When Taylor Swift and five other chart-toppers made music videos in Indiana

IndyStar // by David Lindquist // September 15th 2018

Years before Taylor Swift made big-budget music videos co-starring Selena Gomez, Zendaya, Ed Sheeran and Future, the international superstar made a modest promotional clip in Indianapolis.

Scottish Rite Cathedral, 650 N. Meridian St., served as the setting for Swift’s 2008 video to accompany the song “Change.” Her visit to the Gothic-inspired Masonic meeting hall is one of the more under-the-radar stories in Indianapolis music history.

Scottish Rite Cathedral officials rented part of the building to a production company that didn’t tip its hand about the day’s work.

“When she arrived, everyone was surprised,” said Rodney Mann, Scottish Rite’s executive director.

Thomas Caterers of Distinction became the local company that interacted most with Swift. Christina Early, a Thomas employee now and then, described Swift as being the opposite of a high-maintenance client.

“If Taylor needed anything, I ran and grabbed it,” Early said. “She requested a Diet Coke and some grapes. Nothing odd or out of the ordinary.”

Video director Shawn Robbins gravitated to the South Lounge of Scottish Rite Cathedral. “They chose the spot because of the gorgeous stained glass,” said Thomas employee Early. It’s likely Swift made the video on June 14, 2008, one day after she performed as a supporting act for Rascal Flatts at Ruoff Home Mortgage Music Center (known then as Verizon Wireless Music Center). “Change” was released as part of an Olympics-themed compilation titled “AT&T Team USA Soundtrack.“

Early made no photographs that day, adhering to her company’s policy of being discreet when working with high-profile clients. But Early, who plays the violin, said she bonded with Caitlin Evanson – violin player in Swift’s band at the time – and even took a short turn playing her instrument.


“Change” by Taylor Swift
Site: Scottish Rite Cathedral, Indianapolis.
On the charts: No. 10, Billboard magazine’s Hot 100 singles, 2008.
YouTube views: 46 million.

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