By Kris Kelly, Staff Writer

UMF student Lauren Crosby poses with her newly released album (photo courtesy of Lauren Crosby)

UMF student Lauren Crosby poses with her newly released album (photo courtesy of Lauren Crosby)

Lauren Crosby, a junior at the University of Maine at Farmington (UMF), recently released her debut album in mid-August. The self-titled record features 10 tracks written by the budding artist, recorded during the spring 2014 semester at Rising River Records in Bath, Maine.

“I was driving from Farmington to one of their studios in Brunswick through the dead of winter, while doing Practicum,” said Crosby as she cringed, remembering the harsh weather. “It was very stressful, and there was a lot of organizing that went into it, but the end product is incredibly rewarding.” She has worked very hard to make her dream a reality. .

All of the hard work has paid off, the album came out great and Crosby’s fans are enjoying it. “I have a copy of Lauren’s CD and I love it! My roommate Wren and I listen to it all the time. Our favorite song is Sell it to the Sea.” said Gia Pilgrim, a junior at UMF. “Lauren’s lyrics are so relatable and bring me back to my Maine coast roots.” Pilgrim has been a fan of Crosby’s since high school, “…Lauren used to sing the national anthem at our high school lacrosse games and we all loved her effortlessly beautiful voice,” she added. Pilgrim has seen Crosby grow as a performer over the years. “I also remember her first gigs at the Robinhood Meetinghouse where I had my first waitressing job,” said Pilgrim. “Now she has gigs all over Maine.”

Crosby is not only a performer but a gifted writer as well. “All the songs are originals and they all mean a lot to me– they’re all kind of like stories,” said Crosby.

Katie Stasalovich, a junior at UMF and fan of Crosby’s, agrees. “Lauren’s songs are Lauren, they are a story of her life,” Stasalovich said via email,  “Even though her songs tell her story, they are relatable to everyone.”

The success is surreal for the down-to-earth songbird. “My CD is available on iTunes and Spotify, downtown at Everyday Music, and in Bullmoose,” said Crosby. “I saw my CD on the shelf at Bullmoose and just…’AHHH!’ It’s such a small thing, but it means so much; I’ve dreamed about it for forever.”

Humbly, Crosby said, “Last year I won a national songwriting competition and the prize was to fly to San Francisco and record at the TRI [Tamalpais Research Institute] studios, which is actually Bob Weir’s (formerly of the Grateful Dead) studio.” Crosby’s accolades do not end there, though. “I was written about in the Downeast Magazine, and the Maine Magazine,” she added, “It’s all so crazy!” Crosby even mentioned that President Foster has bought a copy or two of her album.

Crosby’s adviser Dr. Kristen believes that Case will be successful in whatever she puts her mind to.  “I can certainly see [Crosby] making it big in the music industry or being a terrific teacher, but who knows, maybe she’ll open a restaurant or become an Olympic athlete,” said Case. “[Crosby has] achieved a remarkable amount as a professional musician already, all while excelling as a student here at UMF, but she also seems wonderfully relaxed and full of joy. Whenever I see her she’s smiling, like she means it.”

Crosby will be spending the spring 2015  semester at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque through the National Student Exchange Program at UMF. Last semester she spent time at the University of Tennessee in Memphis, playing gigs up and down Beale Street.

Crosby hopes to continue to pursue music as a career after college. “I don’t plan to be a superstar, but I’d love to be able to support myself, and I do support myself right now with music,” said Crosby. “Some of my main goals are doing small tours in other countries and maybe signing to a small independent label.”