Fresh Voices: McDonald & Modig
Fresh from her 2021 appearance on NBC’s The Voice, Ryleigh Modig brings her special talents to Southwest Florida to perform on the Gulf Coast Symphony’s Fresh Voices series at the Music and Arts Community Center. Ryleigh was inspired to get into music by her father, who plays in a band. She grew up with a quirky sense of style and, sadly, was relentlessly bullied throughout school. After switching to homeschooling her junior year of high school, she felt free to focus on her music and finally be herself. Shortly after leaving school, Ryleigh came out as a lesbian and received full support from her family and friends. She is currently learning the piano and ukulele, and she enjoys tarot card reading. Ryleigh hopes to use her music to encourage others to embrace their individuality.
A singer-songwriter from Huntsville, Alabama, Paul McDonald is now based in Nashville, and has appeared on stages around the country and in Europe. McDonald placed 8th on the tenth season of American Idol and since 2005, he has been the lead singer of the band Hightide Blues, renamed The Grand Magnolias in 2010. Often compared to legends like Rod Stewart and Tom Petty, the poetic story-driven narratives and deeply catchy hooks in his music are delivered by a raspy yet refined voice reminiscent of another era yet that demands to be heard right now.