Walking into Heartland Mall, shoppers have been greeted with the sounds of Christmas music playing over the intercom since the holiday season started. But lately, shoppers have been treated to the sounds of live music.
With her violin and bow in hand, Sara Hamric plays song after song at center court for tips. While visiting her father, Jonathan Rodriquez of Brownwood, the freshman at Wayland Baptist University in Lubbock hopes to raise enough money to pay the remaining balance of next semester's tuition.
"I have never done anything like this before," Hamric said. "I got the idea from my friend Trey, who told me that's how he helped pay for school."
Hamric, a music education major, needs to raise $1,217.21 to complete her payment for the 18-hour semester, and has made $210 in three days.
"The shoppers have responded well to my music," Hamric said. "As they pass by, they smile and tell me that I'm doing a good job."
Hamric learned how to play the violin when she was 7, after her mother asked her which instrument she wanted to play.
"I always wanted to play the violin," Hamric said. " A couple of years later, I started to learn how to play the clarinet."
Hamric's mother, Genevieve Hamric of El Paso, was a professional clarinet player and played for the United States Army Band.
"The Army band doesn't have strings," Hamric said. "I want to play for the Air Force symphony - the orchestra that plays in the pit when the president comes out."
Hamric plays a mix of gospel, country and Christmas songs along with a few fiddle tunes like the "Devil Went Down to Georgia." Hamric will continue to play at the mall until Christmas, and possibly a few days during January before heading back to Lubbock for classes.
"I like playing for people and cheering them up," Hamric said. "So when I play Christmas music, it tends to cheer some people up."