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Student Profile Series: Tonie Thompson

Name: Tonie Thompson

Age: Late 40’s

Where do you live? What’s cool about it?

I live in a tiny town, Mayo, Florida. It is a very rural area comprised of mostly dairy and chicken farmers.

What would surprise people about you if they found out?

People are always surprised to find that I am a huge DIYer (laying tile floors or tiling an entire bathroom, installing wood floors, building decks, replacing an entire house ceiling, plumbing projects, etc).

Do you eventually want to do music full time?

I would love to minister full time. I know the Lord has called me to share my testimony which I believe can be shared through music as well as my life experiences.

Have you had any funny things happen while you were singing?

Once I completely lost the words to Frosty the Snowman during a Christmas cantata!

If you could sing with anyone in the world, past or present, who would it be?

Stephen Foster

How did you become interested in Southern Gospel music?

My husband listened to Southern Gospel when he and I married. I fell in love with the harmonies and also the stories.

When was the first time you came to the school? Why did you decide to attend?

I attended for the first time in 2015. I really wanted to be able to sing in a huge choir with others that loved Southern Gospel as much as I do.

What do you feel is the most important thing you learned during your time at the school?

How to perform on stage and feel comfortable without standing behind a pulpit.

Who was your favorite teacher, and why?

Joyce Martin is my favorite because she not only gave some applicable advice, but also was very open about her own insecurities as a performer.

Do you feel like attending the school has helped you move towards your goal of doing music full time? If so, in what way?

I feel like being around others who desire the same goal has strengthened my resolve. Seeing others who have already started making their goals a reality encouraged me, kinda like "iron sharpening iron."

Did you make any friends at the school you still keep in touch with?

Yes. I’m thankful for Facebook because it allows me to keep in touch. I love seeing what they're doing and being able to talk to them before school comes around again!

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