Local songwriter reflects on decade-long musical journey

June 21, 2018   ·   0 Comments

By Mike Pickford

May 31 marked the culmination of more than a decade’s worth of work for one local songwriter who released her debut album with a bang in front of a crowd of some 200 people at the Orangeville Opera House.

For as long as she can remember, Sara Rose has longed to forge a career in the music industry. With the release of Until Now, her 11-song debut, Ms. Rose has finally delivered on a promise she made to herself as a youngster still finding her feet in the musical arena.

“I was probably 10 years old when I really started to get interested in music. There were always tunes playing in my house and then, one day, my aunt turned up with this bright red electric guitar – I loved it, right away,” Sara previously told the Citizen.

Sara learned to deal with profound loss and, then, depression from an early age. She often turned to her music as a way of escaping the harshness of life. Before long, though, she learned to embrace tragedy and tackles it head on in a number of songs on her new album.

“I wouldn’t say it’s a sad album per se, but there’s definitely some pretty harsh topics tackled,” Sara said. “It pretty much reflects my journey through life so far.”

And so, after months of preparation, the big night finally arrived. Sara invited several friends along for the ride. Close friend Steph West served as the MC for the show, while Sara’s 15-year-old guitar student Grace Timm and dancer Meghan Van der Giessen wowed the crowd as an impressive opening act. When the time came for Sara to take to the stage, she was joined by the Campfire Poets, fitting considering the group has played such a “pivotal part” in Sara’s musical journey to date.

“When I finally got out on stage, the lights came up and I saw how far back the filled seats reached, I couldn’t help but smile,” Sara told the Citizen. “The entire night was so much fun and really gratifying. I really wasn’t sure what to expect heading in, but the audience was so warm and welcoming. I’m pretty sure my heart expanded to the size of a tiny universe that night.”

While she had initially planned to play only the 11 songs on her debut album, Sara had a special treat for those in attendance, working hard in the days leading up to the concert to put together a brand new song designed to express the feelings she knew she’d be feeling once she hit the stage.

“I was getting a bit nervous in the build-up, so I ended up writing a song called ‘Alive’ that really pumped me up. I opened with that song and that really set the tone for the night,” Sara said. “From that point on we just had fun. The band and I played the album and we closed with Rod Stewart’s song ‘Forever Young’

Amongst the many in attendance, George and Maria Teichert lauded Ms. Rose for what they described as an incredibly impressive, mature performance.

“As the night went on I coul tell that people were engaged with Sara as she brought us into her world with her beautiful voice and lyrics. With each song you could feel the warmth in the room build. The songs were comforting and honest, I loved hearing her tell her stories behind the songs and on several occasions she had everyone laughing. Who know she was that funny!” the Teicherts shared.

Maureen Riedler, who has worked along Sara during her time interning, volunteering and then working with Hospice Dufferin, said she couldn’t be more proud of the performance Sara put in.

“I thoroughly enjoyed the music that night. I’ve heard Sara play on multiple occasions but there was something special about that album launch concert. She delivered an amazing show,” Maureen said. “It gives you a good feeling to see a local girl really developing her sound, and she’s starting to gain a real group of followers. I think we had around 200 people in the building that night. To see the community supporting a young artist who is just ready to jump out into the world is amazing.”

So far through hard copies and digital sales, Sara estimates she has sold 180 copies of Until Now since its release on May 30. Reflecting on all the build-up and spectacle of the night, Sara says she simply feels blessed to have had the opportunity to do what she loves and have the community stand behind her.

“Songwriting and playing has been something I’ve always kept in my back pocket for rainy days and celebratory moments in my life. Writing and playing this album live for the first time was quite a journey for me personally, because it holds pieces of my story that only really made sense to me through writing these songs,” Sara said. “They touch and lean on love, loss, gratitude, putting one foot in front of the other.”

She added, “Having the opportunity to share this through the album with a room full of my family, friends, mentors and a lot of other great people really meant the world to me.”

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