Court to Porch: Basketball player spends time singing at The Back Porch

Her heartbeat increases as the time ticks down to strum the first chord and sing the first note in harmony with her group. Every note must be perfect, the strike of each chord must be on point and the music must carry the crowd into a world unknown as they fall in love with the rhythm. The loud crowd and busy scenery quiets in her head, pulling her back to reality as it’s just a daydream of herself on stage. Inspiration fills her mind as she lays her pencil to paper to write the words expressing her true feelings and her troubles of the past.

Mariah Childress, Longview freshman, is not your typical freshman basketball player, she is also musically talented. She has been playing instruments for about eight years and has been singing since a young age. She doesn’t play one, two or even three instruments, she plays seven: the guitar, piano, saxophone, trumpet, drums, bass guitar, and the ukulele.

The first two instruments that Childress learned were the guitar and piano, because she wanted to learn how to play her two favorite songs at the time.

“I went on YouTube and looked up how to play the songs and then went from there, she said.” “I learned chords that way and eventually started making my own music.”

Mariah, as a child, was influenced by her older brother to learn and develop her skills on the piano because “her older brother was doing it, so why not.” Growing up she was surrounded by musically talented family members; both her mother and father can sing, her second oldest sister sings and plays the piano and her second oldest brother sings and can play pretty much any instrument he picks up due to his amazing ear for music.

Besides being in tune with music most of her life, on the flip side she has been playing sports for 13 years. She has involved herself in shaping her game in basketball which landed her a spot on the Lady Ranger’s basketball team, and with the support of her family and friends, she is pursuing a degree in hotel sales management.

The record continues to play as Mariah has been involved with 4 bands: a Christian band, and three Secular bands named Cross formed, Blues Alliance, Texas Stomp and the current group she is involved in are still working on a group name.

Mariah is now working on putting out her first album; this summer she plans to get into the recording studio and put out an extended play which is a musical recording that contains more tracks than singles. She also has a YouTube channel and Soundcloud page. She hasn’t posted any of her originals but she has music covers posted to view and leave feedback. Her YouTube channel is Mariah Elysse and her Soundcloud account is Mariah Childress; however, she doesn’t use Soundcloud as often.

Mariah has had performances around Kilgore, Longview and Tyler and has even performed at The Back Porch. Her next local performance will be May 3rd at TBP and all is welcome.

She has the dream that one day she will play at a sold out show at the Madison Square Garden, but for now she is playing shows on the side and hoping one day her music career will take off. Until then, she is focusing on her career of hotel sales management. “For anyone wanting to pursue music or any dream that they have, I’d say pick up that dream and try to achieve it, she said.” “Don’t give up and push yourself to get better at your craft each day because there is always something that you can improve on and always something new to learn.”