Local 8th Grader Gets to Showcase Her Music in South Africa


September 22, 2013

One local eighth grader is getting the chance to showcase her musical skills on a global scale.

“This is the first real song that I wrote, like put together and actually spent a lot of time on it,” says songwriter Carmen Day.

Day began playing the cello three years ago and has been writing music since she was in the third grade. She is now an eighth grader at Buford Middle School in Charlottesville. In December, she will take her musical talents to South Africa for a songwriting program.

“I'm really excited and I'm kind of nervous on how it turns out,” says Day. “I'm really looking forward to collaborating with other people because I haven't done so on a scale like this before.”

Day submitted her own song for the competition and was one of six 13- to 17-year-old songwriters around the United States and South Africa to be chosen.

Her song is not yet titled, but she says she was inspired by what she heard on the garage band app.

“I heard a Japanese scale on it and I kind of based the whole tonic sound of the song off of that and I wrote the cello part first and then I took some verses from my poetry and put it into the song,” explained Day.

Carnegie Hall, along with the Rock School in California and the Casterbridge Music Development Academy in South Africa are putting on the songwriting contest, but Carmen got her start the Music Resource Center in Charlottesville.

The MRC is a place where students can come after school and explore different aspects of music and Day goes there to write on her music.

“She's so creative. Her songs are very deep they are very intricate,” says Terri Allard, community outreach coordinator for the MRC. “It's really fabulous to see her have this opportunity because I feel like none of this is going to be lost on her, she's going to go there, she's going to be such a sponge. It’s incredible.”

Allard believes Day's talents will take her far and by listening to her work, it's hard not to agree.

Day will spend 10 days in South Africa in December and will perform with some of South Africa's biggest acts, including Dave Matthews Band.


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