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The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Marquette alum Claire Kelly returns to campus

Photo by Forster Goodrich
Claire Kelly graduated from the College of Communication in 2015.

In 2015, Claire Kelly graduated from Marquette’s College of Communication with a dream of pursuing a music career full time. Now, Kelly returns back to campus as a full-time singer/songwriter after winning multiple awards and traveling internationally on tour.

Last Thursday, Kelly performed and spoke to students on campus. She started her visit at Marquette Hall at 12 p.m. for lunch, then moved to Lalumiere Language Hall to discuss creative writing and ended the day at 6 p.m. at the Raynor Library to show off her musical talent.

Kelly said that the idea of her career started in college, specifically through her involvement at Marquette. Once she got her first gig, she said she never wanted to stop performing.

“I think I knew about halfway through my college career that I wanted to pursue music full time. The first time I got paid to play a gig for an event at Marquette, it made me realize I might be able to make a career out of what I loved doing the most,” Kelly said.

While talking to students, Kelly said that she is very optimistic about the future of her career. She encouraged students to follow their dreams as she did because for her, nothing was impossible.

“I am looking forward to growing as an artist, writing a hit song and eventually writing soundtracks for TV and movies. I could also see myself opening a listening room in the Midwest someday,” Kelly said.

Kelly’s song “The Art of Letting Go” was recently featured on the Netflix show Love Is Blind.” The show was reported to have hit almost 30 million households, making it one of the most popular shows after the COVID-19 pandemic. Kelly said a lot of her work goes into writing songs for TV.

Steven Hartman Keiser, associate professor of English, organized the event. Keiser reached out to students saying that this was an incredible opportunity in an email, as he said it was the perfect place for developing creative writing strategies and networking.

Keiser said that creative writing is a huge part of the songwriting process, and wanted to introduce that concept to students who are looking to pursue a career in music.

“Music is a language for communicating emotion. English — or any human language — gives us the means for talking about literally anything. Put them together and you have singing: the most powerful medium of human expression,” Keiser said.

Keiser said that Kelly has a really strong ability to incorporate her creative writing skills into song and hopes that students can see that in her work.

“Claire has a real knack for finding a story in the everyday events of life: crying in a bathroom, learning a new dance, taking care of an ugly cat … she draws on the ordinary to write some truly extraordinary lyrics,” Keiser said.

As Kelly begins to gain more and more popularity, she said she is so grateful to have the job that she currently does. Kelly’s passion for music is evident and said that her favorite part of her work is how things are always changing.

“I’m really happy to have a job where it’s never the same day twice,” Kelly said.

This story was written by Phoebe Goebel. She can be reached at [email protected].

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About the Contributors
Phoebe Goebel
Phoebe Goebel, Editor of Diversity and Inclusion
Phoebe is the Editor of Diversity and Inclusion at the Wire. She is a junior from Hinsdale, IL studying journalism. In her free time, Phoebe enjoys thrifting and can solve a Rubik's cube in less than one minute. This year Phoebe is looking forward to covering a different section at the Wire.
Forster Goodrich
Forster Goodrich, Staff Photographer
Forster Goodrich is a sophomore from Lyme, New Hampshire studying digital media. Forster works on the photography desk as a Staff Photographer. Outside of the Wire, he is on the club waterski team, and enjoys everything outdoors. He is looking forward to the upcoming basketball season and getting to photograph games at Fiserv Forum.

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