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Wisconsin native performer serenaded students once again

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Wisconsin native performer serenaded students once again

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Rachel Mergen, Staff Reporter

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“I would say that music has changed my life immensely,” said Haley Klinkhammer, a singer-songwriter Wisconsin native who visited the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse once again Tuesday, May 1.  

Having sung for as long as she can remember, while also playing the guitar for the past ten years, she has built a life for herself through social media and touring that many only dream of.  

“I posted my first video to YouTube when I was visiting family in Mississippi. My cousin Ashley and I were learning a song together and decided to film a video of us performing it. I wanted to share it with my friends so I uploaded it to YouTube to share the link on my newly created MySpace page,” she explained.  

“People really liked the video so I decided to keep up with making videos and it’s grown into something I never imagined it would.” Currently, she has more than 39 million views on her almost 300 videos.  

On her channel, she covers songs, collaborates with other artists, and plays some of her own originals. She said, “I love a lot of different kinds of music, but the singer/songwriter type is always a favorite of mine.” 

“I’ve been singing for as long as I can remember. It has always been something that I’ve loved to do,” she mentioned. “I am most inspired by the world around me. The things that I experience. The things I see other people experiencing.” 

Klinkhammer added, “Getting started with singing and learning how to play the guitar and starting my YouTube channel has led to so many opportunities. A couple of years ago, I got to sing a song with Rachel Platten at one of her shows and I once opened for Kellie Pickler. A video of my song Breaking Free on YouTube led to me being invited to Portland, Oregon by an organization called Sparks of Hope to play music at and be a part of their summer camps for children who are survivors of abuse.  

“I’ve gotten to travel and perform at 80 colleges in the past two years. I’ve gotten to watch my YouTube channel grow to over 285,000 subscribers. The fact that I get to do what I love as a full-time career still blows my mind. Not to mention music is the reason I met my fiancé- we met at one of my shows. It has without a doubt shaped me into who I am today. 

“I have absolutely loved getting to perform on college campuses. I love that each campus, each event, and each show is different. I love the people I get to meet and the awesome community among students that I get to witness when I come to campus.”  

Last year, Laura Schulte at the Marshfield News Herald wrote about how the Vox Concert Series celebrated the performance of the performer during Dairyfest: “’[Haley] is a very promising talent we have been working with for years now,’ Brian Sauer said, Vox Concert Series director. ‘She has come into her own as an artist and recently performed with Rachel Platten. We have been working to coordinate an event with Dairyfest for years now, and it is good to have these outdoor events hopefully being a springboard into the fall.’” 

As the Campus Activity Board joked last year on their Facebook page, “We promise she’s good,” before she performed to a room full of people in the student union. With the reactions that she received last year, it can easily be understood why she was asked to come back once again to serenade UWL students.  

“I plan to make music for as long as I can. I love making videos for YouTube and I love performing, so I definitely plan to continue doing so,” Klinkhammer concluded joyously. “I am so excited to be back at UW-La Crosse.” 

Klinkhammer performed in the Entertainment Café at 6 p.m. Tuesday. The Campus Activity Board sponsored the event that drew in many students.  

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About the Writer
Rachel Mergen, Multimedia Editor


Year: Senior
Hometown: Bloomington, Wisconsin
Major: English with a Rhetoric and Writing Emphasis and Political Science
Minor: None
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