By: Mike Williams
It is always a special time when The Crossroads Chronicle gets to highlight the talents of extraordinary young people. When said young person has family ties in Emanuel County it is truly a delight. Such is the case with Tripp Smith. Tripp is the child of Tee and Stephanie Smith of Lumpkin County Georgia. Tripp’s great-grandmother was the late Tina (Tiny) Welch, his grandmother is Bonnie Rose Smith, his aunt is Laura Moore all of whom have played a huge role in Emanuel County 4-H for many years. Competition to become a cast member is very keen. Georgia 4-H’ers travel to Rock Eagle each June to perform a two-minute presentation with the hopes of earning a coveted spot in the cast and after careful consideration Tripp has been chosen as a member of the 2022-2023 cast of Clovers & Company. Clovers & Company is well known for its excellence and will represent Georgia 4-H across the state and nation.
Each year, Clovers & Company performs its high energy show for 4-H events, civic groups, and state and national conventions. Founded in 1981, Clovers & Company is the longest running and most successful performing arts group in the country. The cast of singers, dancers, instrumentalists, and stagehands participate in this outstanding performing arts opportunity to promote and share with others the excitement, leadership, and talent evident in 4-H.
Clovers & Company has helped launch the careers of entertainers such as Hillary Lindsey who wrote the mega hit “Jesus take the Wheel” for Carrie Underwood. The most well known cast member is Jennifer Nettles of the country group Sugarland who performed with the Company from 1986 to 1993. The country singer/songwriter credits her Clovers’ experience for preparing her for future performances, including performing in front of 800,000 people at President Barack Obama’s inauguration on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. “That was a piece of cake because I had all of this experience to pull from and draw from,” Nettles said. “And nothing is scarier than being a teenager walking out in front of other teenagers.”
I spoke with Tripp this past Sunday at the Homecoming at Sardis Primitive Baptist Church in which he sang with his dad and was also baptized. I asked him if he had any thoughts about being chosen to perform with Clovers & Company and he stated “ I am very excited of this once in a lifetime opportunity”. Tripp also visited Swainsboro nursing home Monday morning to sing for the residents. According to his mom Stephanie “they loved it and he really enjoyed himself”. She went on to say she is so thankful for his heart.
Shows and Performances for this year are as follows:
Sunday, October 16: Georgia National Fair in Perry, Georgia
Saturday, November 12: Junior Conference at Rock Eagle 4-H Center
Saturday, December 10: Fall Forum at Rock Eagle 4-H Center
Saturday, June 24: State 4-H Council at Rock Eagle 4-H Center
Saturday in July (date TBD): 4-H Day at the Atlanta Braves at Truist Park in July
The Crossroads Chronicle is very proud of Tripp and wish him well in his future endeavors and pray it is full of more experiences such as this and who knows, his career may also take off from this opportunity.