I am thankful to have been given the gift of song. My name is Ashley Mitchell and I am a 24 year old singer/songwriter/performer from Goldsboro, Maryland. Having grown up in a small town, I now fully appreciate the expression, “follow your dreams.” Music performances are very few and far between in this small area of the world I call home. This means I have to push myself harder and be persistent in pursuing my lifelong dream as a singer.
I began singing around age three. My mother says all I have ever wanted to do is sing from the moment I could speak; funny how that has been consistent throughout my entire life. She would take me to the local karaoke spots so that I could become familiar with singing in front of others. My mother has always been my largest supporter. I have grown up with her by my side helping me in anyway possible. Every school night after dinner we would turn on the radio or pop in our favorite CD’s and sing for hours. We could never afford voice lessons, so this was her way of helping me grow as a singer. Before I knew it I was section leader of every choir I performed with throughout school. It wasn’t until high school that I truly began to study my talent.
After performing in my ninth grade chorus class, my teacher, Doc Thompson, had taken an interest in my singing and placed me in a music theory course. I was then introduced to others who loved and appreciated music as strongly as I. We were then asked to attend the Advanced Music Theory class. It was this class which inspired us to create a band called Doc’s Concoction, in honor of the teacher who brought us together. The group consisted of several talented musicians. We became locally well know and began to take the music scene by storm. After our graduation in 2006 the group lasted a little over a year. We all decided to go our separate ways to pursue our career goals. For Drummer Donny Marvel and I, music was our goal. Donny decided to focus on playing multiple instruments as I decided to strengthen my piano and vocal abilities. The two of us began collaborating song writing ideas and, In 2009 we produced an original album, Ashley Mitchell, “Time to Shine.” Throughout this time Donny and I were both attending college and working towards forming a one of a duo.
Throughout my schooling I was actively performing. I was doing the best I could to make a name for myself. My senior year of high school I awarded honorable mention for Vocal Performance in both English as well as a foreign language through Maryland’s Distinguished Scholars scholarship program. Upon entering college I knew my passion was music and I was to study vocal performance. I attended Chesapeake Community College in Wye Mills, Maryland, Goucher College in Baltimore, Maryland, and then finally found my home at Washington College, in Chestertown Maryland. It was there I studied as a Music Major, Business Management Minor. I had studied classical vocal training until entering Washington. I was allowed to express my creativity and study my preferred genre, Pop and Jazz vocal methods. I performed in my senior solo recital featuring two guitarists, Donny Marvel and Paul Donovan, as well as Chairman of the Music Department, Dr. Gary Clarke. The recital featured Jazz pieces as well as original works by Donny Marvel and I. From 2010 through 2011 was awarded the WC Friends of the Arts Scholarship. I was also awarded the 2011 Music Awarded for my graduating class. I graduated from Washington College in May of 2011 with Bachelors of the Arts.
I am currently a private vocal instructor, and have performed with some of the most talented musicians in our area. The Ashley Mitchell Band (2012-2015) was a successful cover music group that specialized in high energy dance music. The chemistry and musical connection that populated the Ashley Mitchell Band set us apart from any other band around. Our current group, "Rivers & Rhodes" was inspired by both Donny and I. This is the new name for both our original music and acoustic duo. We are scheduled to have our album released in March of 2016, and we are always looking towards the future.
Words can only go so far in describing the passion and dedication I have for music, and I am blessed to have met others who appreciate music just as much as I. “Where Words Fail, Music will Always Speak.”