First National Bank makes Vince Gill concert at TTU a reality

Vince Gill’s unofficial title may be the Ambassador of Country Music, but later this year he’ll also be an ambassador to Tennessee Tech University.

Thanks to efforts from the First National Bank team, Gill has agreed to do a benefit concert on the university’s campus Nov. 4, the kickoff for TTU’s homecoming weekend. All proceeds from the concert’s ticket sales will benefit TTU’s fund raising drive for a new School of Nursing building.

Tickets for the concert go on sale to the public through all Ticketmaster outlets, including by phone at 615-255-9600 and at Ticketmaster.com beginning Sept. 25.

Ticket prices will range from $24 in the upper bowl of the arena to $44 in the main seating section and $84 on the floor, plus Ticketmaster convenience charges. First National Bank is coordinating a silent auction for seats in the front row. To bid, visit any of the First National Bank offices in Cookeville, Crossville and Livingston or call 1-888-777-9798 for details. All bids must be submitted by Sept. 23 at 10 a.m.

"This is an event that’s near and dear to our hearts,” said First National Bank Community President Thomas Lynn, a TTU alumnus. “We wanted to support the Nursing campaign, but we also wanted to do something that would benefit our community as a whole and encourage others to consider creative ways to help. We hope this event will do it all.”

The concert idea came about through a personal connection with one of the bank’s staff and Gill’s band. Lynn approached university officials with the idea, and together they wrote a proposal asking Gill to consider a concert on campus. Not only did Gill accept the idea, he agreed to do the concert for free. First National Bank offered to cover all the costs associated with bringing a concert like this to campus, and staff members even volunteered to serve as ushers during the event.

Regional media outlets have pledged their support to advertise the concert. Tickets are expected to sell quickly, thanks to their efforts. That level of support allows the Tennessee Tech School of Nursing to benefit from the proceeds of all ticket sales, said TTU President Bob Bell.

“The concert is expected to bring in a large financial donation for our new Nursing facility, but it is also a great benefit to our entire campus and community members, who will enjoy an excellent concert here at home,” added Bell. “Everyone benefits from this arrangement, and we’re grateful to Mr. Gill and everyone at First National Bank for making this happen.”

Gill has earned 14 Grammy awards and 18 Country Music Association honors, including Entertainer of the Year twice and Song of the Year four times. To date he has earned more CMA trophies than anyone else in history, and is tied with the late Chet Atkins for the most Grammys won by a country artist. A member of the Grand Ole Opry, Gill is known for his “pure tenor voice and unerring sense of harmony,” making him a favorite with duet recording artists like Barbra Streisand and Ralph Stanley.

The concert will take place Thursday, Nov. 4, at 7 p.m. in the Hooper Eblen Center. Special guest Sony recording artist Susan Haynes will open the show.