Support local music the way Wendy did means a lot more than you think it does. Last night the Des Moines music community lost one of its biggest fans, but Wendy was way more than a fan. She was an exemplary music lover, specifically a live music lover.
“I met Wendy at one of my shows.” That is a phrase you will hear over and over when talking about Wendy. We connected many times through the years but what Wendy and I really connected over was the loss of our mothers. This loss became what brought Wendy and I closer and it was all because of one thing, music.
Wendy listened to music. What I mean is that Wendy really listened to music. Present, in the moment, listening, smiling and enjoying, that is how I remember seeing Wendy in the crowd. She learned so much about our community just by really listening.
The High Crest released our album, Gone, with songs that focused very heavily on loss. With these songs came introductions full of personal stories. Wendy showed up to every show and listened and cared about the folks up there making their art, their craft, their music come to life. She thrived by connecting to something important to her.
All you needed to do was ask Wendy about the latest shows, which of course is why The High Crest had to have Wendy in the KFMG studios for an interview on the weekly program, Iowa Homegrown. We were able to talk local live music until the cows came home. Wendy held a wealth of knowledge about the music and the musicians that inhabit our city.
Thank goodness, Wendy took this love of her local music scene and spread the word about it. She began a weekly blog called Wednesday’s Notes and reported on all of the music activity she was participating in: live shows, album releases, festivals, artist spotlights, and any note of interest that our community would benefit by being aware of. She also began booking music acts and promoting shows.
Wendy received awards from the Des Moines Music Coalition for their dedicated fan support and advocacy. There is now a nomination up for Wendy to be inducted into the Iowa Rock ‘n Roll Music Association Hall of Fame for their heroic actions and support of live music in Iowa.
So many things can stand in the way of attending a show and enjoying yourself in the community you love. Wendy didn’t let anything stop her. Musician after musician, every week, saw Wendy at their shows, and she saw the importance of this greater connection for herself and her community.
Singer/songwriters are performing songs about real life, human experiences, and Wendy connected her life to these stories and people. This connection will never be broken. Wendy’s memory will be honored night after night, as the shows must go on.
When I learned of Wendy’s passing, I became overwhelmed by the loss. Through Wendy I was connecting to something that means the world to me, my very own music community. For me performing was my way to tap in. Wendy found her own way and I hope that her actions will encourage others to come out and enjoy live music and find their own way to connect with something so powerful.
Support local music the way Wendy did, I’m sure it will mean something different to everybody. The love and passion she had for the music and the musicians, her friends, drove her to as many shows as possible with teleportation power! All I know is that when I saw Wendy, I just knew this show was important and that meant so much to me.