They say singing releases endorphins and that must be true, because Haley Landry of Fairfax, Virginia, radiates a happiness she can’t wait to share with others through music.
A music therapy major, Landry chose Georgia College because it’s one of only 54 universities in the nation – and two in Georgia - with that degree. Plus, she wanted to come back South, where people “are friendlier” and where she could find a college with a small-family atmosphere.
“I was looking into (other schools) for awhile, but then I came to this campus,” Landry said, “and that’s what really made me want to stay. I really like the woodsy sort-of-feel of this, and it’s just like the classic-college campus, which I like.”
Landry had a military upbringing, moving six times with her mother and father, a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps. Like most military kids, Landry can rattle off in rapid succession each state she’s lived in. But she’s grateful to have lived in only one place during middle and high school.
“I found it hard at the time,” Landry said about moving, “but now I’m actually really happy that I got to, because it opened me up to a lot of different other experiences that most people don’t get, and I think it has helped with my ability to make friends and talk to people easier.”
Living on military bases helped Landry learn about various disabilities, especially post-traumatic stress syndrome. That, coupled with her love of music and soprano singing, is what made Landry chose to major in music therapy. Her goal is to work on a military base, helping soldiers deal with repressed memories of combat.
“So that’s what I want to do,” Landry said. “Post traumatic stress is like when an individual has flashbacks of a traumatic time or a repressed memory that can come back up when you’re dreaming and it’s very disturbing for the individual. And so how music therapy can help that is you can play different sorts of music to get them to kind of remember that time without it being harmful. And they can work through it.”
The hardest part of singing is keeping her voice healthy through daily rehearsals weeks on end. But that hectic workload didn’t keep Landry from also continuing her passion for dancing. She has danced since age 3 and now specializes in pointe, a form of classical ballet.
Landry is already signed up to be in the Georgia College University Chorus and is mulling over whether to also join the Max Noah Singers or Sassy Cats Dance Team. It will depend on time and how her coursework goes - good advice she got from her mother, Courtney Landry, who said she’s proud of her only child and knows Georgia College will be a “really good experience.”
“It’s exciting,” Mrs. Landry said. “We’re going to miss her and she’s going to be far away, but we like this area, and we know she’s going to be happy here.”