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Local teen wins songwriting contest


NEW GLASGOW – For Carleigh Halliday, music is an outlet. It’s how she gets her feelings out, and it’s a huge part of her life.

Entering a contest through the East Coast Music Association called TD Music Moves Me made sense for her – aimed at high school students and addressing how it makes them feel. She hadn’t really expected to win.

“I was really excited. I totally forgot that I entered. I entered the first day. I was surprised I think a little bit because I don’t usually win things,” she said during a recent interview.

Halliday receives an all-expense paid trip to the ECMAs gala in Sydney, $1,000 for her school’s music program as well as a performance at a pop-up concert during music week.

She entered an original song called Through It All, which provides an inside look at how it feels to be in an abusive relationship.

“A few years ago, I was in an abusive relationship for a while and I never really told anybody. My way to kinda get out my feelings and help me deal with it was writing a song.”

The song seemed like a good choice to her as it allowed her to share her story, while also letting others who may be in a similar situation know they’re not alone – and help exists.

“You can say with music what you can’t say with words. The style of the song is quiet, persistent. I found it’s a lot like what a relationship can be,” she said. “Nobody sees but it’s always there and it’s pushing at you. And I find that’s what the song is like. It really helped me convey my emotions.”

She said it’s easier for her to talk about now that she’s made her peace with it.

“I realized it wasn’t about me,” she said.

Since she found out her powerful song had won, it’s been a bit surreal for the Grade 12 student at North Nova Education Centre – with students approaching her about it, getting interviewed, hearing her name announced during a commercial all the while she tries to figure out what to wear to the gala where she’ll be accepting an award on stage.

“It’s really nerve-wracking. I’ve never been to a real awards thing before. My mother and I were googling what to wear.”

She had thought for a long time that music was the path she wanted to pursue as she got older, but ended up deciding to study criminology once she leaves high school.

That could change back, though.

“Because of this, I’m thinking it’s kinda pulling me back and I’m thinking maybe I could go into it in a couple years to study. I’m definitely going to keep doing it on the side. Depending on what happens in the next few months, I might pursue it for life; who knows?”

The ECMAs run from April 13 to 17 in Sydney.

 

Some local resources related to domestic violence

• New Leaf, offers group counselling for men on issue of domestic violence, 902-396-2440

• Pictou County Women’s Resource and Sexual Assault Centre, counselling services, referrals and various programs, 902-755-4647

• Tearmann House, shelter and services for abused women and children, 1-888-831-0330 (crisis line)

• New Glasgow Police, 902-755-8353 & 902-752-1941

Entering a contest through the East Coast Music Association called TD Music Moves Me made sense for her – aimed at high school students and addressing how it makes them feel. She hadn’t really expected to win.

“I was really excited. I totally forgot that I entered. I entered the first day. I was surprised I think a little bit because I don’t usually win things,” she said during a recent interview.

Halliday receives an all-expense paid trip to the ECMAs gala in Sydney, $1,000 for her school’s music program as well as a performance at a pop-up concert during music week.

She entered an original song called Through It All, which provides an inside look at how it feels to be in an abusive relationship.

“A few years ago, I was in an abusive relationship for a while and I never really told anybody. My way to kinda get out my feelings and help me deal with it was writing a song.”

The song seemed like a good choice to her as it allowed her to share her story, while also letting others who may be in a similar situation know they’re not alone – and help exists.

“You can say with music what you can’t say with words. The style of the song is quiet, persistent. I found it’s a lot like what a relationship can be,” she said. “Nobody sees but it’s always there and it’s pushing at you. And I find that’s what the song is like. It really helped me convey my emotions.”

She said it’s easier for her to talk about now that she’s made her peace with it.

“I realized it wasn’t about me,” she said.

Since she found out her powerful song had won, it’s been a bit surreal for the Grade 12 student at North Nova Education Centre – with students approaching her about it, getting interviewed, hearing her name announced during a commercial all the while she tries to figure out what to wear to the gala where she’ll be accepting an award on stage.

“It’s really nerve-wracking. I’ve never been to a real awards thing before. My mother and I were googling what to wear.”

She had thought for a long time that music was the path she wanted to pursue as she got older, but ended up deciding to study criminology once she leaves high school.

That could change back, though.

“Because of this, I’m thinking it’s kinda pulling me back and I’m thinking maybe I could go into it in a couple years to study. I’m definitely going to keep doing it on the side. Depending on what happens in the next few months, I might pursue it for life; who knows?”

The ECMAs run from April 13 to 17 in Sydney.

 

Some local resources related to domestic violence

• New Leaf, offers group counselling for men on issue of domestic violence, 902-396-2440

• Pictou County Women’s Resource and Sexual Assault Centre, counselling services, referrals and various programs, 902-755-4647

• Tearmann House, shelter and services for abused women and children, 1-888-831-0330 (crisis line)

• New Glasgow Police, 902-755-8353 & 902-752-1941

Carleigh Halliday is the winner of a student contest through the East Coast Music Association for her song Through It All. AMANDA JESS/THE NEWS

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