Laura Bryna – Trying To Be Me
Ever since she first started listening to the sounds of Patsy Cline, Elvis Presley, Anne Murray, and Wynonna Judd, singer Laura Bryna has bn enamored with country music. “I’ve always loved what country music stands for-simple, beautiful melodies and strong lyrics about life. It’s so easy to relate to,” she explains.
Today, Bryna has emerged as one of the new, young sensations coming out of Nashville, with a voice and personality that pulls from her inspirations growing up but is distinctly her own.
A native of Mount Airy, Maryland, Bryna spent hours listening to the sweet, melancholy sounds of Cline and others on country radio as she drove back and forth with her mother to visit her older brother in a Washington, D.C., hospital after he suffered a brain aneurism. He spent six months in a coma at the age of 13. “Country music really got us through this very tough time,” says Bryna. “The songs were about real-life experiences, similar to what my family was going through.”
Bryna’s talent was evident early on when she was tapped to join the Kennedy Center’s Summer Drama Workshop while still in high school. Through this program, she traveled to other schools in Maryland, Virginia and Washington to perform while also teaching inner-city kids about life experiences. Bryna went on to attend Philadelphia’s University of the Arts, studying acting, singing, and dance.
During her senior year, Bryna received an invitation to join the ensemble cast of a recording of “Rasputin,” a Broadway-bound musical by Michael Rapp. She appeared on the CD performing alto, soprano and tenor parts alongside such renowned artists as Amanda McBroom, John Hurt and Ted Neeley. The experience further solidified Bryna’s desire and passion for music and, following graduation, she packed up her car and headed for Nashville.
Bryna found her second home in Nashville and immediately enrolled in music classes at Belmont College while landing an internship at Sony Tree Publishing and later DreamWorks Publishing. She also continued her involvement with the Make-A-Wish Foundation, a nonprofit organization that grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions. She first became familiar with the foundation as a youngster when her brother was ill. “I would see all these kids in the hospital, and celebrities would sometimes come by and visit them,” she explains.
“Seeing the celebrities made the kids so happy and helped them forget about their illnesses for a while.” From then on, she wanted to be a part of the Make-A-Wish magic and started volunteering for the foundation at 15 years old. Bryna has a true passion for her work with the organization. “I’ve stuffed envelopes, taken artists on visits to meet the kids, granted wishes, done whatever I could to help,” she says.
Recently, she even co-wrote an inspirational single aptly titled “Make A Wish.” The song appears on her debut CD to be released in January 2008. It was inspired by one special wish child that Bryna met while volunteering for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. This young girl made a profound impression on the singer because her wish was for all of her friends’ wishes to come true. Bryna was so moved by the selfless act of the girl that she wanted to put this sentiment in a song to share the message with everyone and hopefully educate more people about the mission of the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Today, as Bryna gears up for the release of her debut album, “Trying To Be Me,” one thing is clear: She is singing with both her voice and her heart. [Sb]