Gardner-Webb Student Finds Opportunity to Interpret the Music of Superstars

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Kristen Larimer to Interpret at Ohio State Fair for Artists Jason Aldean & Chicago

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. – Current Gardner-Webb University student Kristen Larimer discovered a home state Ohio connection providing the chance to use her gifts in front of thousands of people, and she now looks forward to interpreting the music of some of the business’s biggest names at this year’s Ohio State Fair for the hearing impaired.

This opportunity for Larimer at the Ohio State Fair, located in Columbus, couldn’t be more fitting.  She gets to fulfill a passion she hopes to make a career of as a sign language interpreter of music.  She also goes back home to familiar territory, as she hails from Clyde, Ohio.  Last but not least, Larimer will take the stage with the likes of country artist Jason Aldean, one of her personal favorites.

Entering its 159th year, the Ohio State Fair is known to draw huge crowds.  Similar to other fairs, it offers rides, agriculture, exhibits, food vendors, and entertainment.  However, the entertainment includes a concert lineup that’s hard to match.  Various individuals and bands will perform covering a wide genre of music from Rock and Country to R&B and Contemporary Christian.  It just so happens that Larimer is in charge of teaming up with the entire lineup.  Those artists include Boston, Kansas, Chicago, Gavin DeGraw with Colbie Caillat, The Band Perry, Merle Haggard, and Casting Crowns.

“I know this was a meant to be thing,” said Larimer, the ASL (American Sign Language) interpreting major that will enter her senior year at GWU this fall.  This process for Larimer started several years ago when her parents bought tickets to a Rascal Flatts concert at the very same state fair as part of a birthday surprise for her.  “At that time, I had taken part in an ASL program at my high school (her junior year).  There was an interpreter for Rascal Flatts that night.  This struck my heart.  I told my Dad this would really be cool if I could do this one day,” said Larimer.  Larimer later learned that the Ohio State Fair liked to make sure sign language is provided at their concerts—in part because there is a deaf school in Columbus.

“I’m a goal-oriented person,” Larimer said. “I wanted to know how this worked to interpret at the fair.”

Little did Larimer realize after starting college in Boiling Springs, N.C., that an Ohio State Fair connection to do the very thing she desired awaited her. After some research, she eventually contacted the director of the fair, who responded and let her know that a group called Stagehands had provided their interpreters.  It just so happens that Stagehands operates out of the nearby city of Charlotte, N.C., and for over 20 years, have ensured that the hearing impaired get to enjoy music and theatre.  Larimer contacted the group and currently has an internship opportunity to work at the fair and its concerts.

“I’m really thankful the Lord has given me this opportunity,” added Larimer.

More information is available online at ohiostatefair.com.

Located in Boiling Springs, N.C., Gardner-Webb University was founded in 1905 and is home to over 4,300 students from 37 states and 21 foreign countries.  Gardner-Webb seeks a higher ground in higher education – one that embraces faith and intellectual freedom, balances conviction and compassion, and inspires in students a love of learning, service, and leadership.