A dream come true for junior Julia Barrist

SCH Junior Julia Barrist is the second singer/songwriter to take part in the Jamie Bell ’78 Recording Project. Over the course of a very long day, Julia recently recorded “Tell Me” at Miner Street Recording Studio with producer, UArts professor, and Philadelphia recording legend Brian McTear and a team from SCH. Accompanying Julia on this track is Cameron Rogers '16 on drums; Dan Zahal '21 on bass; Matt Brandt, faculty, on keyboards; and Lenny Ranallo, faculty, on guitar. In the recording booth, Victor Kasian '21 assisted the recording engineer.

As part of this special opportunity, students are asked to reflect on their experiences.

Q: What did you learn?

A: Throughout the process of creating "Tell Me", I have learned so much about both music theory and myself. With the help of Dr. Fishman, I was able to create a piece of music that was not only a song that I would listen to, but also a message that every other teenager can relate to. It was so inspiring to see a song that started out as a feeling and idea in my head evolve into what it is now.

Q: How did your piece evolve through the course of this work?

A: I originally wrote "Tell Me" in two hours during September of 2018. I used my piano training and musical ear to voice chords and a melody that complemented the idea in my head. After performing the song at Cabaret 2018, I knew that this song was special. This September, I took a second look at the song. I ended up changing the lyrics, some of the melody, and the key of the song. When the opportunity for the Jamie Bell Recording Project arose, I knew that I had to send in the revamped version of my song. Once I was offered the opportunity to record the song professionally, I added in harmonies and a cappella elements that incorporate my work from Laurelei, which is another huge part of my life.

Q: Tell us something unique about this experience.

A: I wrote my first song at three years old, and always knew that I wanted to be a singer someday. Being able to record my song 14 years later has been the biggest dream come true. Songwriting is such a powerful way to express emotion, and I hope to inspire other people to find a way to express themselves and what they are feeling. By creating music that reflects the emotions that teenagers have, I can reassure everyone that we all go through the same things, and no one is alone. I am so grateful to have had this opportunity and strongly encourage everyone else to go for what you want because you never know what may happen.

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