Growing up in Alabama, Bart LeFan had Journey's Steve Perry as his idol, and his childhood was steeped in classic rock and rebel country. In high school, though, he traded Bocephus for Broadway musicals and later got interested in opera. He studied voice at Lipscomb University and at the New England Conservatory in Boston, and currently he teaches at Lipscomb and other universities while doing some free-lance singing. LeFan performs at Lipscomb 8 p.m. next Thursday as part of the Faculty & Friends series. Here he talks about the timeless lyrics of "Bust A Move," performing with the Nashville Symphony, and jazzy Christmas carols.
What was your first on-stage experience? My elementary-school talent show in fourth grade, singing "Red River" by Alabama. My brother recorded the guitar and bass tracks at home, so I had my own "band" behind me (as well as my brother's Bocephus T-shirt).
What's the first concert you ever saw? My dad took me to hear Alabama when I was in third grade.
What's the last local music event you went to? The Nashville Symphony's performance of Dvorak's New World Symphony. It has become one of my favorites since I got into classical music.
What's your favorite cheesy song? Young MC's "Bust a Move" It's classic old-school rapI memorized the lyrics as a kid and still use it today as my karaoke show-stopper! It's definitely a nice switch from Italian opera.
If you could perform with any musician/singer (past or present), who would it be? Too many great ones to choose from. Classically, I would have enjoyed working with Handel, Mozart, Brahms or Verdiall very passionate and demanding composers. I would have loved to have performed with Frank Sinatra or Ella Fitzgeraldso cool and smooth. As for present-day artists, I've always wanted to sing with James Taylor, Clint Black, Billy Joel, Bruce Hornsby, or Take 6.
What's your proudest moment in music? Appearing as a soloist last year with the Nashville Symphony in [Handel's] Messiah. In college, I ushered at TPAC and always dreamed of being on the other side of the curtain. It was a special moment to sing such inspirational music with my hometown orchestra!
Are you going to buy any new Christmas CDs this season? I'll probably get something by Take 6 or Nat King Coleyou can't beat jazz for the holidays!