‘Music is a part of her life:’ Sophomore Natalie Raine earns first gig in Wichita


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Natalie Raine follows her passion for music at Wichita State, playing at the music department on campus as well as local areas such as Fairmount Coffee.

As soon as Wichita State sophomore Natalie Raine could walk, she was introduced to music. Her passion for music only grew stronger as years passed.

Raine has developed skills playing piano, guitar, clarinet, cajon and ukulele. Her main focus is on guitar and piano.

Raine’s main instrument has been the piano, but after joining the praise team at Sunrise Christian Academy, she picked up the guitar and continued to roll with it.

“I started with chord charts playing guitar in church the summer after my freshman year in high school and have since then played keys or guitar with five different praise teams/worship groups,” Raine said. “Just having a basis in piano makes anything music related super interesting and like, super easy.”

When Raine began her journey as WSU in the fall of 2020, she was a business major. But after a while, she realized how much she missed music.

“She (Fuller) was amazing and she really helped me find that passion for music,” Raine said. “Seeing how much she enjoyed it and how much fun she had teaching it just helped me really dive into the depths of music and everything related to it. I decided to eat, sleep and breathe music at that point.”

Raine decided to become a music major. Within her degree plan, Raine has learned a wide variety of music and theory that has helped her progress her skill. Raine hopes to become an elementary school music teacher after graduation.

“If you start kids really early with music, you can find out what their passion is,” Raine said. “Or, if that’s not their thing [music], they could still learn to enjoy it, and you can help them learn how to have fun with it. The fine arts, I think, are very important for kids to learn and really boost the creative mind.”

Raine continues to develop her craft playing gigs around Sedgwick county — about once or twice a month — for about a year and WSU’s Christian Challenge for two semesters.

Raine keeps a busy schedule as a weekly performer at Christian Challenge.

“I think the team is what really keeps me motivated to keep doing it,” Raine said. “As much as I love music I don’t think it would be the same without a great praise team.”

Raine was invited to perform her first gig in Wichita at Fairmount Coffee. She said she is hopeful for future gigs in the city.

“Gigs have been a new thing for me, I did my first one with Denae at Norm’s Coffee in Newton almost exactly a year ago which is what really kick-started my solo gig career,” Raine said.

Denae Sawyer is a sophomore at WSU who has performed numerous gigs with her mother as a violist. Raine and Sawyer’s dynamic worked well together with two completely different instruments — a classical viola and a contemporary guitar and piano.

“Music is a part of her life,” Sawyer said. “You can’t talk about her as just a musician or just a person because they’re one in the same.”