So apparently today is Neil Youngs birthday. It’s all over my news feed. More importantly thought, it’s Graciana Hollands birthday. Our little song bird turns 17 today!
This ride wouldn’t be what it is without our daughter, Graciana. She is a bright star and we are so blessed to share family life, music and this nomadic journey with her.
Some children play basketball, soccer, or other sports, participate in art or poetry competitions, are science guru’s, 4-H, boy scouts, etc… Our daughter sings! A little history and some proud moments…
Graciana Holland has always had a song in her mouth and began singing publicly with her mother, Jana Holland, when she was nine years old. Her first appearances on the stage featured cameo’s for Jana’s original songs as well as sharing the stage with her grandmother leading old spirituals. Her natural talent for harmony was extraordinary and her poise on stage was developed beyond her years.
At the age of 12, Graciana joined Mother/Father duo, The Hollands!, recording thier 2009, “To Holland, With Love” album. She was in 8th grade and wrote her own harmonies to Arise Ye Sons and Daughters, a song that embodies The Hollands! philosophy of “one love, that when one falls, we all fall and when one is honored, we’re all honored.”
She also offered contributions on the Glockenspiel, an instrument on loan from her band teacher. Graciana wrote parts on songs Winter by the Bay and The Shack. She began to tour with her family, performing in the Midwestern regional market.
Two years later, The Hollands! released, Ashes to Beauty, an album that chronicled the love, loss and reconciliation in marriage. Although a heavy topic, this album included more of Graciana’s harmonies and her role in the band was becoming more established. She was beginning to take more responsibility on stage and off, specifically helping her brother, the youngest Holland, find his place in the band.
The Hollands! toured with this album across the US, breaking new ground in the Plains states, Pacific North West, the coast of California, the Southwest and the Rocky Mountains. And, then, with two albums under their belts, The Hollands! sold everything, bought a bus and hit the road. touring full-time, including Australia.
The two younger Hollands, found themselves with more time on their hands. Homeschooling offered a fresh outlet for music and over the next two years, Graciana would learn new instruments, hone her writing skills, develop a confidence on stage and find a powerful voice that could move listeners to tears.
In April of 2013 The Hollands! released Over Land and Leas. This album would not only include Graciana’s harmonies, but her song writing, guitar work and lead vocals as well. In fact, it was her song, Over Land and Leas that ended up becoming the title track on the album. Her song, Lanie Done Did, a murder ballet, became an instant hit on Public Radio stations across the US, Europe and Australia. In May, Graciana showcased those songs at the South East Regional Folk Alliance Conference.
As band mates, we are so proud of Graciana for her committment to this gift and although the future is unknown, we look forward to whatever may be in store for her. As parents, our hope is that our little song bird will spread her wings and fly higher than she ever imagined, whether she is singing in the privacy of her own room or through or microphone. Our hope is that she will have learned through all of this hard work, that success is not measured by fame or fortune but by a peace of mind, joyful spirit, grounded soul and willingness to share our gifts even if there is no return.
Happy Birthday daughter!! We love you.