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C of I student pursues career as singer/songwriter

What’s the difference between having a dream and making it your reality? Well, Walt Disney once said, “All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” And that is exactly what College of Idaho senior Ana Lete is doing.

Lete recently released her original song, “Aspens,” on iTunes, Bandcamp, and other music platforms as she pursues a career as a singer-songwriter. But what is it about songwriting that attracts the young musician?

“It’s a fun way to kind of capture moments in your life,” Lete said.

Following the unexpected passing of her guitar teacher last winter, Lete picked up her guitar and put pen to paper as a way to cope with her emotions. She hadn’t written a song since her freshman year at the C of I. Being a music theory and composition major, her musical focus had turned to composition.

With a renewed passion for songwriting, Lete began to record her newly-written songs with the help of her C of I peers. Renowned C of I campus producer Rodrigo Coronel mixed and recorded “Aspens,” while fellow Yote Ashton Jenicek helped out on bass and drumbeats.

Lete also took her music to the stage, playing in front of live audiences throughout the Treasure Valley. Joined by C of I student Gavin Peterson on cajon, Lete and Jenicek have played at coffee houses, played house shows in their basement and performed at the Neurolux club in downtown Boise.

“At first [performing] was kind of nerve-wracking,” said Lete, a Nampa native. “But it’s really nice to share what you’ve created.”

Lete’s passion for music began when she started taking guitar lessons in the eighth grade. It was a hobby, away from school, where her progression was bound only by her determination to practice and grow. And even though the C of I doesn’t offer guitar classes, Lete continued playing as part of the student Jazz Band. She even found her singing voice, thanks to C of I music professors Marianne Saunders and Mari Jo Tynon, and the inspiration lent by the voice of jazz legend Billie Holiday.

“That was really great, because [those classes] allowed me to find the different parts of my voice and to be able to control it more.”

In addition to Holiday, Lete cites artists such as Bon Iver, Fleet Foxes, The Beatles and Led Zeppelin as musical influences. And learning everything from aural skills and music theory to the improvisation styles of jazz has played a part in how Lete expresses herself through song. When she’s not busy studying, Lete picks up her guitar and lets the creative juices flow, getting lost in the resonance of metal strings and wood.

After graduating in May, Lete plans to move to Boise, become more involved in the downtown music scene, and eventually go on tour. For now, she’s taking another step toward her dream by recording an album in the Langroise Center studio. Titled Psychic Translation, Lete hopes the record will be finished sometime this spring.

Click here to listen to Ana’s latest single, Aspens. Learn more about her music at www.analete.com.

The College of Idaho has a 125-year-old legacy of excellence. The C of I is known for its outstanding academic programs, winning athletics tradition and history of producing successful graduates, including seven Rhodes Scholars, three governors, four NFL players and countless business leaders and innovators. Its distinctive PEAK Curriculum challenges students to attain competency in the four knowledge peaks of humanities, natural sciences, social sciences and a professional field—empowering them to earn a major and three minors in four years. The College’s close-knit, residential campus is located in Caldwell, where its proximity both to Boise and to the world-class outdoor activities of southwest Idaho’s mountains and rivers offers unique opportunities for learning beyond the classroom.  For more information, visit www.collegeofidaho.edu.