Hitting the High Notes: Jenna Weidner

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Jenna gave voice early to her love of music

By Gabrielle Porter

Evergreen teenager Jenna Weidner was singing before she could talk.

“My mom said that when I was 1 year old, the first time I ever sang we were at the store …,” Jenna, 16, said with a laugh. “She was talking to someone, and they just look over at me and they were like, ‘I think your daughter is singing.’ It was like “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.’ … My mom said, ‘You hummed it perfectly.’ ”

The Evergreen High School junior has been singing ever since that first public performance.

She took piano lessons and attended the Evergreen Chorale’s summer music camp at Center/Stage Theatre every year until high school. Jenna said music camp was a great outlet to test her skills.

“It was just a way to show what I could do and to have fun with people who were like me,” she said. “It was … really fun to learn about new musicals and sing with a lot of my friends, and meet new friends who were into music.”

At age 11, Jenna started learning to play guitar and writing songs, shifting toward pop and country music. She sings in Evergreen High’s top choir, Choral Images, and recently portrayed an ancestor in the drama department’s musical version of “The Addams Family.”

Jenna’s chief musical inspirations are pop stars — Adele, Taylor Swift, Sheryl Crow, One Republic. But she said she still hasn’t quite settled on her own musical identity.

“I’m still trying to discover what my style is, because I’d say my voice is a little folk, and my songs are a little pop and country,” Jenna said.

Jenna hopes to work on the business side of the music industry — a recent shift from her lifelong goal of being a professional singer.

“I always wanted to be a singer when I was little …,” she said. “I could never picture myself in an office working for some company. I’m just very creative, and I just want to keep doing what I love. … I would love to be a part of the music business and keep music going and also write songs that can connect people, because that’s the way I connect to people.”

For now, Jenna plans to keep honing her performing and songwriting skills. While her original songs are often romantic, she herself has yet to fall in love. Instead of drawing on her own experience, she imagines storylines and watches them like movies in her imagination.

“I think that when I do fall in love, my songs will definitely be different, but I just try to interpret it on what I think it would be like,” Jenna said.

Contact Gabrielle Porter at gabrielle@evergreenco.com or at 303-350-1042.

Watch Jenna Weidner perform

Evergreen resident Jenna Weidner performed acoustic versions of her original songs “Route” and “Big Wave” at Gallerie Quilt to kick off our multimedia series featuring local musicians. Click here to view the video on the Evergreen Newspapers YouTube channel.

To suggest a musician for this project, e-mail gabrielle@evergreenco.com.