By Rachel Judy
May 17, 2012
Sarah Beth Stone gives instructions to the Annie Moses Band during filming. Photo courtesy of Leah Ariel Photography
When cinema-television student Sarah Beth Stone started thinking about her senior project, she knew she wanted to do something different. As a student in Regent University's School of Undergraduate Studies, she'd worked on short films, but it was the idea of creating a music video that really caught her attention.
Enter the Annie Moses Band, a family ensemble known for blending fiddle, jazz and classical influences with folk-inspired vocals. To date, the group composed of parents Bill and Robin Wolaver and their children Annie, Alex, Benjamin, Camille, Gretchen and Jeremiah has more than 1,000 hours of airings on PBS stations across the country (the highest debut for any artist on public television to date), a top-ten classical crossover album (Billboard Magazine) and a tour schedule of more than 80 concerts a year.
What the band didn't have, Stone discovered, was a music video. "I could really see their music put really well to a video," she said.
Driven by the belief that the worst they could do was say "no," Stone contacted the band and pitched her concept for a video set to their song "Blush." Believing her offer was providential, the Annie Moses Band agreed.
During the week of March 12, the Annie Moses Band came to Virginia Beach, Va., to shoot their video under Stone's direction. Scenes for the video were shot at several local locations, including The Founders Inn and Spa, located adjacent to Regent's campus.
"So much of our music is very visual," explained Annie Wolaver-Dupre, the oldest of the Wolaver children. "To have an opportunity like this to explore that in a broader way is very significant."
"I think she had a vision for & the message of the song," added Bill.
"When the Annie Moses Band agreed to do the video, I was thoroughly excited and a bit surprised that they actually agreed to have me, a film student, produce and direct their first music video," Stone said. "I was extraordinarily thankful that God provided this great opportunity for my senior project."
But, Stone didn't limit her filming to Virginia Beach. The song she chose "Blush" talks about a wedding and the group wanted wedding footage in their video. Months before the March shoot, they asked her if she'd incorporate scenes from their brother Alex's wedding. Stone agreed and, in fall 2011, traveled to Ashville, N.C., with a small crew to capture scenes from the day.
The trip to Asheville, and the project as a whole, has shown Stone that a senior project doesn't have to be just another assignment. "These projects are a tremendous opportunity to showcase one's talents and abilities in a way that can positively influence one's career," she explained. "Senior projects should be challenging, and this music video certainly pushed my skill sets beyond my comfort zone."
A number of Regent students and alumni served on the production crew as well. The video is expected to be released at the beginning of May.
Learn more about the School of Undergraduate Studies.