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Pursuing a dream

POSTED: August 8, 2008 5:01 a.m.
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Hannah Dasher, a senior at the University of Georgia and an Effingham County native, is doing an internship with a record company in the heart of the country music industry. She will be performing this weekend in Richmond Hill at J.F. Gregory Park.

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Hannah Dasher is living her dream of pursuing a career in the music industry.

The Effingham County native will be performing in Richmond Hill on Saturday at J. F. Gregory Park from 5-10 p.m.

Dasher has been living in Nashville during an internship with Hadley Music Group.

“It’s been a good experience having a bird’s eye view with a lot of hands on experience,” she said.

She said working for a private label has allowed her to do more than she would have been able to do at a major label.

Dasher, a senior at the University of Georgia who is scheduled to graduate in December, has an educational background in music business and public relations. When asked if she would like to work in public relations in the music business, she replied, “not if I don’t have to.”

“Music’s always been my passion,” she said. “I use my major daily. I’ll use that no matter what path the Lord takes me down.”

Dasher is currently working to develop her songwriting, a talent she said she only discovered within the last couple of years.

“It comes to you, but you have to immerse yourself in it,” she said. She said she has been able to meet other songwriters, and receive advice.

At Hadley she is a promoting artists, designing fliers, interacting with songwriters and participating in pitch meetings.

Dasher said her connection to country music comes from growing up in Springfield.

“It’s a small town. There’s something sweet about it,” she said. “I lived the things these people were singing about.

That’s what makes a great songwriter to write what everyone else feels, too.”

She said she knew she wanted to have a career in the music business the first time she listened to the radio. She also was impacted by the first concert she went to where she saw Vince Gill and Alan Jackson when she was 3 years old.

“To this day, I still remember what they were wearing,” she said.

She said music came easier than academics, and she knew that she wanted to do something in music for the rest of her life.

She began playing the piano when she was 7 years old and received her first guitar several years later.

“Daddy and momma came home with it when I was 14,” she said. “I didn’t really start playing until I was a freshman in college for songwriting.”

She has written around a dozen songs, and is continuing to work to strengthen her skills. She hopes to be able to work as a songwriter, but she is not yet looking for publishers.

She first performed at church when she was 4 years old.

Dasher said if she were to be put on a basketball court, or home plate she would be nervous, but put a microphone in her hand and, “I’m in my element.”

“Momma said I used to sing at the doctor’s office as a child,” Dasher said. “She went to a woman’s retreat in Nashville and came back with a Patsy Cline cassette that never left my Walkman.”

She said though some young girls model themselves after younger singers, “it’s OK to be old school.”

She first performed her own music in 2005.

“I needed that experience and exposure,” Dasher said. “Of course, it was tons of fun.”

She’s also played on writer’s night at the Bluebird Cafe in Nashville.

“That’s the beauty of Nashville — there are so many writer’s nights, so many opportunities to perform your material,” Dasher said.

Dasher said she has been influenced as an artist by ’90s country, oldies and Motown. Along with her parents introducing her to music, her grandparents introduced her to the Grand Ole Opry.

“That’s been one of the biggest things,” she said. She has not yet had the opportunity to go to the Opry, but she did go to a bluegrass performance at the Ryman Auditorium, the former home of the Opry.

“It was so magical to walk into the Ryman,” Dasher said.

Dasher will be leaving Nashville to return to the University of Georgia. After graduation, she plans to return to Nashville.

“You’re dreaming, or you’re pursuing it,” she said.

Dasher said others who would like to pursue a career in the music business should immerse themselves in it.

“Surround yourself with people who are smarter than you are, and more talented than you are,” she said. “Don’t just dream. I might not become the next big Nashville star.”

Even with that Dasher is happy to be pursuing her dream, and said that as long as she is able to live comfortably doing that she will consider herself lucky.

“It’s a lot of fun, but it’s tough,” Dasher said. “So much talent is rejected and overlooked.”

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