Dreams of stardom are in close range for one USD student as she is set to perform at Dreamfest Midwest in Sioux Falls this November.
Tiffany Knecht, a sophomore medical biology major with a minor in
“I think the first time I performed solo in front of an audience was at my elementary school’s talent show when I was in second grade. I sang ‘This is me’ by Demi Lovato from Camp Rock,” Knecht said.
Knecht has been singing ever since that first performance and was recently selected to perform at Dreamfest. The festival is an audition-based program where amateur artists get the chance to live their dreams of stardom.
Along with being selected, artists get the chance to have one of their songs professionally recorded and shoot a music video before the festival.
Knecht submitted an original song last January and was then selected in March as a performer. Sioux Falls artist and headliner at Dreamfest, Denham, congratulated all the artists at their homes this spring, however, Knect wasn’t at her house when he stopped by.
“Denham showed up at my front door to congratulate me on being selected as a winner,” Knecht said, “so my entire family knew two days before I did.”
Dreamfest is focused on giving artists in small areas a chance to share their talents.
“(Dreamfest) is for very small artists from the Midwest region, so your chances of being selected are really good,” Knecht said.
The biggest headliner at Dreamfest is Bryce Vine, a chart-topping artist with singles like “Drew Barrymore” and “La La Land”.
“It is so surreal to think that I’m going to be performing in front of a bunch of people and on the same stage as Bryce Vine,” Knecht said.
As for her musical career, Knecht said she is taking things as they come and seeing where opportunities take her.
“If this is the biggest thing I ever do with music I think I’ll be okay with that, but if some record label somewhere wants to sign me I’d be okay with that too,” Knecht said.
On a personal level, Knecht said she tends to be more private about her musical talents. Knecht said the biggest personal impact her music has had is the new friends she has made at USD.
“I think sharing this super personal part of my life, especially songs that I’ve written, has brought my friends and I so much closer,” Knecht said.
Music provides an escape from the outside world, Knecht said, and is bigger than just singing and performing.
Although this opportunity is one that not many others get, Knecht said she is grateful for more than just the experience
“Having this opportunity and being selected for this experience is also reassuring in that people other than my mom thinks I have some level of potential and talent when it comes to music,” Knecht said.
Anna Reiter, Knecht’s roommate and close friend, said she sees all the dedication and practice that Knecht puts into her music.
“I am constantly impressed by her raw talent and her passion for music,” Reiter said, “she deserves all the praise in the world.”
As she continues to prepare for her festival debut, Knecht said she is excited to showcase her songs as she has never performed any of her original songs for an audience.
“It’s going to be pretty nerve-racking but a lot of my friends are going so it will be fun to be on stage and see them in the crowd cheering me on,” Knecht said.
Knecht said she plans to release her music on ITunes and Spotify sometime this year. Her music video will also be released closer to the festival.
Knecht encourages USD students to get tickets for the festival in November, which can be found on the Dreamfest Midwest website.
“I’m super excited to perform and I hope to see a lot of Yotes in the crowd,” Knecht said.