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Kirsten Joy visits KC


It’s not every day that a guest speaker walks into the Countess of Wessex Theatre in black stilettos and an orange tracksuit. This Monday we opened our doors to true talent and inspiration when we welcomed singer-songwriter Kirsten Joy, lead vocalist for Clean Bandit.

Raised in Kent, Kirsten has been “singing for as long as I can remember” and grew her talent singing in church and with the ACM Gospel Choir. At 26, she rose to fame in the first ever series of The Voice, and has since performed live globally with artists including Kylie Minogue, Ollie Murs, Leona Lewis and Rita Ora, as well as fronting Clean Bandit in their live, TV and radio performances since 2016.

Perhaps Kirsten’s biggest performance yet was when she performed ‘Symphony’ in front of the Queen and royal family on Commonwealth Day:

“I was so nervous, my leg was shaking!” she confided.

No one noticed. Her royal performance was so good it got Prince Harry bobbing his head on camera, prompting a stern glance from the Duchess of Sussex – not something that you often see in Westminster Abbey.

Our Whole Prep School Choir opened the KC event, performing Clean Bandit’s ‘Symphony’ to Kirsten, who was “really moved” by our harmonies, our movement sequences and (most importantly) the heart and soul we put in to performing; as she put it, “it’s the feeling you bring to a song that makes it a success…”.  After hearing her advice on how to deliver a great performance, Kirsten sang Bob Dylan’s ‘To Make You Feel My Love’ made popular more recently by Adele, accompanied by Mrs Pears on piano, and then ‘Symphony’ itself, supported spontaneously by KC pupils in the audience on backing vocals.

With pupils from Years 7 and 8 joining us for the morning, this was a unique opportunity to get first hand advice on how to grow your talent and achieve your dream:

“Getting into the music business doesn’t just happen,” she told us. “You’ve got to work hard at it, and do some more ordinary things, before you reach your ultimate goal and get to do the more glamorous work.”

So, if you think a career in singing, or any kind of performance, might be for you, remember Kirsten’s message: “reach for the stars, but be prepared to work with grit and determination along the way, because talent alone is not enough”. Thank you, Kirsten – we can’t think of a nicer, or more talented, visitor to share this important message.

Written by Mrs Hawker 

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Posted: 24/06/2019 at 11:38
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