An ‘Idol’ follows her dreams

Senior and music industry major Courtnie Bennett won the NU Idol competition to sing the national anthem at Fenway Park during Northeastern’s Senior Week. Photo by Dominick Reuter

On Tuesday evening, North­eastern senior music industry major Courtnie Ben­nett will belt out the national anthem in front of class­mates and more than 30,000 base­ball fans inside his­toric Fenway Park.

“I’m so excited,” said Ben­nett, who earned the honor of singing on Senior Night at Fenway Park by win­ning the NU Idol com­pe­ti­tion last month. The ball­game is part of Northeastern’s Senior Week programming.

In the first round of the NU Idol com­pe­ti­tion, which was held in March, stu­dents per­formed songs of their choosing. Top per­formers moved on to the second round, in which they had to sing the Star-​​Spangled Banner.

In the opening round, Ben­nett sang an a cap­pella ver­sion of Adele’s “One and Only” — at the sug­ges­tion of a friend.

“The lyrics really spoke to me,” she said. “A lot of young girls have the expe­ri­ence of love and heartbreak.”

Ben­nett, who describes her­self as a “jazz musi­cian, through and through,” began taking piano lessons at age 7, when her mother noticed her singing ability. At North­eastern, she is part of the Unity Gospel Ensemble, which afforded her the oppor­tu­nity two years ago to sing with the Boston Pops. She’s also a member of the North­eastern Uni­ver­sity Choral Society and per­forms at after­HOURS and other local venues.

But a co-​​op last year at Reser­voir Media Man­age­ment in New York City really opened her eyes to the music industry. Ben­nett con­tacted record labels, researched up-​​and-​​coming artists and even got to meet Shaggy, a reggae artist who offered advice on the busi­ness side of the music industry and encour­aged her to follow her own mind and heart.

“It was a great oppor­tu­nity to see how the music busi­ness works and to get a better under­standing of how to place your­self and your music, and the kinds of people you need to meet,” she said.

After grad­u­a­tion, Ben­nett plans to move to New York to build her music career.

“My expe­ri­ences at North­eastern have made me an all-​​around better person and a better musi­cian,” she said. “I’m ready for a bigger pond.”

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This article was originally posted on Northeastern News. Read it here.