Star Spotlight: Reilly Donnelly

Freshman Reilly Donnelly recently received third place for writing the song “The Answer” and submitting it to the contest “Faith, Love and Song.”


by Zoe Butler, Social Media Editor

The Dart: What is the contest “Faith, Love and Song”? What is the scholarship for?

Reilly Donnelly: “Faith, Love and Song” is a competition for songwriters ages 14-21, and the concept is that you write a song about tolerance or faith or love or something like that. The contest is in association with this foundation called SevenDays, and the winner of the competition performs at the SevenDays Celebration. It’s a seven day celebration, and each day has a different theme, and one of the days is the ‘song day,’ and it is open to the community so anyone can go. Their scholarships are for the first place, second place and third place winners, for school. I received third place and a one thousand dollar scholarship.”

D: Did you have any outside help from anyone?

RD: “My two friends, [freshmen] Brooke Eldridge and Natalie Barber were in the video, so they were very nice to get up very early and help me make that. And then my mom helped me with the filming as well.”

D: How did you get involved with the contest?

RD: “I first learned about it because Dr. Baker sent out an email about it and I was like ‘Oh that looks really interesting.’ It linked to their website, and then I read about it there, and I learned that SevenDays is associated with the Jewish Community Center and the shooting that happened there. A long time ago I was in a play with one of the victims, and so I was like ‘Oh that’s really nice, I should do this.’”

D: Can you describe what the process of writing the song was like?

RD: “Well, the process is kind of odd. So, first I usually I brainstorm about concepts that I feel work. And then usually I’ll just kind of go. Sometimes I start in the middle of the song, I think with this one I started with the chorus, which was really fun. And then I just kind of build it up, and then I add the music after I’ve written the lyrics. I just use Garage Band and do it digitally.”

D: What is the song about?

RD: “‘The Answer’ is about tolerance and just kind of about the fact that people make a lot of mistakes, and they mess up, but it’s okay because really at the heart of it all, people are good, I think, people are really good. And also about accepting people’s limitations, that we aren’t all perfect. That’s kind of cheesy.”