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Mason Lough, 11, of Wellington wows the crowd at the Zac Brown Concert in Wichita (updated)

Mason Lough - the concert performer

by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — Sometimes life has a way of superseding your expectations. So is the case of 11-year-old Mason Lough and his parents, Larance and Carrie Lough of Wellington.

Saturday night, the Zac Brown Band came to Wichita to perform in front of a near capacity crowd at Intrust Bank Stadium.

What the Loughs didn’t expect was that Mason would perform his piano solo “Colder Weather” to the Zac Brown Band and its thousands of zealous number of fans in south-central Kansas (see video below). 

“I don’t know if he really knows what hit him,” said his mother Carrie Sunday morning. “He’s out this morning in the front yard playing basketball, like last night was just a normal evening for him.”

Rest assured, it wasn’t.

Mason Lough performing as Clay Cook looks on...

Mason Lough performing as Clay Cook looks on…

It’s been an interesting ride for the Loughs, since placing a You Tube video a year ago where Mason, 10-years-old at the time, played a commanding  rendition of “Colder Weather” on a grand piano with no sheet music (see other video below).

The thing about the Internet is you never know what could happen. But the video was picked up by “The Wolf” 100.5 — a local radio station in Wichita, who was sponsoring the concert held Saturday. And members of the band saw the video.

As a result, the Kennedy Elementary fifth grade student and his mother were invited to eat at a VIP pre-concert dinner for 150 of Zac Brown Band’s most ardent fan club fans in the Wichita area. It was a dinner of down-home cooking that was actually prepared for the band or at least its entourage.

“That in itself was an incredible experience,” Carrie said “We got to meet all the band members and have a great conversation with them.”

But then the evening turned into something so much more. Clay Cook, the keyboardist for the band, introduced himself to Mason and said.

“Look here, you are the kid who can play ‘Colder Weather’ better than I can.”

He then looked Mason into his eyes and asked him if he would like to perform the song during the concert.

“Mason’s eyes got real big and said, ‘sure,’” Carrie said. “I don’t think he was ever nervous about playing. He was so excited… Me, on the other hand, was petrified. I couldn’t calm my nerves.”

Well, as you can tell on the video, Mason performed like a seasoned veteran. People in the crowd, except for a few sliver of Wellington fans scattered throughout, had no idea where this little man came from. But some were said to be moved to tears before Mason was done performing. At the end, Clay Cook lifted Mason in his arms and held him high. Mason threw his hands in his air making the touchdown sign.

This most certainly wasn’t planned.

Mason started playing way back when he was 3 playing on a cheap keyboard. By the time he was 5 he was taking piano lessons.

After the family moved away from Wellington, they eventually moved back and eventually got in contact with Scott Williams in Winfield, who has been teaching Mason how to perform using both sheet music and playing the songs by ear.

“It is quite an acquired art,” Carrie said about listening to music by ear. “It is something Mason is still learning.”

Mason wanted to play songs he heard on the radio and “Colder Weather” was one of his favorites – a country song Zac Brown Band took to the top of the charts in 2010.

And what was the reason for the original You Tube video? The Mason family simply made it so friends and relatives in the Kansas City area and elsewhere could see him play.

How that piece of video led to Mason Lough on stage with the Zac Brown Band Saturday night at Intrust is one of those stories where truth is indeed stranger than fiction.

Mason Lough on the big screen at Zac Brown Band Concert in Wichita, April 20, 2013.

Mason Lough on the big screen at Zac Brown Band Concert in Wichita, April 20, 2013.


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