She sings, she acts, she dances.
Young Morgan Buxton of Port Alberni is an active member of Horn of Oil Ministries congregation, with a lot of skills in the performing arts. She writes her own music, and also plays the guitar. She’s pondering trying to make it on Broadway.
But she’s also thinking of Christian music ministry, emulating the artists she warms up audiences for at the Academy– an Alberni church turned indie music hotspot. Or maybe she’ll be a dance instructor.
At 14, and in still in Grade 9, Morgan has some time to decide.
“My number one goal is to go to performing arts college, where I could study all that stuff– even if I have to major in just one,” she told BCCN.
Horn of Oil pastor Brad Dame said: “She’s a very gifted, very talented young lady.”
Morgan has been performing in one way or another since she was a baby, first as a dancer. When she sang in public at the city’s annual Salmon Festival karaoke contest four years, she said she surprised many. “I think I really shocked my mother,” she noted.
She didn’t win the contest her first time up, but she did on her second; and this past summer, she was hired for a 45-minute gig at the same event.
Most of her singing is at the Academy, which used to be Pastor Dame’s church until his congregation merged with another in 2004. That merger didn’t work out, and Dame began Horn of Oil Ministries– a travelling evangelical project, which spun off into a new, local congregation of about 80 people. It meets in what used to be All Saints Anglican. The original building was turned into the Academy by Dame and his son Dustin; it is a performance space for teenage audiences.
“It’s a way of reaching out to believers and unbelievers,” said Brad Dame. “The performers Dustin brings in are also believers and unbelievers. It’s a way to draw people to Jesus without preaching. In the six years it’s been going, we’ve never had drugs, we’ve never had problems, we’ve never had the police.”
Morgan, who also sings at Horn of Oil services, performs at the Academy– and totally buys into the vision.
“I want to be a Christian artist who is separate and different from other kinds of performers, who is leading a different lifestyle,” she said. “My songs are about what is right and wrong in ordinary life. I want to show that Christians are just ordinary people, who are following a really good cause for God.”
At the Academy she rubbed shoulders with visiting Prairie performers Zach Lucky, Andy Shauf, and B.C. singer Stephanie Macpherson.
Dance, however, is what takes up most of Morgan’s energy, as she trains in ballet, jazz and modern, and is one level away from being a jazz teacher.
At school, she goes early to practice for the band and the dance team; and two noon breaks per week, she rehearses with the school jazz combo.
She comes by her musical talents naturally: people on her father’s side play instruments; and on her mother’s side, several are singers.
Said Brad Dame: “This girl, she could be world-wide. But for now, high school.”