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Gervais' Anastasia Snegirev balances school life with a budding music career

Photo Credit: PHOTO COURTESY OF PAULA ANNE - Gervais resident Anastasia Snegirev, who goes by the stage name Anastasia Destiny, performs for a crowd of thousands at the Chinese New Year celebration at Monterey Park, Calif., in February. Anastasia has been performing up and down the West Coast over the past year and will be singing at the Elsinore Theater in Salem Oct. 25.Gervais High School junior Anastasia Snegirev has a pretty heavy load as the first term of the 2014-15 school year nears its halfway point. The vice president of the school’s associated student body, Snegirev also is Gervais FFA chapter secretary, president of the Art and Music Club and involved in the Mr. and Mrs. Gervais Pageant, all while working a part-time job and maintaining a 4.0 grade point average with an AP class load.

Oh, and she’s flying down to California in October to record the first tracks of her EP for her budding career as a pop music singer under the name Anastasia Destiny.

“Right now, we’re creating relationships with record companies,” her grandmother and manager Paula Anne said. “Once three or four songs are completed, they’ll be shopping those three songs while she works on the rest of her EP.”

Destiny has long been a performer at heart and has known for years that she wanted to pursue a career in the music industry.

“This is just what I love to do,” she said. “I love to perform in front of people. I love to act.”

When she entered high school and her peers began thinking seriously about what kind of careers they want to pursue after graduation, she was at a bit of a crossroad.

“I was like, ‘I don’t know what I like to do, except to sing,” Destiny said.

So she consulted with her grandmother, who boasts a long resume as a band manager. Anne agreed to take her on as a client, provided she showed legitimate desire to commit and hone her skills as a singer and songwriter.

Anne said her granddaughter’s talent as a performer dates back to her preschool days when she was 4.

“She’d take songs on the radio and sing them from memory in Russian to my mother,” Anne said. “It was crazy how she was doing that.”

Anne made Destiny wait several years to make sure she was ready, and the two began to pursue the music career in earnest this year.

Destiny has been taking vocal lessons from Katie Riggs, daughter of legendary vocal coach Seth Riggs, and has been collaborating with producer Steve Venezuela on the first tracks of her new EP.

“(Steve is) working on my single and a few more coming out,” Destiny said. “I’m flying out in October to do the recording and mastering.”

Anne, meanwhile has been doing the heavy lifting behind the scenes, contacting record companies while getting Destiny practice by booking her to perform at various venues on the west coast.

Destiny’s biggest concert to date was at the Chinese New Year celebration at Monterey Park, Calif., in February.

“That was probably the biggest,” Destiny said, estimating the crowd at several thousand. “There was a parade going by and they seriously stopped it and just stood there to watch, and I was like, ‘Oh my God, this is crazy.’”

Destiny has continued performing throughout the year and will next take the stage on Oct. 25 at the Elsinore Theater in Salem, where she will be performing with tribute artists Michael Knight (Michael Jackson) and Joseph Hall (Elvis Presley).

Her concert dates have been intermittent throughout the year, as Anne wants to make sure Destiny is committed to finishing her high school education.

“I could be playing her out as often as I want, but school takes a precedence for her,” Anne said. “She works so hard for this that I want to make sure she completes (school) so she always has a backup plan.”

The performance at Elsinore will be the first live show for Destiny with a band and backup dancers. At this point, she has been singing covers while she works with Venezuela on her original work.

“I’ll give him an idea of how I want it structurally,” she said. “He takes it and he creates something with it, and I might be like, ‘No I want drums here,’ or ‘I don’t want guitar here.’”

Once the songs are produced, she’ll provide the music to her band to perform with her. The performance at Elsinore will be something of a live practice for her as she prepares for the release of her EP, hopefully, by spring.

While Destiny and Anne are gearing up for a busy year in 2015 if Destiny gets signed and her music career blossoms, it comes with the knowledge that success could require some sacrifices in her senior year at Gervais.

“If things go well with my EP and single, and a label decides to sign me, that’s when we talk about home-schooling, because I can’t be going to a public school when I’m trying to do this.”

While it would be a sacrifice, it’s one Destiny has been preparing to make for a long time now.

Recordings of Destiny’s covers can be found on and

Phil Hawkins covers sports and the city of Gervais. He can be reached at [email protected] or 503-765-1194.

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