By Heather Regula, Correspondent
Months of hard work and preparation finally came to a head for Zekariah and Sara Harris Baker when The Beltonian had their grand opening on Friday, Nov. 3.
“To see my husband’s dream of owning a theater come to fruition is incredible. He’s bringing a wealth of knowledge and experience to this business, and I’m so proud of him. We are testing the market right now – determining what the community wants this theater to provide,” explained Sara Harris Baker, co-owner of The Beltonian.
Dozens of people ventured out to see Jenna McDaniel perform as part of The Beltonian’s grand opening weekend.
“This is a cool theater – we haven’t ever been here before. This place has a lot of potential, and I’m so glad we could come tonight,” said Jennifer Little, of Temple.
Lee Shannon, of Belton, heard about the grand opening of The Beltonian on Facebook.
“I was last here at the Beltonian when I was 10 years old. I remember the theater being much bigger then, but of course, I was smaller then too,” laughed Shannon. “The Beltonian is another business opening in Belton, and I’m here to put my money in it. I believe in buying local and shopping small.”
Jenna McDaniel, a Temple High School graduate, moved to Nashville, Tenn. in 2016 to fully pursue her musical dream.
“I am working on finding where I want my music to go, what I want to say, and what sound fits all of that. I am meeting and writing with some incredible songwriters,” remarked McDaniel. “I get my inspiration mainly from other musicians. Being in Nashville, surrounded by the top songwriters in the industry, you pick up a few things. I also get inspiration from the relationships in my life and stories I hear from those individuals.”
McDaniel’s strong moral compass and strong work ethic are apparent in all that she is, and she gives credit to her parents for that.
“I have always been told they raised me right and I couldn’t agree more. I think about the business I grew up in and the values my family has, I just realized what was important in life at an early age,” explained McDaniel. “There are many things that normal 21-year-olds do that I want no part of because I am looking so far into the future, career-wise, and I do not want to stray from that path.
Friday night’s grand opening concert at The Beltonian signified a monumental event for the venue. McDaniel first met the Bakers about ten years ago.
“I first met the Bakers when Sara Baker was my choir director at Bonham Middle School. It feels like everything is coming full circle. I always get butterflies when I see my name on a marquee and to see it in my hometown is even more special,” said McDaniel. “I love when a community brings the past back to life, and I couldn’t be more honored to be a part of that.”
For more information on Jenna McDaniel, visit www.jennamcdaniel.com. Also, check Jenna out on YouTube.
For upcoming events and more information on The Beltonian, visit their Facebook page or http://thebeltoniantheatre.com/.