Benet Academy’s Lauren Hunter selected to the Gibson Generation Group program

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A Benet Academy senior is on her way to rock star status after she was recently accepted to a prestigious program in the music world.

In December 2023, Lauren Hunter was selected to join the Gibson Generation Group (G3) Class of 2025. The two-year program led by Gibson Brands aims to help young guitarists, songwriters, and music creators hone their craft and work with established figures in the industry.

Hunter called her inclusion the “most unbelievable feeling in the world.”

“It’s just such an honor, especially because Gibson is the biggest brand in rock and guitars,” said Hunter. “It would be a dream come true at any point in my life to be sponsored by Gibson. But especially when I’m only 17 and it’s the start of my whole career.”

The 2025 G3 is led by Texas-based singer, songwriter Emily Wolfe and Toby Lee, a blues guitar player from London. Hunter is excited to learn from them with the other eight artists selected to the program.

“They have so much to offer me and there’s so much that we can do working together to progress my music and my abilities,” said Hunter.

Hunter picks up a pick during the pandemic

During her early years, Hunter dabbled in the piano, cello, and singing choirs, but didn’t find a true musical connection.

“I never really played guitar, I only knew a couple of chords,” said Hunter.

Rather than an instrument, Hunter found her success on the volleyball court. She was on Benet’s varsity team as a freshman, but several injuries kept her on the sidelines. Eventually, Hunter was out of the game for good.

In search of a new hobby during the COVID-19 pandemic, Hunter decided to jump-start her musical journey with a Gibson guitar her family got her when she was 15.

“One of my friends was teaching me a lot and I was just practicing a ton,” said Hunter. “Then, I really got way more into music and it became important to me.”

Hunter rocks the stage with the Foo Fighters

It didn’t take long for the Benet student to find her way around the guitar. After her freshman year, she got the opportunity to share the stage with her favorite band – the Foo Fighters.

Hunter said the experience was “the most incredible day of her life.”

“It just totally changed my whole perspective on everything,” said Hunter. “And it gave me so much confidence… To meet my biggest inspiration of music and perform with a band that’s huge in front of 20,000 people, it just showed me this is possible.”

Along with the Foo Fighters, Hunter has several musical inspirations, including The Rolling Stones and the Grateful Dead. But she considers lead guitarist for the Foos Chris Shiflett to be one of her biggest influences. 

She got a chance to talk with him after attending a solo concert of his a few months later with her family.

“(Shiflett) actually recognized me in the crowd from when I played with him with the Foo (Fighters),” said Hunter. “He was super supportive and had a lot of great advice.”

Her musical education didn’t stop there, as she spent some time on the west coast later that summer.

“We got to work for a week in (Los Angeles) and write tons of songs at the GRAMMY Museum and meet different artists and people,” said Hunter. “That was a huge opportunity to perform there and learn from people.”

Balancing school and music

As Hunter’s musical aspirations continued into her senior year at Benet, she’s thankful for the school’s support.

“The administration, the staff at Benet, and all my teachers have been so incredible,” said Hunter. “And just from the big changes that have happened in my life, everybody has stayed supportive through all of it.”

She admitted it took time to adapt to her new schedule.

“With sports, you have set practice times and tournaments, and you have a schedule that’s cemented for a while,” said Hunter. “I really just have been practicing a ton of guitar, write tons of songs, and I record and produce a lot of my own music.”

Hunter creates original music

What started as a way to pass time during the pandemic has now blossomed into a promising musical career, and Hunter is excited to take her next step through the G3 program.

She hopes to release original music to stream soon, but in the meantime, she’s cherishing every second of the journey.

“I love writing songs from personal experiences, and I feel like it’s such a powerful way to create art, and have a connection with people,” said Hunter. “Being able to write a song about a certain feeling or experience and have people relate to it, I just think (that) is super cool.”

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