TEDxUniveristyofNevada 2016: A Powerhouse Performance


Another amazing TEDxUniversityofNevada event has wrapped! This year’s event brought a well-balanced mix of 25 dynamic speakers and performers to the TEDx stage at Reno’s Pioneer Center for Performing Arts, who collectively shared various stories

and songs throughout the course of the day, sufficiently capturing the full range of human emotions. The event was a sell out with approximately 1,400 people in attendance.

Musical performances featuring top talent were interspersed between poignant talks doused with new insights, enlightening moments, empathy-inducing grievances, and powerful calls to action. Among the performers of the day were Reno-based folk/pop band The Novelists; Freedom Revival, an assemblage of top musical talent in Northern Nevada organized through the Jam Pro Music Factory; solo artist Lacey Sturm, formerly of the international touring rock band Flyleaf; Jon Foreman, front man for Switchfoot, a band that’s sold nearly 6 million albums worldwide; The Warning, a Mexico-based youth rock band comprised of three sisters who have been featured previously on The Ellen Show; and Mark Kalin, an internationally renowned magician.

Among the musicians, a few common themes emerged across the talks surrounding such lofty ideals as love, freedom, purpose, strength, and perseverance. For example, Lacey Sturm talked about how true love pulled her from some of the darkest moments of her life. “Love doesn’t trap you, it frees you because it honors your freedom … I have a responsibility to honor the freedom of my soul,” she said. Meanwhile, Jon Foreman poetically referred to how the process of making music as akin to a metaphor for life. “Even in this cacophonous symphony of life, your melody is yours alone,” he said. “There’s a void in the symphony of life when you are silent … when you hit the wrong note, the song continues. Music is tension & release. This is your opus.”

IMG_0912Aside from the thoughts they shared during their talks, the performers simply wowed the audience with their musical talents. For example, The Novelists wrapped Session One by engaging the audience with their melodic tunes, while the members of Freedom Revival brought a lively display of layered and complimentary talent to showcase. Sheer optimism and energy emanated from the sisters of The Warning band, while the haunting yet melodic voice of Lacey Sturm transfixed. Session four opened up to the smooth and poetic voice of Jon Foreman, who mobilized the audience to take a risk, make a move, and live out the passion to which they were born.

Meanwhile, Mark Kalin, a world-class magician who’s been honored many times over, wrapped up the night with a little history about the world of magic infused with a couple of tricks that he had up his sleeve, quite literally, for the audience. What a spectacular show it was.