Musician: Brittany Opperman, 22
Are you excited to perform on the WGTY Great Country Radio Stage with other up-and-coming country acts? I'm thrilled. I was really excited that they offered me that (chance) to come play and sing. I've never done anything like that before. Casey James is playing after me that night, and I definitely want to stick around for him. I just bought his CD a couple months ago, and it's really great. Katie Armiger (is) there the next Sunday (Sept. 16) after I perform. They have a really great lineup this year. I think all the artists are going to put on great shows.
How did you become interested in music? I grew up singing in my church and at my school and with my grandma. I started (singing with her) when I was 3 years old. It was something I kind of always wanted to do ... but I guess I didn't really have any confidence in myself. I went to school out in Ohio for a year and became a music production major. It just wasn't something I picked up on, and I just really wanted to be behind the mike and the one singing and writing. My dad took me to Nashville, Tenn. just trying to let me feel it out and see if I liked it. I think that was in July 2009. We got back on a Thursday, and that Sunday, I told him I didn't want to go back to school and I wanted to work on this. He was comfortable letting me make that decision.
When did you start writing music? I went to Adams Country Christian Academy. It was a really tiny school, and my class was about 16 people. We were all pretty close. It was really hard for me dealing with leaving and moving on because I'd been there my whole life, and everybody just felt like family. I actually wrote a song for my high school graduation. It was kind of a surprise. That's what I had started with, and from there, I just started to write a bit (more). I really enjoy it.
What artists inspire you? I listen to all sorts of country. I honestly like just about any type of music; I just primarily listen to country. I love The Band Perry. I love Miranda Lambert (and) Carrie Underwood. I recently got back into Julie Roberts. She's not really huge right now. I really like her ... blues-y, country (sound).
You recently released an album. What was that process like? Technically, it's an EP. It's only six songs. I'm not signed with anybody. It's an independent project. I worked with Racetrack (Sound) Studios in Gettysburg. I kind of went in there and played a couple songs I had, and (they) did a really good job of making the arrangements for them and then even for the two cover songs we did. We had a couple of intense nights as far as the vocal recording. I had a blast. I'd take my worst night in the studio over my best night anywhere else.
Do you like being on stage or do you get nervous? I definitely get nervous. I'm still working on it. I think having a band next weekend (will help). I'm going to have American Jane behind me, which (is) members of American Hollar and Son of Jane. I think them backing me up will help with stage presence and stuff because I can be a little shy in front of ... a crowd of people.
Are you performing at other events this fall? I have the Fall (Music) Fest in October. Michael Males runs MyRuralRadio.com. Artist (who) play on his station are going to be there performing. It's just kind of to help benefit the radio station. I'm opening for Bucky Covington ... Sept. 23. It's going to be a benefit for MDA (Muscular Dystrophy Association). There are going to be two other girls (performing): Kayla Kroh and Lindsey Erin. They are trying to get $3,500 (to help) send a cabin full of kids to camp. It's up in Cousler Park. It's called the Music of a Muscle Benefit Concert.
Is it tough to balance everything sometimes? I have two other jobs that I work, plus this. I love doing music. When I'm doing that, it doesn't seem like a job at all. It does get a little hectic sometimes. I have a really great support system between my family and friends and my church family. They just kind of keep things in perspective when things get crazy. They keep me grounded.
- ERIN McCRACKEN,
If You Go
Brittany Opperman will perform 3 p.m. Sunday on the WGTY Great Country Radio Stage at the York Fair, 334 Carlisle Ave., West Manchester Township. The concert is free with fair admission. Read more about the WGTY Radio Stage on page 8.
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