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An ‘Idol’ follows her dreams

On Tuesday evening, Northeastern senior music industry major Courtnie Bennett will belt out the national anthem in front of classmates and more than 30,000 baseball fans inside historic Fenway Park.

“I’m so excited,” said Bennett, who earned the honor of singing on Senior Night at Fenway Park by winning the NU Idol competition last month. The ballgame is part of Northeastern’s Senior Week programming.

In the first round of the NU Idol competition, which was held in March, students performed songs of their choosing. Top performers moved on to the second round, in which they had to sing the Star-Spangled Banner.

In the opening round, Bennett sang an a cappella version of Adele’s “One and Only” — at the suggestion of a friend.

“The lyrics really spoke to me,” she said. “A lot of young girls have the experience of love and heartbreak.”

Bennett, who describes herself as a “jazz musician, through and through,” began taking piano lessons at age 7, when her mother noticed her singing ability. At Northeastern, she is part of the Unity Gospel Ensemble, which afforded her the opportunity two years ago to sing with the Boston Pops. She’s also a member of the Northeastern University Choral Society and performs at afterHOURS and other local venues.

But a co-op last year at Reservoir Media Management in New York City really opened her eyes to the music industry. Bennett contacted record labels, researched up-and-coming artists and even got to meet Shaggy, a reggae artist who offered advice on the business side of the music industry and encouraged her to follow her own mind and heart.

“It was a great opportunity to see how the music business works and to get a better understanding of how to place yourself and your music, and the kinds of people you need to meet,” she said.

After graduation, Bennett plans to move to New York to build her music career.

“My experiences at Northeastern have made me an all-around better person and a better musician,” she said. “I’m ready for a bigger pond.”

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