Auburn alumna Harper Grae returning for halftime performances against Georgia, Alabama

Published: November 08, 2019
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Auburn alumna Harper Grae has made quite the name for herself since graduating in 2012 with a degree in musical theatre and religious studies. Grae has performed at the Country Music Awards Fest, been named by Rolling Stone as one of the next artists to watch, made a guest appearance on the Bobby Bones Show and has been added to CMT’s Artist Discovery program. Her favorite accomplishment, however, might be the work she’s doing with her alma mater.

Grae is teaming up with the Auburn University Marching Band to perform during halftime of the Georgia and Alabama football games this season. Grae and the Auburn band will present their show, “Woodstock,” recognizing the 50th anniversary of the historic music festival. The show will include selections from Janis Joplin, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Blood, Sweat and Tears and Jefferson Airplane.

She said performing at Auburn and with the marching band is a dream. The path to success in Nashville, however, has been one of vulnerability and courage.

Grae’s music career has taken her many places. She spent time in Los Angeles. where she landed a role on “Glee Project 2.” She said the experience opened her eyes to how God’s love is equal to each and every person, and it is reflected in her new name. Born Shanna Henderson, Grae changed her first name to her grandparent’s last name, and she changed her last name to an acronym for “God redeems all equally.”

“My family has stuck along right beside me through every dream, setback, success, cry, laugh—you name it,” she said. “I wouldn’t be where I am today without them.”

She now lives in Nashville where she is surrounded by a close knit group of singers and songwriters. A chance meeting with radio personality Bobby Bones led to a guest appearance on his show, and it’s an experience that she said had a profound impact on her.

“The biggest impact was experiencing a guy in the industry keeping his word,” she said. “The music industry is fickle, but Bobby wasn’t. He is who he is and that impacted me far beyond only being an artist. Be a good person … and people will be good to you.”

Like many Auburn alumni, Grae’s favorite memory is Kick Six—the 2013 Iron Bowl when Auburn beat Alabama with one second left on the clock.

“How can any memory ever surpass running onto the field after we beat Bama?” she recalled. In a few weeks, when Grae takes the stage during halftime of the Iron Bowl, she may have a new favorite memory.

Auburn University is a nationally ranked land grant institution recognized for its commitment to world-class scholarship, interdisciplinary research with an elite, top-tier Carnegie R1 classification and an undergraduate education experience second to none. Auburn is home to more than 30,000 students, and its faculty and research partners collaborate to develop and deliver meaningful scholarship, science and technology-based advancements that meet pressing regional, national and global needs. Auburn's commitment to active student engagement, professional success and public/private partnership drives a growing reputation for outreach and extension that delivers broad economic, health and societal impact. Auburn's mission to educate, discover and collaborate drives its expanding impact on the world.