Molly Conrad came to St. Ambrose University intent on becoming an English teacher. That changed when the Christmas present of a guitar in 2010 revealed Conrad's unique gift for writing and performing her own songs.
Now, the talented senior from Bettendorf, Iowa, may be on her way to a career in music, thanks to another gift she was given by longtime friend Stephanie Seward '13 on her birthday this past fall.
"Stephanie surprised me with funding from family, friends and teachers to make an album," Conrad said. "Steph is an incredible friend. This is definitely the best present I have ever received. I hope the finished product will turn out to be a gift for them too."
Conrad plans to begin recording shortly after graduation and a concert tour of the Midwest with her close friend Seward will follow. First, though, she will put a bow on a very busy collegiate experience.
While majoring in theatre and public relations, Conrad has been a regular on the SAU stage.
An actor from an early age in school and local theatre productions, Conrad's SAU theatre credits include lead roles in Eurydice and last fall's romp of a musical, Spamalot.
"Molly has brought integrity, an incredible work ethic and intellect to this theatre program," said Corinne Johnson, Theatre Department chair. "She directs like a son-of-a-gun and that's what I'm most impressed with. It is unusual for a person who is so creative to be so good at directing."
For all her stage experience, that gift of a guitar helped Conrad find her own true voice. She describes her music as easy listening. The majority of the songs on her future album, to be titled One-Sided, will be new.
"It's not about the fame, but what you love," Conrad said of her pursuit of a career in music. "Every artist takes a different path to get where they want to be. That's the exciting part."