TILF Success Stories: Meet Morgan Wallace
Posted by Trudy Richards on 02/03/2015
Growing up, Morgan Wallace was surrounded by music. “My mom is a musician. When I was young music was always a part of my family, but was never pushed on me. I saw she played piano at church and sang and I wanted to do that.”
Morgan’s parents provided her with years of lessons from a family friend, and her father encouraged her to test her musical limits from a young age. “I’m where I’m at today because of my dad telling me to learn an Elton John song when I was in fourth grade and that was a big learning curve for me in terms of learning how to play piano and sing.” Years later, her father would once again serve as the catalyst for Morgan’s music career, encouraging her to produce a studio album showcasing her talent through classical piano.
“When I was a junior I competed in a concerto competition and it was the first time for me to do something quite seriously with classical piano. At that point I asked my dad if we could record my pieces as recollection of this time. A lot of time people take pieces and then just move on from them. I knew it was important especially since I would be going off to college. My father asked if I wanted to do a real album since I had said I wanted to do something in the music business, something I could hand out to people. That’s where the process began.”
At the encouragement of her parents and with the notion that the experience would be valuable to her goals, Morgan began to curate a track list and soon found herself immersed in the logistics of releasing a record.
In 2012, with the help of funding from a Kickstarter campaign and her family, Morgan’s full-length classical piano album, Progressions, was released.
“The money to fund the recording sessions and the work came from crowd funding through Kickstarter, which now is well known but at the time it was pretty new. I was blessed to have people in my community who knew about my musical ability and they put money towards it. It happened the way it did because of them.”
Because of their support, Morgan had the chance to record in a professional studio and make her work available through different platforms.
“It was about a year long process. We established that it would be all classical piano and we could then go somewhere with a grand piano to record.”
The experience of recording piano in a studio was high-stakes and unforgettable.
“In some recordings you have the ability to go back and re-record, but with classical piano it’s a one-time thing. If you mess up you usually have to do the whole thing over. I had to be as focused as possible but still musical about it. It was a pretty stressful time but it was an incredible learning experience.”
Morgan notes that though the experience was rewarding by allowing her to have first-hand experience in the logistical side of the music industry, the best part was the reception she received from her fans. “Those few people who said it touched them and they loved it, that made it worth it. Having people say that is an incredible gift as a musician.”
Now a junior at UNT, Morgan is studying in the prestigious Jazz Vocal Studies program, showcasing her talents through intensive practice and performances as a member of an ensemble.
Being a member of a musical team is nothing new to Morgan. As a part of Clifton High School’s band program, Morgan competed at the Texas State Solo & Ensemble Contest in addition to Cross Examination debate, Lincoln-Douglas debate, and Ready Writing. She notes that receiving the Louise P. and Joe B. Cook Memorial Scholarship through TILF has afforded her the opportunity to let music take a front seat in her education.
“It’s such a nice thing to have my scholarship because it allows me focus on my studies. I don’t have to work as much, which is really crucial for music since you can't necessarily sing or practice your instrument while at a job."
As the recipient of funding for both her album and her education, Morgan is determined to give back to the musical community by helping others achieve their creative goals.
“I want to work with artists and clients in the studio, coaching them on decision making. Having a musical background is quite important because you have that ear for what sounds good.”
Considering Morgan’s accomplishments so far, it seems likely that this venture will be successful as well.
Connect with Morgan online at:
Facebook: Morgan Wallace Music
Official Website: www.morganwallacemusic.com
Written by Katarina Antolovic