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The Greyhound

Alumna Maria Dontas sets an example for aspiring Loyola musicians

Have you ever listened to such a good song that you just sit back, breathe deep and let the lyrics take you where they want? Well that’s how I felt after hearing this particular Loyola alum’s music on her Soundcloud. Maria Dontas graduated from Loyola in 2012 with a degree in writing, which she took to the next level to create beautifully written original songs. Her talents in writing lyrics are only half of her full package. She also performs her music at various venues.
“Maria is someone who is authentic. She is the same person on stage as she is offstage,” said Maria’s roommate at Loyola, Elizabeth MacAulay, ’12. “She laughs with the audience; she shares everything with the audience. This is the kind of singer who puts her soul into every lyric and note.”
From March to June, Maria had one of her biggest breakthroughs yet as the vocalist on tour with artist Cash Cash, whose most well-known hit is called “Take Me Home” featuring Bebe Rexha. Since Bebe Rexha could not tour, Maria performed this song on tour with Cash Cash.
I, personally, had the great pleasure in seeing one of these performances at the BLI Summer Jam at Jones Beach Theater on Long Island, N.Y.. If you are unaware of how impressive this venue is, you should know that The Who, Paramore, Jimmy Buffet, Backstreet Boys, Maroon 5 and Stevie Nicks also performed there over the past years. Maria also went to the SXSW (South By Southwest) festival in Austin, Texas, the International Dance Music Awards in Miami, the Xfinity Center in Boston for the KISS 108 Concert 2014, the Hershey Theater in Hershey, Pa., and more venues with Cash Cash.
With that in mind Maria explains her music as “a little different from Cash Cash’s. I’m more rock-pop, singer/songwriter. Think Ingrid Michaelson or Sara Bareilles meets Mumford and Sons.”
As for her developed sound, Maria stated “it just kind of happens. You have a list of artists that inspire you and that you listen to both for pleasure and as a form of guidance, and from there you start to train your ear to certain things that speak to you on an instrumental and lyrical level. Then you sort of let that simmer, and the end product is something uniquely yours, but also part of a grander movement.”
So for those of you musicians at Loyola who want to be a part of your own grander movement, following in Maria’s footsteps, there are some things you need to know to achieve this goal.
Maria said: “If there was one thing I could offer as a form of inspiration, it’s that everything I’ve come across on this journey has been the result of a magnetism that stems from a true love of music. So everything I’ve accomplished has been a testament to recognition of hard work and passion. If you work hard, people notice and want to be a part of it. So you always have to be giving it 100%.”
Not only is Maria Dontas a very talented singer/songwriter, she is also very humble about everything she has achieved. Because of her  positive attitude and bravery in this industry, I truly believe that she is going places. Talent can only take you a majority of the way; heart and soul will take you the rest.​

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Alumna Maria Dontas sets an example for aspiring Loyola musicians