The world is Jackie Steil’s oyster. This Vero Beach High School senior has music in her soul AND the drive and smarts to take that talent wherever she chooses to go. Jackie is insightful and mature beyond her years whether she is penning her poetic writings to music or chatting about college choices. Her performances are captivating experiences that draw her audiences in with their melodies and emotions. “Meaningful music”, as Jackie says.
Jackie has loved music since elementary school where she “was always involved in chorus”. In fifth grade, she was invited to All State and realized she might have some talent. By eighth grade, Jackie received an acoustic guitar and she has never looked back.
The poems of Shel Silverstein have been and still are a tremendous influence on Jackie. She has been writing poems since she was little girl. Musically, she admires John Meyer, the Artic Monkeys and Skylar Grey.
Attending the Nashville Songwriters Showcase at the world famous Bluebird Cafe was an eye-opening experience for Jackie. The experience left her with precise goals for her musical future, what she calls her “mission statement”. Jackie told me, “I learned I do not want to write songs just for commercial production. I am more interested in writing material tied to emotions or from the heart and can see myself writing music for meaningful movies in the future.”
Listening to one of her YouTube performances, I close my eyes and think of Alanis Morissette, but better. Jackie is gaining a growing fan base across a wide age gap. She was touched by the enthusiasm of a third grade fan who heard her perform at the Indian River County Firefighter’s Fair last Sunday. This little girl begged her parents to return to the Fair Tuesday evening just to hear Jackie play again.
Giving back to her community is very important to Jackie. Over the past three years all proceeds from Jackie’s festival and event performances have been donated to charitable organizations. A 2015 performance for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation has been one of her favorites. This year, Jackie is earmarking those and club performance proceeds for college.
Speaking of college, this 17 year old is still knee-deep in the college admissions process. Jackie is proud of her acceptance to the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music, but the price tag may send her elsewhere. Over Spring Break she will auditioning for a few more of her college choices where she would like to major in music.
Jackie looks forward to college as a new adventure giving her “room to breathe and grow”. Her goal is to “be happy in her pursuits and to learn to be as fully self-sufficient as possible in the music marketplace”.
Keep your eyes on Jackie Steil. Go enjoy one of her local performances before she spreads her wings. This gal has the smarts to match her talents and will go wherever she chooses to take herself.
Perhaps next time I hear Alanis Morissette, I will close my eyes and think, Jackie Steil.
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