‘Once’ upon a time, Lane Lee won a song-writing contest

As people sipped their beverages at UW-Green Bay’s Common Grounds Coffee House during a recent Open Mic Night, they may have listened to a local artist whose voice is as heart-melting as the snow on a spring day. From Suring, a small town just northwest of Green Bay, singer and songwriter Lane Lee has been on quite the musical journey.

Lane Lee (his stage name) or Lane Ludtke as he is known by some, has been strumming the guitar since he learned how to walk.

He recently won the “Once” singer/songwriter contest with his original “Runaway Train.” It was a competition, sponsored by the ARTgarage and UWGB’s Weidner Center for the Performing Arts to encourage local singer-songwriters to submit an original song to be judged by a panel of local music experts. As the winner, Lee received priority participation lane-lee-250x250at a music showcase at the ARTgarage, an opportunity to record his song at the Rock Garden Studio in Appleton, Wis. and complimentary tickets to “Once,” the Tony-Award winning musical based on the film of an Irish musician and a Czech immigrant drawn together by their passion for music, which played at the Weidner Center.

It’s the second time he won a singer/songwriter competition on campus. He won a contest a few years ago sponsored by the University Union. But this contest has showcased his talent on a new level. Lee said he is constantly drumming up song ideas, and thought of “Runaway Train” in his free time.

“I see and hear of so many people leaving to far away places, thinking that it will make them happy, and that they are free from everyone else’s views,” he explains. “However, I never really looked at it in that way, and I like the place that I’m from. So I pieced it together and created a story line for it.”

Lee’s passion for music, which he shares with his mom and sister (who both attented UWGB for music), along with his appreciation for a “country setting,” brought him to UW-Green Bay, where he studies music education. Lee is student teaching this semester and will graduate in May 2016. He aspires to be a music educator.

“I really enjoy being a singer and songwriter and working on original music,” he said. “I hope to expand on it and make it a bigger part of my life. One of my dreams is to make writing and performing my original music a career. It’s something that I really enjoy and work hard at, but teaching is also one of my passions. I enjoy sharing what I know with students and getting them involved with everything music has to offer.”

— Photo by Dan Moore, University Photographer

Feature published on March 4, 2016 on the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Website.

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