• Lillie Burke

Christian Showcase 2016: Alyssa Newton

New Mexico native Alyssa Newton’s performance at Saturday’s Christian showcase has been years in the making.

Newton was exposed to music at an early age and began playing classical piano in first grade. After getting a guitar for Christmas in third grade, her passion grew and she found her love for Christian music.

“It was really good fundamentals for me to take piano first through fifth grade, but it wasn’t my passion to play classical stuff. I started leading worship in middle school and at church, and that was really big because it was where I got most of my experience singing in front of people,” said Newton.

Now a songwriting major, Newton splits her talents between country and Christian music. She has spent much of her energy on her country music, between earning a spot in last year’s American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers Writer’s Night and with working with Bear House Publishing. However, her love of Christian music never waned.

“I actually started thinking a lot about showcase this summer because this showcase hits right when we get back to school,” said Newton.

Newton’s set list includes two original songs along with two covers. A six-piece band made up primarily of friends will accompany her for her biggest performance to date. Newton applied to the showcase using an EP she recorded when she was home for Christmas break last year.

“Recording it was three really intense weeks of just going into the studio all day. I produced it myself so it wasn’t the greatest quality but I put my whole heart and soul into it,” said Newton.

Despite her hard work on the EP, upon returning to Belmont she became insecure about her efforts. She turned to God to help her through this dilemma.

“Being back at Belmont, I was really discouraged, so I didn’t feel like it was good enough,” said Newton.

However, when the time came to submit recordings for the showcase, she realized her songs’ full potential.

“It feels like God opened up the doors completely,” said Newton. “It felt like so many nos and then so many doors opened that I feel like this is the right time to at least release it physically. The process has had me rely on him a lot more.”

As a country artist, Newton is inspired by Maren Morris and Taylor Swift – both whom she admires for their music and their personalities. Her Christian influences include All Sons and Daughters and Bethel.

“It’s been really cool to walk through this in faith and see the ways He’s made it happen,” said Newton.

Be sure to catch Newton at the Christian Showcase on Saturday at 7 p.m. Admission is free.

This article was written by Sara Scannell. Photo courtesy of Alyssa Newton.

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