Take your turn on stage Pick'n and Praise'n



What started as a way to highlight one singer/songwriter’s musical gifts has blossomed into an event packed with local talent.

Pam Teston started Pick’n and Praise’n five years ago to provide a venue for her husband, Wade, to share the many songs he’s written. Wade has twice been a finalist in The Augusta Chronicle’s AMPED Music Contest.

“I thought it would be a great way to showcase music from other singer/songwriters. There was no other way to do it,” said Teston. The next Pick’n and Praise’n will be from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 17, at Glenn Hills Baptist Church.

The venues typically open to singer/songwriters are bars, and Teston said that’s not feasible for everyone. Teston has had young musicians participate in her third-Saturday event.

The event usually begins with a jam session and then other musicians are allotted a few minutes to present original music. This weekend, the Pick’n and Praise’n house band is scheduled to make its debut.

Teston has so many requests to be included in the open mic portion of the program that she asks musicians to call her at least 24 hours in advance so she can set the schedule.

While Pick’n and Praise’n is held in a church, the repertoire isn’t limited to religious music. Some of the artists do have that feel to their music, but there is a variety including country, bluegrass and rock.

“We have some really great talent,” said Teston. “Some people don’t come because they think it’s all church music, and it’s not. I want to reach all kinds of people.”

Some regulars include Red Letter Poet, a three-member family band playing original Christian and secular music, and Walt Barton, who played in Randy Travis’ band at one time. Skilyr Hicks played the venue before her stint on America’s Got Talent.

Teston said she’s considering expanding to a second night a month.

“I’m now thinking about doing another night for young folks, high school age and up, all kinds of music if I can get enough interest,” she said.

To learn more, call Teston at (706) 373-7855.