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Wednesday, 16 July 2014 16:04

Redcliff teen can’t wait to hit Medicine Hat’s Stampede stage

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On July 21, when the first musical act hits the stage at the Stampede grounds, Shondie Jensen will be easy to spot and not because of her new, teal-dominant cowboy boots. She will be the one with a huge smile on her face.


Things have been going quite well for her recently.
She got to meet MacKenzie Porter, someone she admires and looks up to recently at the Canada Day celebrations in Medicine Hat. That was an enjoyable enough experience, but just a few days later, she found out she was named winner of the Medicine Hat Stampede Talent Competition after wowing judges with her YouTube singing entry.
Jensen will have the opportunity to open the Best of the Best concert at the grandstand starting at 7 p.m.
The 17-year-old will  sing one of the many songs she has written, the aptly-named Seventeen, which she has been encouraged to get professionally recorded in a studio.
This won’t be the first time Jensen has been on a big stage performing in front of people. The going-into Grade 12 Eagle Butte High School student has performed in school musicals including the recent Wizard of Oz and the Prairie Rose School Division’s Kaleidoscope, but this will be the first time going solo.
She heard a friend of hers was going to enter the contest so she thought she would follow suit. She asked herself “what was the worst that could happen?”
Does this contest win make her happy? Obviously. Nervous? Not a chance...
“It makes me excited,” explains a poised Jensen who has been receiving well wishes from friends and family on her busy Facebook page. “I’m super-psyched. I have my brothers coming (from out of town) in for this.
“It’s just me and my guitar; it’s all I ever wanted to do in life.”
Besides the sheer enjoyment and the pride she can take in doing this, she also hopes she will get noticed by those in the local music field. She definitely wants to make this her full-time career once she graduates high school next spring.
Jensen’s win was no shot in the dark as Jensen has obvious talent and has been honing her skills since her early school years. For example, adjudication judging at Kaleidoscope of the Arts this year for her musical presentation was labelled as superior across the board. She has studied music and worked with some excellent teachers in Redcliff at Margaret Wooding School and Parkside School’s Lloyd Bray as well as Ann Morrison at Eagle Butte High School.
She also received a scholarship to work with instructors at the Medicine Hat College’s conservatory, including Adele Wilding who is working with Jensen on a lot of singing fundamentals.
“I was always singing. My mom says I’ve been humming since I was a baby. It was because I wanted to be like a Disney princess,” explains the amiable Jensen who is a huge fan of Taylor Swift and of course Porter.
Her admiration for the arts comes naturally. She says her mom has “the most beautiful voice” and young Shondie couldn’t help but emulate her mom’s love of singing.
Music has helped Jensen with confidence, especially growing up in those awkward elementary/junior-high years where everyone is trying to figure themselves out.
“When I was growing up, I begged for a guitar,” recalls Jensen who says finally her parents got her one. It had a tutorial which helped her learn basic cords.
“One day I took my guitar to school (Margaret Wooding). I took it to the playground field. I sat down and I just started playing and soon I had a small crowd around me ... I love the spotlight and it made me feel happy. It felt cool to have the guitar and sing.
“I felt dumb in Grade 6 and to be able to do something that sounded professional was great for my confidence. It was bad though, I’d play until my fingers bled. I’d have callouses on my fingers.”
Jensen learned to follow sheet music and is continuing to write songs and sing whenever and wherever she can using past experiences as some of her inspiration.
Since the recent announcement last week about her Talent Competition win, it’s been a whirlwind for Jensen. She was on MY96’s morning show with Kim Johnston and Shalinda Kirby. Johnston even sang a version of her song on the air. She was also scheduled to be on CHAT’s 94.3 July 17.
The tailgate party for the Best of the Best show goes from 5-6:30 p.m. and features three bands: The Sound, Alter Ego and Indifferent and there’s free admission.
The Best of the Best concert starts at 7 p.m. and features seven local bands performing and is hosted by Mahoney. There is a $10 admission charge.
To check out more of Jensen’s work see: https://www. youtube.com/watch?v=WL0t4cbPGaw&feature=youtube as well as https://soundcloud.com/my96fm/mh-stampede-talent-winner-shondi-jensen-seventeen.

Read 5688 times Last modified on Wednesday, 16 July 2014 16:08
Ryan Dahlman

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