MSU showcases a night of music and talent

Homecoming week has already begun but don’t let it distract you from all the other events that MSU has to offer. Halling Recital Hall, located in the Earley Center for Performing Arts, was the site of a showcase on Monday night that featured award-winning Minnesota singer/songwriters. 

The event featured performances by Sarah Morris, Emily Haavik, and Hailey James; the three talented singers and songwriters who all individually composed their songs and have expressed their love of music for years with others. All three artists have gained a following through social media, and have performed in various venues in Minnesota and out of state. 

Both Morris and Haavik shared their first chapters and experiences in starting off their music careers. 

“I grew up playing piano. My parents put me in the lessons and I didn’t like it very much. As I grew a little bit older into my teen years, I started really appreciating that foundation.” Haavik said. “As a teenager, then in high school, I started writing my first songs and I think that’s really when I fell in love with writing and performing music once I saw how I could sort of communicate an idea and connect with people through songs.” 

Haavik shares that, when it comes to starting off a music career, the main concerns most artists have is making a living out of it and sometimes defining success as an artist. However, Haavik reveals that there’s more to fame and income.

“If you define success on a lightning bolt happening, and someone discovers you in some way that makes you famous,” she said. “Ninety-five percent of musicians, maybe 99%, will end up feeling like a failure. And I think, for me, it’s really helped me to define success by making music that I’m proud of; working with musicians that I admire and respect; and really writing something that impacts people and connects with people. And if I’m doing that, it doesn’t really matter what the reaction is or how many people hear it. It’s more about making something that I’m really excited about.”

Morris spent her first years of her music career in Nashville where she was able to develop her own unique melody and songs. 

“I have always wanted to sing. It’s always been the only thing I loved. The thing I’d loved to do the most since I was a little girl; singing in my parents’ living room and so I just kept doing whatever made sense. Joining choir and then going to college for music,” Morris said. “And then when I was in college, it made sense to move to Nashville and it made sense to keep singing.” 

Music is incredibly important, especially for those who create it. Morris and Haavik have listed that the main concern in starting off a music career is making a living out of it. But despite all worries, they continue to create music and share it with everyone. 

“I think that the biggest obstacle would be believing in myself consistently. This is a worthy path. I think it’s really, as a musician, getting started you have to briefly tell the world and the people around you ‘I’m going to do this job that pretty much pays no money.” Morris said. “‘But it’s really important to my heart, and I’m going to keep doing it.’ That’s an obstacle that I face all the time and I keep doing it anyway.”

Prior to the showcase, the singers prepared songs they wanted to perform and connected with one another as both singers and listeners. They expressed their ability in forming a friendship with one another as they shared their passion for music. 

“I think knowing that I’m going to be sharing the stage with people who are so easy to talk to and fun to be around I think just makes me really excited about it. And so part of preparing I think it’s just looking forward to spending time with them on stage.” Haavik said. 

For more of their content, all three artists have their music available on Spotify. 

Write to Anahi Zuniga at anahi.zuniga@mnsu.edu

Header Photo: Sarah Morris, pictured, spent the first years of her music career in Nashville, where she developed her own unique melody. (Courtesy if Sarah Morris)

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.