MUNISING - Although she did not make it on the show "America's Got Talent," Munising native Alexis Matson has had much to celebrate since her audition on the popular television program.
The 15-year-old guitarist and singer, who performs at many local venues and events, said she didn't regret auditioning for the show, stating that it opened the door to more opportunities. Those opportunities took the form of the world's largest music festival: Summerfest.
In 2013 Matson took the stage at the popular event in Milwaukee, Wisconsin for the first time.
Munising native Alexis Matson, shown here and below, was able to audion for the nationally known “America’s Got Talent” television show. Though she didn’t make it on the show, the 15-year-old used the audition to create other opportunities and now has a CD on sale. (Photos courtesy of Alexis Matson)
"I was excited, but so nervous because it's the world's largest music festival," Matson exclaimed. "Once I started playing though, it was just me and my guitar and I had a great time."
Matson played two shows a day for five days and she said the audience was very welcoming.
"They really liked my music and told me I was very talented for my age... many thought I was 18 years old and I had to tell them I was 14."
For Matson's father, Charles Matson, seeing his daughter perform filled him with pride.
"They (audience) were so receptive of her and excited and inspired when she began playing... It is great to see how her (Alexis) hard work and dedication paid off."
At the end of Summerfest 2013, Alexis was asked to perform again in 2014 and readily accepted. The young musician knew right away though, that she wanted to be more prepared for her second time around.
"Many audience members asked for my autograph, which was amazing," Alexis recalled. "But they also asked if I had a CD, which I didn't."
This set the wheels in motion for Alexis to focus on her composition skills and put together a few songs that could be made into a CD.
"I've written songs before, but during a span of about four months I really set to work on composing the five songs that I have chosen to be on the CD," Alexis said.
Based off of life experience, Alexis said most of her songs had to do with relationships and how she sees the world around her. She added that her two favorites songs she has written are "Found" and "Loose Ends," which is the name of the CD.
Helping make the recording possible is Alexis's drama teacher, Jolene St. Amour, who is also a local musician with the band "Piq Poket."
"Alexis mentioned to me in drama club that she needed a CD and she was worried about it, I just told her not to fret - we'd get it done," St. Amour said.
St. Amour emphasized that the music Alexis is writing is inspiring.
"It (music) is very beautiful and pure... she plays from the heart and I believe Alexis has a lot of guts and courage to go after her dreams."
St. Amour added that Charles Matson's pride for his daughter always shines and that both Charles and Alexis are great role models for parents and children.
"Charles is so supportive of Alexis and he pushes her, but never in a negative way. They are a great team."
Alexis said the CD has already been recorded and they are simply putting the finishing touches on the label and packaging. She plans to bring the CDs with her to Summerfest 2015, which she has already been invited to sing at again.
When asked why she feels it's important to be a role model for her generation, Alexis's message was simple.
"I think I'm telling young people that they need to keep going toward those dreams and goals they have... It's not just going to happen overnight. You have to be willing to work hard, but it's worth it. I played at the world's largest music festival and I'm just a 15 year old girl from Munising."
To her father, Alexis's achievements speak volumes to all who meet her.
"The commitment Alexis shows tells me that she does have the talent to keep going and excelling. When I see the younger generation and the way they react to Alexis when she is playing it makes me so proud as a parent and to see her bringing that inspiration to that younger generation."
Anyone interested in purchasing a CD can contact Charles Matson at 906-387-4728, or Alexis Matson at 906-202-2795. Or email firstname.lastname@example.org. To find upcoming performances, visit Alexis Matson's Facebook page.