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WHERE: Municipal Auditorium
WHEN: 7 p.m. today
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INFO: 304-345-7469 or www.ticketmaster.comCHARLESTON, W.Va. -- In about a month, Third Day's bassist Tai Anderson gets to add "college graduate" to his resume. Anderson, who performs with the Christian rock band tonight at the Municipal Auditorium, will graduate at the end of April with a degree in marketing from Grand Canyon University.
As a member of one America's best-known Christian bands, having the extra education probably isn't something Anderson absolutely needs, just as something to fall back on. With more than 20 years of world tours and millions of records sold, plus a very crowded trophy shelf somewhere that includes four Grammy Awards, 20 Dove Awards and an American Music Award, Anderson seems to be doing just fine without the extra homework.
Still, the 36-year-old said despite his obvious success, getting the degree has become more important as he's gotten older.
"When the band first got started, I was only 16," he said. "When I got older, I tried going to Georgia Tech for a year, but then we had an opportunity to do music full-time and go on the road."
Anderson dropped out of school to stay with the band, which he didn't say he regretted, but his family always hoped he might eventually continue his classes and finish his education.
"My grandparents," he said. "Education was just huge to them."
And if he ever forgot about going back to school, they kind of reminded him -- like the time he and Third Day won a Grammy award.
His grandmother told him, "Oh, that's great dear, but when you are you going to finish your degree?"
There just never seemed to be time, but then three years ago, Anderson's grandmother died and he decided it might be time to take finishing the degree more seriously. He wanted to honor his grandmother, but there seemed to be a lot of other reasons to finish college, too. As a father, Tai wondered what sort of example he was setting for his kids if he told them they should go to college when he hadn't.
"I didn't want to take that off the table," he said.