What did you do this summer?
Stamford singer Annie Nirschel,18, who heads off to SUNY Purchase this week, certainly has been busy. In August, she had the fun of traveling across the country to perform at the Colorado Freedom Festival – thanks to an accomplishment she earned last year.
In 2012, Nirschel was named one of about a dozen students across the United States who won accolades for her submission to the “We the People 9*17 Contest” hosted by Constituting America, a three-year-old group that works to educate the populace on the importance of the U.S. Constitution. Students were encouraged to enter either a film, public service announcement, essay, poetry, artwork, song or other creative work. Nirschel sent in her original song, “I Am Me.” (You can see the video below, as well as one of her other original works, “Ghost.”)
It was that song, which she performed earlier this summer in Stamford, that attracted one of the freedom festival organizers and sent Nirschel packing and on a plane to Evergreen, Colo. Billed as a celebration of fiscal and constitutional conservatism, Nirschel said it was an interesting experience and afforded her a chance to get her music out there.
“It was an honor,” she said during a recent interview.
Music has long been a part of this Stamford teen’s life. She recalled a song about a cat that she wrote when she was 4.
“It went on for about 10 minutes,” she said, laughing. “At this point, I’ve matured past the 10-minute cat song, but even then I knew I always wanted my life to be about music.”
A multi-instrumentalist, Nirschel notched her first public performance at the age of 7 when she sang the national anthem at a Bridgeport Bluefish game. Most recently, she played a few performances at sites around Stamford, including Christ the Healer Church in North Stamford and the Bartlett Arboretum and Gardens.
For some time, this Academy of Information Technology and Engineering graduate said she has been working on an album of original songs. She wanted to reach the goal by her 18th birthday and did so by two days. In February, she released her first CD, “Honest Mistakes,” which was produced at Shelton-based White House Productions.
Although is focused on her first year of college studies, she said she is also working to promote herself as a musician, promote the album and “get herself out there.”
Armed with her guitar, and occasional ukelele, she is able to take her act anywhere.
“I’m open to whatever is out there,” she said. “I would definitely describe myself as an opportunistic person … I try to take every opportunity that presents itself.”