It takes courage to keep knocking when the doors you think you want aren't opening.
But when your heart's truly in something, continuing to knock is really the only option.
Indie singer/songwriter Mindy Gledhill has never been one for giving up. In high school, Gledhill wanted to be in the choirs and plays. She auditioned but didn't get in.
So she kept trying and found other doors.
"I determined that if no one was going to let me in, I'd create my own opportunities," Gledhill said. "So, I started a band and signed up to sing at school assemblies and local music hangouts."
"When college started I dove head first into the refiner's fire of auditions and tryouts for things like Young Ambassadors, Women's Chorus and the MDT major, not making it into any of them. I knew I wanted to write and record music, and in the midst of all my attempts to find my musical footing, I discovered a program at BYU called Media Music. The program was designed to teach students about recording techniques, the music business in pop culture, all with an emphasis in vocal performance. Bingo.
"Still, it took me three times to pass the written music theory exam, but I finally passed the audition to get into the school of music," she said.
Shortly after getting into the school of music, Gledhill attended an LDS music workshop where she was discovered by Kenneth Cope and current Deseret Book VP Jeff Simpson. She signed a record deal with Excel Entertainment and released her first album, "The Sum of All Grace."
"After the ball started rolling, it just did not seem to stop," Gledhill said.
Following her successful debut album, Gledhill felt a strong desire to reach a wider audience. In 2007, she independently released her second album, "Feather in the Wind."
This August, she is releasing her third album, "Anchor."
"Independence proved to be a success for me, and I once again felt the urge to break some barriers with another independent album outside of Utah … This new album is so much closer to the kind of music I dreamed of making when I was young. I listened to Lisa Loeb, The Sundays, and Sixpence None the Richer a lot in high school and identified with their quirky, girlish voices so well. This album is undeniably sweet and happy."
To achieve the sound she dreamed of, Gledhill turned to current music she loved the most and discovered an amazing producer (who has worked with Michael Jackson, Lenka and Brandy).
"I had recently seen Lenka in concert, and I really identified with her as an artist. I told myself that I needed to find out who her producer was," she said. "That producer was a man named Stuart Brawley."
Gledhill hadn't met him before. She decided to send Brawley a message on myspace.
"He responded. The rest is history," she said.
They recorded the album this past April and May in Los Angeles.
One of the songs on her new album, "All About Your Heart," is featured in the Mormon Message "My New Life" and has already touched many hearts.
"I wrote that song during a time when I was going through some struggles. I felt ugly inside and out and quietly carried some heavy burdens. During that same time, I got word that a friend of mine, Stephanie Nielson and her husband, Christian, had been in a plane crash and were burned very badly. Though their experience was unspeakable, it allowed me to stop thinking about my own frivolous problems. I went to work to try and help do some fundraising for the Nielsons, and it became very therapeutic for me. Ultimately, the song morphed from one about my own emotional scars into a song for the Nielsons and all who bear the emotional and physical scars of mortality. It seemed that the beauty and integrity of the Nielsons' example spread like wildfire, proving that miracles can flourish out of even the most awful situations."
Gledhill's music and journey convey that the beauty in life is in trying again and following your heart, even and especially when there are barriers in front of you. As she's knocked on doors and created new opportunities, Gledhill has found her musical footing along with her dreams.
Her new album will release on Aug. 4. Gledhill's CD release concert will be Aug. 2 at the Covey Center in Provo. All ticket proceeds go to revitalizing the arts in downtown Provo, Utah. For more information, visit www.mindygledhill.com and www.coveycenter.org.
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To read more from Nicole Sheahan and other regular columnists and bloggers, visit MormonTimes.com.