HEAT bus route features mobile concert to help entertain passengers

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GREENSBORO, N.C. – A bus ride isn’t always the most interesting or entertaining way to get from point-A to point-B, but an idea by the Greensboro Transit Authority is taking a few certain bus rides to the next level.

Let’s just say, when this bus ride was over, the passengers will have heard the blues but didn’t have the blues.

It’s dubbed the Tiny Bus Concert Series. It’s a concert, on the bus and it would be the last thing you’d expect to see, until you know who’s playing in the group.

Friday’s ride on the HEAT bus from UNCG through Bennett College and NC A&T featured a mostly self-taught guitar player, UNCG Chancellor Frank Gilliam, holding his own in this blues concert on wheels.

“It’ s a lot of fun, I’m trying desperately to keep up with these professionals”, Gilliam said, joking, “They have to let me tag along, I’m their boss.”

The four-piece ensemble featured Gilliam, UNCG music professor Steve Haines, and UNCG students Logan Butler and Jessica Schneider.

The idea came from the Greensboro Transit Authority, similar to NPR’s Tiny Desk Concerts, and is a way spice things up on the HEAT route. Picking UNCG for the first route was a sound decision.

“This is also an opportunity to showcase the HEAT bus which goes around to the higher-ed institutions in the city of Greensboro and let the students know it’s here,” said Gilliam.

The bus had a handful of UNCG students along for the ride and picked up several students at NC A&T.

“Caught me by surprise, like I wasn’t really expecting that up here on the bus, music and cameras,” said A&T Student Rashon Dickerson.

“It’s fun, it kind of reminds me of a long time ago when I used to be in a car and drive from gig to gig and we’d have all these hours to waste and some guys would pull out their guitars and we’d sing and…now I’ve never played bass in a moving bus,” said UNCG Music Professor Steve Haines.

“Let’s just say this, it’s better than a boring ride on a bus,” added Chancellor Gilliam.

The HEAT Tiny Bus Concert series will host several more performances this year in varying genres featuring groups from the other universities.

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