Musicians Stacie Ray and Adam McCluskey sang with a guitar on Southeastern’s campus on March 22 for Women Mean Business.
Ray and McCluskey played outside the Student Union while they waited to perform for Women Mean Business, an event co-hosted by Tangipahoa Parish Women and Southeastern Small Business Development Center.
Ray and McCluskey classify their music style as “contemporary christian.” However, their songs aren’t just for religious individuals. Ray said the music they’re performing for Women Mean Business include empowering and encouraging songs, relatable to anyone.
Ray and McCluskey met through a college ministry at Woodland Park Baptist church, where Ray was head of the church band.
“I met him…and we had to have him in our band,” said Ray.
Although Ray and McCluskey no longer play at the same church, the pair has been performing together for 10 years at events such as Women Mean Business.
The vice president of Southeastern Small Business Development Center asked Ray to play for the event. Sandy Summers, the assistant director of the organization, said Ray works for the vice president, and she (the vice president) knows Ray is talented. Ray then asked McCluskey to perform with her.
Ray and McCluskey enjoy performing, although for different reasons. Ray said music allows her to express herself, gets her in or out of a mood, and lets her be in her own space. Ray further explained that music is her ministry. She normally sings christian songs so her ministry is bringing Christ to others.
McCluskey said he appreciates performing because it gives him an outlet to be social without having to be too social.
“I’m a big introvert,” McCluskey said, “performing lets me be around people and be comfortable.”
The musicians each found their love for music at a young age. Ray said growing up, her family was musically oriented. Her mother played the piano, and her grandfather was part of a gospel quartet called The Fishermen. Ray and her family also sang together for church. Having a musical family made it natural for Ray to discover her musical ability and appreciation.
McCluskey said he started his musical journey in fifth grade when he played the trombone for his school’s marching band. He originally got involved with the band so he wouldn’t have to participate in P.E., but the band made him realize his passion for music. McCluskey later learned to play guitar.
McCluskey is currently recording “contemporary christian” covers for his album. Besides recording, McCluskey plans to continue to play locally.
“I’d like to have an album one day,” Ray said. “But for now I’m going to keep singing in the community.”