Radio-show singer inspires Duluth Central music students
A Duluth Central High School student got a brief touch with stardom this week. Nadia Fayad, a senior with plans to pursue a career in music after graduation, held hands with soul singer Jearlyn Steele during her performance at the school Friday a...
A Duluth Central High School student got a brief touch with stardom this week.
Nadia Fayad, a senior with plans to pursue a career in music after graduation, held hands with soul singer Jearlyn Steele during her performance at the school Friday afternoon.
"She gave me goose bumps," Fayad said. "She just sings with so much feeling; it was really inspiring."
Steele -- a regular guest on Minnesota Public Radio's "A Prairie Home Companion" who has performed with the likes of Prince -- visited Central to dole out her musical wisdom for the school's choir and orchestra classes before heading over to Sacred Heart Music Center for a performance Friday night.
Before breaking into song -- and grabbing Fayad's hand -- she taught the students different ways to warm up their voices and advised all of them to sing in the shower. She also told them being a great musician is about more than just hitting the right notes.
"When you are performing, everything you do should be with excellence. What if every time you stood up, you did it as if you were standing up for something ... if every time you went to sing you had that excellence?" Steele asked. "Do you think you would get noticed?"
She went on to say that her belief in that excellence inside herself helped launch her career; that, and naming what she wanted to accomplish.
"Remember that what you say has a lot to do with what you will do. If you say you will succeed as a singer or 'I am going to be the first chair in an orchestra'... If you are specific about what you say you want, you will be surprised about where it will take you," she said.
That message left a mark on Macaulley Whitlock, a senior.
"I'd never heard that before but I really liked it," Whitlock said. "I say I am going to be a music teacher. Hopefully, I will be."
Before leaving, Steele and her brother, Billy, led the group in a song. Some of the kids were shy about participating at first, but by the end the class sounded like a gospel choir.
"It was really inspirational to experience something like this with someone like her," said DeVon Anderson, a sophomore who said he hopes to perform on Broadway. "This will definitely be a day I look back on and remember."