Runnels student returns to showcase _lowres

Photo submitted -- Runnels High School senior Kara Peneguy performs at the House of Blues in New Orleans.

Runnels High School senior Kara Peneguy will transform into her performance pseudonym “Silence is Noise” Tuesday for a performance at the teen showcase Bringin’ Down The House — New Orleans. Peneguy snagged first place in a competitive portion of the series in December 2013 and was selected to perform this year.

“I was by myself — everyone else was in a group,” Peneguy said. “I was very intimidated, very scared. When I got on stage, I was shaking. It was one of the first times in my life that I got on stage and really performed.”

A program of the House of Blues Music Forward Foundation — an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering unity and creating opportunity through music — just six artists were chosen out of more than 4,000 national submissions.

“I’m really nervous this year,” Peneguy said.

She said the 2013 competition was a one-day event, but this year, the event gave young artists the opportunity to attend workshops and the like over the course of four weekends, all of which has built anticipation for Peneguy.

Peneguy identifies as a singer-songwriter who performs blues-inspired music on the order of Norah Jones, someone she said she admires. Like Jones, she plays the piano, and has been doing so since she was 6.

“I don’t necessarily write my story, I think about other people and write about how I think they feel,” she said. “I try to write what I think people want to hear.”

Even though she plays specifically for her listeners, Peneguy said she really didn’t think she would win that first title. But now she’s gunning for a second chance to wow audience.

“Honestly, I kind of want to build a fan base,” she said. “I would like people to know about my music, basically, exposure.”

In 2013 Pengeguy’s first place prize package included a drum set, a bass guitar, an electric guitar, a Guitar Center gift card, an Xbox and a recording studio session.

Peneguy hopes to use the song she recorded from that studio session on an EP once she’s had the chance to professionally record more music.

During her regular teen life, the young musician leads worship service for the student ministry at Istrouma Baptist Church. She has performed at school talent shows and was an intern at Tipitina’s Foundation under the tutelage of Chris Thomas King. She will continue her musical path this fall at Loyola University, where she will double-major in popular and commercial music and international business.

Bringin’ Down The House — New Orleans will begin at 5:30 p.m., and also features Fre$ha, N’iya, The Other LA, Twinspan and When All Is Lost. Peneguy has 500 free tickets available for the show. Email for a list of pick up locations.