By Zane Ewton
GCU freshman pre-med major Casey Lee Smith and his band played the Fender Band Jam on Oct. 22 at the Compound Grill in Scottsdale.
The evening event celebrated the songs of the Beatles and the mission of Ear Candy Charity, a non-profit organization committed to music education for children.
How does Smith fit into this crowd?
He is the winner in the gospel genre of the John Lennon Songwriting Competition. The national competition, sponsored by Fender guitars, selected his song “Never Stood Taller,” written about Smith’s grandfather.
Beyond his studies, Smith fills roles as guitarist in the GCU Chapel band and in his work as a student ambassador for the University.
Following a set of Beatles songs performed by a band of more than a dozen Fender employees, Ear Candy President Nate Anderson introduced Smith for his four-song set.
“I met Casey when I judged a country music competition last year,” Anderson said. “He blew me away and earned a perfect score across the board. Oh yeah, and he’s only 18 years old.”
Smith connected with Ear Candy because music education was crucial in his upbringing.
“I graduated from a creative-arts high school,” he says. “I know how important music education is in supporting other studies.”
His set was comprised of songs from his album, This Is So Me, including the title track, “Never Stood Taller,” “This Is Our Time” and “That’s How We Roll.”