-14.