Letters

Letters 08-31-2015

Inalienable Rights This is a response to the “No More State Theatre” in your August 24th edition. I think I will not be the only response to this pathetic and narrow-minded letter that seems rather out of place in the northern Michigan that I know. To think we will not be getting your 25 cents for the movie you refused to see, but more importantly we will be without your “two cents” on your thoughts of a marriage at the State Theatre...

Enthusiastically Democratic Since I was one of the approximately 160 people present at when Senator Debbie Stabenow spoke on August 14 in Charlevoix, I was surprised to read in a letter to Northern Express that there was a “rather muted” response to Debbie’s announcement that she has endorsed Hillary Clinton for president...

Not Hurting I surely think the State Theatre will survive not having the homophobic presence of Colleen Smith and her family attend any matinees. I think “Ms.” Smith might also want to make sure that any medical personnel, bank staff, grocery store staff, waiters and/or waitress, etc. are not homosexual before accepting any service or product from them...

Stay Home I did not know whether to laugh or cry when I read the letter of the extremely homophobic, “disgusted” writer. She now refuses to patronize the State Theatre because she evidently feels that its confines have been poisoned by the gay wedding ceremony held there...

Keep Away In response to Colleen Smith of Cadillac who refused to bring her family to the State Theatre because there was a gay wedding there: Keep your 25 cents and your family out of Traverse City...

Celebrating Moore And A Theatre I was 10 years old when I had the privilege to see my first film at the State Theatre. I will never forget that experience. The screen was almost the size of my bedroom I shared with my older sister. The bursting sounds made me believe I was part of the film...

Outdated Thinking This letter is in response to Colleen Smith. She made public her choice to no longer go to the State Theater due to the fact that “some homosexuals” got married there. I’m not outraged by her choice; we don’t need any more hateful, self-righteous bigots in our town. She can keep her 25 cents...

Mackinac Pipeline Must Be Shut Down Crude oil flowing through Enbridge’s 60-yearold pipeline beneath the Mackinac Straits and the largest collection of fresh water on the planet should be a serious concern for every resident of the USA and Canada. Enbridge has a very “accident” prone track record...

Your Rights To Colleen, who wrote about the State Theatre: Let me thank you for sharing your views; I think most of us are well in support of the first amendment, because as you know- it gives everyone the opportunity to express their opinions. I also wanted to thank Northern Express for not shutting down these types of letters right at the source but rather giving the community a platform for education...

No Role Model [Fascinating Person from last week’s issue] Jada quoted: “I want to be a role model for girls who are interested in being in the outdoors.” I enjoy being in the outdoors, but I don’t want to kill animals for trophy...

Home · Articles · News · Music · Moonbeam
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Moonbeam

Kelsey Lauer - July 13th, 2009
Moonbeam Sunrising Star
A Musician on the Rise
By Kelsey Lauer 7/13/09

Moonbeam Sunrising Star only moved to Traverse City in November, but she is already shining brightly on the local music scene.
“I’ve been singing and playing music since I was five years old. My mother would wake us up on Sunday mornings blaring gospel music,” she says. “I was always the one who pursued music, did all the choirs when I was in high school—show choir, jazz choir and concert choir.”
Moonbeam, who now performs regularly at Serenity Tea Bar & Café, Oryana Natural Food Market and Phil’s on Front, considers her music to be neo soul, with a definite folk influence.
“Vocally, it’s R&B and soul. It’s a good expression of my voice, but there’s also classical music in there too. It comes out as a really clean R&B,” she says. “The songs in and of themselves are, definitely ,lyrically folk music. Lyrically, it’s my feelings and experiences and the places that I’ve gone and the stories that you tell.”

UTOPIA BLUES BAND
It all started with a guitar, given to Moonbeam at the age of 18 by her mother.
“I couldn’t play it, so it kind of just sat on the window in my dorm room,” she says. “One night, I remember I was just trying to play the guitar, my next-door neighbors started pounding on the door. ‘Shut up! We’re trying to sleep!’”
In 2000 in Bloomington, Ind., while in college, Moonbeam founded the seven-piece folk-funk-rock Utopia Blue Band.
“If I wanted to start a band; I had to write some songs,” she says. “I just started playing. I looked at some chord books and was like, oh, I can make that shape. The songs just started coming, and once the band started, the songs just wouldn’t stop coming. I always had a new song.”
The band played at bars and restaurants around the area for two years until the members graduated and went their separate ways, according to Moonbeam.

CHICAGO
“I went (to Chicago) and auditioned for a couple of bands, sang in some festivals,” she says. “There were two record producers offering me $10,000 to do a project, and I was wary of it all. It turned out to be a con. It wasn’t like a blatant con; it was more like, “‘I want to do this for you but I don’t have the means.”’
When making ends meet proved to be difficult, Moonbeam decided to try acupuncture school, which lasts four-five years, and then later a year-long massage program. While she did not complete either program, the experience was valuable, according to Moonbeam.
“That’s when I got on a path of learning how to meditate and learning how to deal with my emotional psychoses and learning how to yield to the universe and learning how to give up what I want so I can learn these other things first,” she says.
MORE MUSIC
From there, she returned to her music, ending up with a job at Old Town School of Folk Music the same time that she was enrolled in the massage program.
“I always stayed because I was just learning so much (at the Old Town School),” she says. “You were able to take breaks and sit and play these thousands and thousands of dollar instruments that you could never afford in your whole life. I got to learn to play the banjo and the mandolin and the ukulele.”
After working there for a year and a half, Moonbeam says that she left due to a disagreement with her boss. She moved from residence to residence, even staying in a homeless shelter called The Singer Residence for about a month.
She came to Traverse City and stayed after Joey Callahan of Radius Recording in Traverse City heard Moonbeam’s music on her MySpace page and invited up to the studio to do recording at a musician’s retreat that was happening at Neatawana.
“Now, I’ve opened for Soulpatch; I’ve opened for Rootstand. Rootstand is going to let me play with them,” she says. “Jack, who owns Serenity, is also part of The Fundubmentals, and I play at Serenity every other Wednesday. Things all of a sudden just went, ‘whoosh.’”

WHY MOONBEAM?
Moonbeam changed her name—originally Teresa—while she was still in Chicago because she felt that it didn’t necessarily reflect the person who she had become.
“Well, it was a lot about slander, and just realizing that it’s a poison,” she says. “What matters is that a person can use your name to get their point across in every single instance. No matter how much you change, or how much they change, or how much the situation changes, that person never changes their mind about your name.”
The decision to pick “Moonbeam” specifically was rather spur of the moment, she says. One night, while at an open mic night, someone asked Moonbeam her name and then-Teresa replied, Moonbeam.
“She wrote my name down as Moonbeam; she couldn’t dispute it. Then she looked over at me and said, “Hey, Moonbeam,” Moonbeam says. “I swear to God, a white light appeared in my third eye—it was really sparkling and pretty—and it was just like ding, ding, ding, ding, ding. That’s my name!”
But that was the easiest part.
“It was really interesting to go through the process of undoing Teresa as a name, because no one wanted to accept that I changed,” she says. “It took months and months and months of me correcting people. People think you’re going against their cultural reality, and it’s really interesting to watch.”

Visit www.myspace.com/moonbeamsunrisingstar for more information. Moonbeam performs at Serenity Tea Bar & Café on the first and third Wednesday of every month; at Oryana on Saturday at 4 p.m.; and at Phil’s on Front on Fridays, 8-10 p.m.

 
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