Alumni Feature #1 – Angela Parrish

Alumni Feature #1 - Angela Parrish

Annika Yoder, Reporter

In 2004, highly esteemed songwriter, composer and recording artist, Anglea Parrish graduated from Newton High School. Parrish is most well known for singing “Another Day of Sun,” the opening song in the Oscar-winning film, “La La Land.”

After graduating from NHS, Parrish attended Wichita State University and majored in Jazz Piano and Music Education. While earning her Bachelor’s Degree, she worked primarily as a professional musician around the Wichita area. Parrish then earned her Master’s Degree at the University of Northern Colorado before moving to Los Angeles, CA to pursue music.

I’m a songwriter, record producer, composer, and recording artist. I write musicals, I write songs with other recording artists, I compose for film and television projects, and I’m a studio singer for others’ projects,” Parrish said. “I spend a pretty equal amount of time doing each of these things, because having a varied music career is so much more interesting to me than only doing one thing.”

While Parrish is most known for her work on “La La Land,” she has done numerous projects throughout her career. For instance, Parrish recently sang backing vocals on the Weekend’s newest album, “Dawn FM.” Her songwriting is also going to be featured in upcoming Disney and Warner Brothers shows.

“I just sang backing vocals on The Weeknd’s newest album, Dawn FM, which was released about a month ago,” Parrish said. “It was one of the most artistically rewarding experiences I’ve had, because the whole album tells the story of a person traveling through purgatory after death, into the light. I sang on that album a week after my father passed away, and it was really meaningful to me.”

Parrish is a big advocate for following your dreams and pursuing a career in a risky industry. Although she is the only professional musician in her family, she learned from former NHS teachers Keith and Donna Woolery that having a career in music is completely possible.

“It’s totally possible to make a full, rich, and financially viable career in music happen. Don’t listen to the people who try to discourage you from giving it a shot because it’s ‘too risky,’ I think we’ve learned from the pandemic that a lot of jobs can be risky jobs,” Parrish said. “Making connections with industry people you admire, whether through attending workshops or attending college in a major music industry city, is always helpful. And don’t worry about making mistakes, because it’s inevitable.”