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Elkader native Sophia Landis is pursuing her dream of a music career.

By Pat McTaggart

Freelance Writer


Music has been in Sophia Landis’ life for as long as she can remember. The 24 year-old Elkader native began piano lessons at the age of three.

“We had group lessons after pre-school,” she said.  “I seemed to pick it up pretty quick.”

Singing was also part of her early life. “I always liked to sing,” she recalled. “My first public performance was in the children’s choir for a performance of ‘Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat’ at the Elkader Opera House.”  She performed in about 20 different shows at the Opera House, as well as at her high school, during her school years.

Sophia widened her musical horizon by playing percussion instruments in the Central Community School band. “I also learned to play a lot of other instruments,” she said. “My parents (Bruce and Betty Landis, Elkader) were very supportive. They bought different instruments at garage sales, and brought them home so I could try them out. I even learned to play the accordion. Now, since I am focused on producing music I’m just focusing on the piano, which is my primary instrument.”

Her music really became focused when she saw Paul McCartney in concert in 2013. “Listening to him sing made me think about how his music changed and inspired the world,” she recalled. “I would like to do the same thing with my music.”

As fate would have it, Landis met some people in the area that not only had a studio in their house, but had their own personal equipment, with one having a degree in audio engineering. They got together and decided to put out Sophia’s music on a professional level.

“I write the lyrics and the music,” she said.  “I get inspired in different ways. Sometimes I just get a tune in my head and then write the lyrics to it.  At other times, I think of lyrics that just have to come out and then put them to music. Sometimes I can do an entire song in an hour.  Other times I get halfway through, and then wait for months to finish it.”

She has performed a few shows in Iowa City and recently sang at the Strawberry Point Aquatic Center Gala.  She will perform May 9 as part of Elkader’s Music and Monarchs celebration and Strawberry Point has invited her back to perform June 13 at Strawberry Days.

Landis has a demo album out called EPiphany.  The music and lyrics she produces are haunting and clearly come from the heart.  Her songs can be heard for free at  “I always offer my music for free,” she said, but you can also purchase the album at”

Sophia said her long term goal is to make a positive difference in the world with music. Her advice to others is simple.  “If anyone has a dream to make the world a better place, please follow it.”

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