Olivia McCormick '19 has caught the song-writing bug. The musically-inclined V Former attended a competitive songwriting retreat with the acclaimed artist mentor Judy Stakee in Nashville, Tennessee over spring break. She, along with 28 other selected participants, spent five days advancing their musical talents through developing, editing, and co-writing melodies and lyrics.
While Olivia has always been musically inclined—singing and performing in musical theater at an early age—it was in Director of Music Dave Overthrow's Jazz Combo group where she found her musical niche and was inspired to apply to the songwriting retreat. "It opened my eyes to music and to instruments," she notes. Olivia spent the summer and early part of fall drafting and running through the editing process of songwriting. She learned to play the guitar in July and started to write her own melody and lyrics in August. "It's amazing to see," says Dave, "She's obviously dedicated and has made incredible progress over the last year."
Through Jazz Combo, Olivia has found her artistic voice. While initially nervous to perform with already established upper Formers in the group—"Patsy [Buckley '18] seemed so cool and intimidating!"—Olivia notes that performing with her classmates (Patsy '18 and Jason Bae '18) and Dave Overthrow is one of her favorite experiences. "I'm amazed at what is happening now," Olivia remarks about her songwriting progress. "If you told me that I would be where I am at this time last year, I would have never believed you."