Profile: Kelly Murray

By Megan Murphy
The Greene Team

In the summer heat from noon until the sun set, Kelly Murray listened to three songs by “Four Year Strong,” then rushed to hear a few tunes by “Mayday Parade.” Finally, she ran to catch the last few numbers by “I See Stars,” one of dozens of bands she watched in action at Van’s Warped Tour at Nassau Coliseum in July.

Kelly Murray

Kelly Murray

For Murray, a 16-year-old senior at East Islip High School and music editor for The Broadcaster, music is much more than just a passion — it’s freedom.

Listening to music frees her from the stresses of everyday life, she said.

“Music is pretty much an escape,” Murray said during an interview at the Robert W. Greene Summer Institute for High School Journalists. “When you listen to the right type of band and song at the right time, it’s all of your feelings put into one.”

Murray faces more than the normal stresses that most teenagers face daily.

Doctors diagnosed her mom with breast cancer when Murray was 14 years old. The news overwhelmed the entire family, including her two older brothers and her older sister; it impacted Kelly the most, she said.

But Murray turned to music to cope.

She heard through her ear buds, “Wake the angels, tell them that she’s not scared, she won’t be taking the next flight out of here,” the lyrics of the song, “Tell Them She’s Not Scared,” an energetic and uplifting ballad about battling breast cancer by Envy On The Coast.

The group is one of her favorite bands to turn to when she needs a break. With the help of music, Murray overcame her stresses and helped her mom with whatever she needed.

The aspiring writer for Alternative Press Magazine first hit the music scene when she was five years old at Jones Beach Theater in Wantagh, to see “Hanson.” Ever since then, music has been an important part of her life.

These days, the majority of Murray’s wardrobe consists of jean shorts and band T-shirts. Samantha Lacovara, a friend of Murray, said, “Kelly’s passion for music is apparent within the first few seconds of meeting her.”

Kelly said she plans on writing a review of Van’s Warped Tour when she returns to school in the fall.

Bouncing from band to band at the concert was all in a day’s work, Murray said.

“The lineup this year was pretty good,” she said. “It just didn’t feel as good.”