Lorie Line is one of my all-time favorite musicians. She's inspired and influenced me in so many ways.
My love and appreciation for Lorie Line began at a young age. I can vividly remember being in third grade and playing Lorie’s “Beach Spring” and “How Great Thou Art” for preservice one Sunday. Her music was special to me. The way that she always made the melody of the hymn the most important part of the piece and still interwove her own melodic ideas and interludes into the music fascinated me. When I got Lorie’s book Lorie Line Live, I wanted nothing more than to see her perform; but I was in Washington, and Lorie was in Minnesota.
Then we moved. The six members of my family (and our dog Edgar) piled into our maroon Ford Winstar and moved 2000 miles across the country to our new home in Howards Grove, Wisconsin. It was during this move that I would have the chance to see Lorie Line play live for the first time.
The move was not necessarily an easy one. We left in the end of November of 2005 and headed into our first Midwest winter. The roads were icy and the skies were snowy, but our good, old van held up pretty well! We arrived at my aunt and uncle’s house in New Ulm, Minnesota on Saturday, December 3. I was beyond excited because the next day was the big day! We were headed on to Minneapolis to stay with another aunt and uncle and also to see Lorie Line! My aunt Lori had given me her bell from the 2004 show to take with me, and I was so ready! But after a cold night of sledding in New Ulm and an early morning to try and get to church 2 hours away in St. Paul, our van gave up on us. It would not start. Thankfully, my parents and my aunt and uncle wanted me to see Lorie Line almost as much as I wanted to see her myself so my family piled into my uncle’s truck and headed to the Twin Cities.
That evening my aunt, cousins Megan and Jessica, my mom, and I attended Lorie Line’s 2005 Holiday Extravaganza: My Favorite Things. We sat way in the back of the top level, my cousins and I made up a Lorie Line cheer prior to the start of the show (a cheer that I still do before every Lorie Line show), and watched as Lorie played. I can remember most of it vividly. She featured vocalist Robert Robinson, she and her husband Tim danced to “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” and she invited all the kids up onto stage to click rhythm sticks as she played “Up on the Housetop;” but what intrigued me the most was Lorie’s impromptu medley of tunes requested by the audience. She played “Clocks” by Coldplay, the Spongebob Theme, an Eminem song, and several others all without missing a beat. It was incredible. The whole evening was beyond what I could’ve imagined.
Since that concert, I have seen Lorie play eleven more times and have enjoyed it every single time. She has been one of my greatest musical inspirations, and seeing her live has greatly influenced how I play the piano.
This coming July, I will be moving out of the Midwest, which means that my opportunities to see Lorie live are becoming much more limited. However, I will get to see her play one more time before I leave – on a Saturday evening in the beginning of June at her home on Lake Minnetonka in the Twin Cities. It should be another fantastic evening with Lorie Line. I’m sure I’ll have to write another blog post about that incredible experience!