Manhattan Mercury

August 31, 2014



Music with A Cause

Singer-songwriter to raise money for auditorium

Kristina Jackson


Anastasia Richardson joined the cheerleading squad as a freshman in high school but that didn't last long. Richardson was bullied so badly by the other cheerleaders that she went back to her first love- music to help her get through the difficult time. "I started to really concentrate on music," she said . "It made me fool better. It was alittle relief" The experience inspired Richardson, now 17 and starting her senior year, to write music that could help people. "All I'm doing is sharing my music and writing stories people can relate to." she said. Richardson will be releasing her first album this fall. The album will released on Sept 5. For every album sold during the first month (Sept), Richardson will donate $1 to the project to restore the Peace memorial auditorium in Manhattan.


Richardson's musical journey began with the clarinet, but she has since learned to play the guitar, piano and banjo. She's also learning to play the electric auitar, bass guitar and drums. The music she writes is influenced by both pop and country artists like YouTube star Austin Mahone and Taylor Swift. She realized she wanted to do more with her music when she want to a justin Bieber concert and witnessed the way fans reacted to him. "I could see myself up there," Richardson said. "I realized I wanted to change the world through music." As she became more skilled and started writing more songs, she posted viceos of herself to YouTube. Eventually, one of these videos gained the attention of a music producer in Nashville, Tenn., who expressed interest in producing an album with Richardson. She finished recording the album this summer. Richardson's goal is to sell 10,000 albums during September, which would mean $10,000 to the auditorium project. After the first month, Richardson said she plans to recruit other artists to donate money to similar causes. Richardson's mother, Susan Dale, said that when her daughter asked her if she thought this was an attainable goal, she told her she didn't know but they had to give it a try.

She's always had these missions to do the impossible," Dale said.


Richardson first learned of the Peace Memorial Auditorium project from her grnadmother, Randi Dale of Manhattan. Dale had been an advacate for the restoration of the auditorium and told her granddaughter about it while Richardson visited this summer. "I thought. 'Why not try and save it?" Richardson said. "It's good to have a place for people to perform and celebrate the veterans from World War II, or any war, and express thanks."


The effort to restore the auditorium is one of several causes Richard