Miss A Columnist

Amanda Ivarra is a graduate of Texas A&M University. After graduating with a degree in Health, she moved to Austin and started working for a national non-profit organization. She spent 5 years coordinating community events and programs. After leaving the organization, she started to focus on her creative pursuits. Currently, she is working on developing her own jewelry line. Writing has always been a hobby for Amanda. For most of her life, she’s kept journals. It wasn’t until recently that she decided to take her writing public and began blogging and guest blogging. The one thing this girl can’t live without is music. Not really one to sing or play an instrument, she just loves music. Perhaps, it’s the songwriting that she admires so much or a good beat that she can dance to. Whether she’s attending a concert with friends, hanging out with the guys watching sports, volunteering in the community, hiking or visiting the newest places in town, Amanda lives to enjoy life. But, nothing brings more joy to her than being able to make someone smile or laugh!

Recap: Rodeo Austin Gala Featuring Dierks Bentley And Jon Pardi

For several years now, Rodeo Austin, in partnership with H-E-B, has roped in the biggest and brightest country stars to light up the Rodeo Austin Gala stage.  For more than six years, the two organizations have teamed up to bring rodeo supporters an evening of fine dining, exciting auctions and superior live entertainment.  This year’s gala was held on Saturday, February 9 at Palmer Events Center and featured country artist Dierks Bentley and special guest Jon Pardi.

Jamie Teykl, Cassie Teykl, Lauren Guerra, Michelle Davis and Ashley Teykl (Photo Credit: Amanda Ivarra)

Jamie Teykl, Cassie Teykl, Lauren Guerra, Michelle Davis and Ashley Teykl (Photo Credit: Amanda Ivarra)

After a stroll through the hundreds of silent auction items up for bid and a Texas-size dinner, more than a thousand guests enjoyed some of country’s most popular music while sippin’ on longnecks and fine spirits.  Country newcomer Pardi took to the stage first and performed his hit “Missin’ You Crazy,” along with several more songs that spoke of life, love and truth.  While his name is still unknown to many, Pardi has already had the opportunity to open for many of today’s biggest country stars including Alan Jackson, Dwight Yoakam, Gary Allan and Luke Bryan.

Pardi’s energetic tunes set the stage for Bentley’s electric performance.  Like his musical range and versatility, Bentley is just as diverse when it comes to giving performances.  To be honest, I wasn’t sure which Bentley was going to come out.  Were we going to see Bentley giving a high-octane performance?  Or, would it be an acoustic performance like he gives in a more intimate setting?  Well, Bentley managed to find middle ground and gave the audience a good sounding, entertaining performance.  It was one that had many on their feet and enjoying the night.

Melanie Ackland and Courtney Carter (Photo Credit: Amanda Ivarra)

Melanie Ackland and Courtney Carter (Photo Credit: Amanda Ivarra)

Gala guests were also treated to a performance of one of Bentley’s new, yet unreleased songs, “I Hold On.” It’s a personal tune that holds great potential for success.  The lyrics speak to the memories of the past that we “hold on” to that help us through the uncertainties of the future, and the music plays to that thrilling pulse we feel in our hearts.

For most of the night, Bentley stuck to his contemporary country sound.  However, we did see a little of Bentley the bluegrass singer and musician.  He did perform “Up On the Ridge,” and on this night he changed “Settle for a Slowdown” into a bluegrass song.

As one of the premier events in Austin, Rodeo Austin Gala always delivers a good time for a good cause.  While one of the largest black tie affairs in Austin, this event still stays true to its humble roots—giving its guests the best in Texas hospitality and offering outstanding entertainment.

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