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January 23, 2013 : VIDEO/PICTURES: Ohio University Lancaster Graduate Pursuing Singing Career in Nashville

Video above: Martin starts singing at the 4:20 mark.

- Cheri Russo
Communications and Marketing Manager

Lancaster – An Ohio University Lancaster graduate plans to start work soon on her master's degree, but she only plans to use the degrees if her singing career falls through. Melissa Michelle Martin of Lancaster graduated in December with a bachelor's degree in Communication Studies. She was able to complete the degree while traveling back and forth to Nashville every other week to go after her dream in the country music business.


"I've never really had the personality to move to a strange city on my own," said Martin. "It just worked to travel there every couple of weeks and go after my singing dream that way."


Michelle Martin


Martin got her first break in Nashville at the age of 19. The singer/songwriter was asked to appear on a TV show called "Nashville Spotlight." The show features up and coming artists.


"It was really exciting for me at the time," said Martin.


Recently, Martin recorded an album while in Nashville called "Take My Hand." It contains the best songs that Martin felt she had written up until that point. Martin has not been signed by a record label. She recorded the album in the fall of 2012 with the help of some student audio engineers.


"I didn't start to do a whole lot of singing outside of church until I got out of high school," said Martin."Right now, I want to work on a worship project and move into more Christian music."


Martin plans to start her Communications master's degree program next fall. She said she is getting the degree because she knows that the dream of becoming a singer may not work out the way she hopes.


"I want to make sure I'll have a job," said Martin. "The bachelor's degree has helped me a lot with marketing. I really enjoy that part of the music business, trying to brand myself. So, it's been really helpful so far."