The Ottumwa Courier

September 18, 2013

Wapello County makes music video to help bring Mumford and Sons to Ottumwa

Courier staff writer

---- — OTTUMWA — Local music buffs might have to add another very popular name to their upcoming concert calendar, according to the Bridge View Center's Executive Director Larry Gawronski.

The band Mumford and Sons, who are English folk rockers that have captivated the musical ears of millions of Americans, have recently made stops at smaller towns throughout the U.S., Canada and the U.K. on their Gentleman of the Road Stopovers.

Gawronski would like to make Ottumwa their next stopover. He partnered with Chris Connelly, who works with the same management services company as the Bridge View Center, to make a promotional video and has spent the past few days going around the area filming different groups of people. The Indian Hills Community College basketball team, Ottumwa High School Meister Singers, a class from Cardinal Elementary School and the Ottumwa Ambassadors Committee were just a few of the many groups that will be featured on the video.

“The true benefit of this is that we as Wapello County came together in a big way,” Gawronski said. “My hat’s off to everybody who had a part in this.”

The video plays along with one of the band’s more famous songs, “I Will Wait,” but changes the words to “We can’t wait.” All of the groups who were videotaped are shown saying, or even singing, the phrase. After its completion, the video will be sent to the band, and hopefully they will accept Ottumwa’s invitation to bring their concert here. There is also a strong possibility that a documentary film about the making of the video could be made from the approximately six hours of footage that was taken, Gawronski said.

The past Gentleman of the Road Stopovers have included Troy, Ohio; Guthrie, Okla.; St. Augustine, Fla.; Simcoe, Ontario; and Lewes, U.K. Each of the stops featured a two-day concert with popular bands playing each day. Edward Sharp and the Magnetic Zeros, Phosphorescent, Old Crow Medicine Show and The Vaccines are just a few of the many bands who have joined Mumford and Sons at past events.

It is Gawronski’s hope that the video will lure the band to Ottumwa, but a wider purpose could be found by possibly getting the video to go viral.

“We are going to have serious raw footage for image pieces for businesses or conventions that need a place to hold their meetings or trade shows,” he said.

The video will not take long to be completed, according to Gawronski, and he hopes to use a preview of it for meetings next week. Once the project gets the finishing touches done, the public will undoubtedly get a chance to see it.

“We are definitely going to have communitywide screening at Bridge View when it is completed,” Gawronski said. “No question about it.”