Gloriana returns to Wilmington for a good cause

WILMINGTON, NC (WSFX) - Some familiar faces returned to Wilmington for a homecoming weekend. Brothers Tom and Mike Gossin led their band Gloriana for a couple of performances in Wilmington.

Tom Gossin attended UNC Wilmington, and along with his younger brother played venues in and around the city for more than a decade. Since leaving they formed the country group Gloriana, charted with a smash debut album and a certified gold record "Wild at Heart", and played with some of the biggest names in country music. When they got the chance to play Kenan Auditorium for the 2011 "Chords for a Cause" event, they jumped at the chance.

"Tom and I have really been looking forward to this," Mike Gossin said during a rehearsal break Saturday afternoon. "We played Wilmington for ten years, in any restaurant and bar that would let us play. There's something special about coming home and playing in front of all of your family and friends, and people who really helped you along the way."

It wasn't just another show for the group. The string section of the Wilmington Symphony Orchestra joined them on stage, backing on several of the group's tunes. It's become a tradition with the "Chords" events, following concerts by Edwin McCain in 2009 and Sister Hazel in 2010. Playing with the symphony was a first for the band members.

"It's actually intimidating playing with them because they are just so perfectly in tune," said Rachel Reinert, the sole female voice in Gloriana. "The way they play is just flawless. We feel honored to be playing with them."

"I grew up playing classical music," Tom Gossin added. "This is something we've always wanted to do, play with a live orchestra. I'm not sure how I will ever be able to top this one."

Saturday's show was a sellout, helping to raise funds for the "Chords for a Cause" Wish Book, which helps buy items to make the Women's and Children's Hospital at New Hanover Regional Medical Center more like home for the families who have to stay there

"When we got the news that we had an offer to come back here to play, we were super-excited," said Mike Gossin. "But then to hear for the "Chords for a Cause" element thrown in, we were all about it."

Gloriana is riding a wave of success since releasing the debit album in 2009. The group has won several awards, like "Best New Vocal Group" and "Breakthrough Artist of the Year", played with Taylor Swift on her "Fearless" tour, and performed at venues that include the Grand Old Opry and The White House. But this event will hold a special place in their career.

"For us it's really a sense of accomplishment that people would probably think we get from some of the other things we've been doing," Said Tom Gossin. "But this one means a whole lot, because I sat in this auditorium and listened in class. It's definitely one of those full circle moments."

At the end of Saturday's show, Tom Gossin told the crowd "Thanks for making this the best night of our lives!"

Tom, Mike and Rachel toured the Women's and Children's Hospital on Monday, and later played an acoustic set of some of their songs. They also took some time to take pictures with some of the families who are there now for treatment.

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