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Former Pinewood Student and Music Artist, Shannon Hayley, Performs for Pinewood Students and Tells of her Journey in the Music Business
by Karina Uppal, Pinewood Student
From Pinewood student to future celebrity, Pinewood alumni Shannon Haley’s dream to become a famous singer is finally coming true. She and her singing partner, Ryan Michaels, have become breakthrough performers who are releasing their first music video together in a couple of months.
Haley, who is the stepsister of senior Colton Bares
and seventh grader Sara Bares, also attended Pinewood from kindergarten until eighth grade. But not only did Haley greatly enjoy her years at Pinewood, this was also the place
where she was first introduced to performing, music, and singing, specifically, in the plays at Pinewood’s Lower and Middle Campus
“Pinewood is totally responsible for my introduction to performing. In the plays, I always had the roles that had lots of singing components, like Rowdy Kate [in “Taming of the Shrew”] and the witch in “Sleeping Beauty.” I learned so much about being on stage and singing in the theater classes Pinewood offered. Mr. Victor Riches was always such a big
supporter of me. I still remember how inspiring he was and how many times he encouraged me to pursue music and acting,” Haley said.
...After her time at Pinewood, during which time she developed an interest in singing, Haley continued to pursue music while attending high school at Los Altos High School and college at the University of California, Los Angeles.
“At LAHS, I was a part of The Main Street Singers, and then I went to UCLA as a voice major. But the truth is, I started writing my own songs when I was in third grade, while I was still attending Pinewood. However, I only got the courage to start playing them out at shows when I was in college. I really loved it and felt very fulfilled. I would really encourage anyone who writes songs to start showcasing them earlier than I did,” Haley said.
Although Haley realized the difficulties and obstacles she would have to overcome in the music business, they did not stop her from reaching for her dream. Her journey truly began when she moved to Nashville and met Michaels, a Bay Area native as well, and they composed their first song together “The Price I Pay.”
“[After meeting Michaels,] the duo Haley & Michaels just happened so naturally and quickly. It was amazing! We have written some of my favorite songs together,” Haley said.
Many people, including principal Mark Gardner, think Haley’s success in the music business is very
impressive. “[The music business] is a very competitive business and takes real passion to stick with it and be successful. I have had relatives who have gone to Nashville to try to make it in the music business, but they are now doing other things. I was very happy she was able to come to Pinewood and let the students know how to pursue their passions,” principal Mark Gardner said. During the School Board Excellence Assembly on Friday, Nov. 2, the Pinewood community, including the students, faculty, and school board, were given the opportunity to watch Haley and Michaels perform a few of their songs. Many of the Pinewood students thought Haley’s performance was outstanding and found the story of her journey inspiring.
“I thought the performance was unique, and I admire how talented Haley is. Her story truly inspired me to reach for my goals and work hard,” senior Talliya Smith said.
“Shannon Haley’s advice helped me alot because I myself am really interested in being a recording artist. Her honesty in the fact that making strong connections in the music industry is important and her story really showed me that I can become a successful musician like her if I just follow the right steps and never give up,” sophomore Vasudha Goel said.
Now that they are releasing their first song ever,
both Haley and Michaels are thrilled to see where their future will take them.
“We are so excited about releasing our first music video and for what’s to come. But I will always look back on my time at Pinewood as the days it all really began,” Haley said.
To follow Shannon, visit shannonhaley.com
Posted November 2012
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