Senior profile: Addie Gaither-Ganim


photo by Trevor Currie

Addie Gaither-Ganim wears black pants and black boots, a white and black t-shirt with a Beatles print on it and a cinched cargo jacket. Dark eyeliner rims her blue eyes, and her medium-length, dark red hair frames her face. She’s got a pair of earbuds hanging out of her bag, playing a muted song. Addie wants to be a part of music. She’s known it for years. Growing up, she was surrounded by music; her dad is in a band, so she always knew it had to be part of her life.

“You can’t stay here forever,” Addie said. “I’m really going to miss everyone, but it’s time to move forward.”

Addie has been involved in music since she was a kid, which is why she is going to Columbia College. It started from hearing her dad play through her bedroom air vents, then she started learning instruments of her own.

“I started with piano lessons first,” Addie said. “I had a certain teacher I didn’t jive with super well, so I stopped. A lot of this stuff was off and on, but when I was in 4th grade that’s when I picked up the guitar.”

Addie has been accepted to two universities: Columbia College in Chicago and Millikin in Decatur, Ill. She’s also waiting to hear back from the New School in New York City. According to her, Columbia is the perfect balance between staying close to home and getting some independence.

“Right now, I’m leaning toward Columbia,” Addie said. “Hopefully I can make that happen without taking out massive student loans that will cripple me for the rest of my life.”

Addie wants to major in music, learn about production and the business side in the industry while also improving her own work. She said she knows being a performer isn’t the best career move, but she’d like to keep working on her music for the rest of her life. Preferably, Addie said she wants to work on music with others while still doing ‘solo work’ on the side.

“I won’t be a starving musician, hopefully,” she said.

According to her boyfriend, Logan Furey, senior, she’s been talented for a long time. He said she has always been humble about her achievements in music.

“I think she did spend a lot of time not being confident about it, too,” Logan said. “It’s funny, listening to some of the recordings she’s made from middle school. I mean, she’s awesome, even then, and she’s really into it.”

Addie took choir in middle school, and since then she’s been in four of KHS’s six choirs, including both vocal jazz ensembles, Kaleidoscope and Prism. She also takes music theory.

Addie plays with her band, A Rare Shade of Red, along with her brother at her mom's wedding.
photo by Krista Rose, courtesy of Addie Gaither-Ganim
Addie plays with her band, A Rare Shade of Red, along with her brother at her mom’s wedding.

“I really enjoy being in a band,” Addie said. “It makes me a better musician. When I’m by myself, I rely on only what I know, and that can be really limiting. When you’re working with other people though, the music just has more life because you have knowledge from every single person coming into this song. It makes it so much better.”

Addie said these dreams aren’t always apparent from the outside. Addie said she is characteristically shy, and said she didn’t come out of her shell until this year. She said she wants people to know how much she has cared about her time at KHS, and she wishes she had opened up earlier.

“My whole life, especially in school, I’ve been a pretty shy person,” Addie said. “People don’t really see past that. Maybe I come off as standoffish. But that’s not who I am at all. I want people to know there’s a lot more to me than just a shy person that doesn’t talk a lot.”