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Did you ever think that a Garth Brooks song could be turned into a piece for a full symphony? Well such a thing has happened before, and one special person got the chance to conduct a symphony performance of one of Garth’s songs. That person was none other than his mother, Colleen.
As it turns out, Garth isn’t the only country star in his family. Colleen had a career in country music in the 1950s, and recorded with Capitol Records. She also appeared on the U.S.’s first network television performance program called Ozark Jubilee.
While he was growing up, Garth and the rest of his siblings participated in weekly talent nights hosted by the family. All of the children would either sing or perform skits, and it was during this time that Garth learned how to play the guitar and the banjo.
In 1995, after Garth had achieved country superstardom, his mother got the chance to have her own moment in spotlight. The Oklahoma Youth Symphony was performing a special arrangement of one of Brooks’ songs, and they invited Colleen to come and serve as the guest conductor.
“I’m not Garth, as you all can see,” Colleen said after she took to the stage, “and I know that’s the only reason I’m here is Garth Brooks.”
After that, Colleen proceeded to introduce the song, which is “a song that nobody knows” called “When There’s No One Around.” The song was included as a track on Brooks 1997 album Sevens.
Colleen conducted a stunning performance, and all of the talented youth musicians put a beautiful spin on her son’s song. At the end of the performance the crowd erupted into applause, which was well-deserved by the symphony and Colleen.
Sadly, Colleen died four short years after the performance took place. Garth and his mother shared a close relationship, and her death hit him hard. “I guess I’m still coping, probably always will,” he told Donny and Marie Osmond on their talk show shortly after Colleen passed away.
We can tell from Colleen’s appearance as a guest conductor and the way that Garth has talked about her that she was a wonderful mother and role model. You can see for yourself by watching her conduct the youth symphony in the video below. May she rest in peace.
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