Where I Met Kathleen
I first met Kathy when I was calling for an RSVP for an educational seminar I was hosting. Kathie was heading out of town for a competition it turned out and when I found out she was part of a 110 woman chorus I immediately knew I wanted to interview her. We meet at a Starbucks coffee and I found out Kathie was even more interesting than I’d originally imagined!
What I Really Like About Kathy
As we began our visit with the normal small talk, I quickly realized that there were many layers to Kathy and I was going to have to pull some of it out of her. Kathy also has very vibrant and clear eyes and felt like someone I wanted to be around. Kathy also got right to the point asking me what I was going to get out of this interview. I explained that I am building my connections in town and I also wanted to share her story and add to the positive publicity of her organization.
Kathy is originally from Montana and she remembered when she was in the eighth grade socials studies class discussing that Alaska and Hawaii may soon become states. While in college she interviewed for a teaching position in Alaska and then on March 27, 1963 there was the big earthquake. At this time there was no such thing as email so Kathy assumed the job was no longer on the table. Surprised, Kathy was contacted by the interviewer who said something to the effect of “if you have any courage at all, we still have kids to teach.” In her own act of courage, Kathy’s mom (of 16 kids) drove up to Alaska with Kathy when she didn’t even know how to drive herself.
Kathy was a teacher and then eventually became a principle of a middle school. One day a kid showed up at the school with a gun in his pocket. After an eternally long discussion during which the child knew Kathy knew he had a gun, the kid pulled the gun from his pocket. Kathy said she had no idea if he was going to hand her the gun or shoot her. A week later she decided it was time to retire and open the next chapter of her life.
Kathy had been singing all her life and while in Alaska one of her friends suggested Kathy check out the group called the Sweet Adelines. Kathy was looking for either a singing or public speaking opportunity and she went to check it out. All of the ladies in the chorus were wearing short navy blue dresses with pearls and were the most fabulous sounding group she’d heard. Kathy’s husband basically vetoed the chorus because he thought it would take too much time. But, Kathy put her toe in the water, one meeting at a time and it was well worth the journey.
Kathy had two kids one of whom still lives in Alaska.
My Ideal Client…
Sweet Adeline's was founded in 1948 with a vision to “Harmonize the World.” Kathy directs the Colorado Springs Sweet Adeline’s called
the Velvet Hills but is also a
past president of this international organization. The chorus sings barbershop style in quartets
in addition to the entire chorus. The
Colorado Springs Chapter has been ranked as high as 5th in the world
of over 650 choruses in 14 countries and
is competing again regionally right now.
Any woman who loves to sing is welcomed to come and try out to be in Velvet Hills. Kathy will do a scale exercise and have the auditioned sing Happy Birthday to see if they can do the scale change. There is private instruction available for someone who really wants to sing and the members and musical leaders of Velvet Hills really want women to succeed.
Once a year there is a membership drive and this includes four voice free lessons. Rehearsals are on Monday nights and the group is active with social media, has a website and holds a regular bingo game. The chorus has been here in The Springs for 47 years!
Says Kathy, “So, the ideal chorus member loves to sing and likes education and is able to hold their part, singing four-part a cappella music. Age and weight do not matter. We hug indiscriminately and we believe it is important to do something for you. Our practice sessions are about bringing joy and being present and centered in the moment.”
3 SECRETS of my Personal Success
1. Have self-confidence and achievement
2. Knowing my people. As a leader I take the time to really know all of my people and what makes them different building mutual respect
3. CPR (Choose Personal Responsibility)
1 Great Recommendation for the Next Person
Find something for yourself outside your normal life—open up to the possibilities.
My biggest financial question/concern
Take the time to know the true value of what you pay for in life. It’s not always about what it costs but what you get for your investment. For example, in the chorus it costs $45/month but when you look at the way the club helps pay for travel and food, etc you come out way ahead. Compare the joy you get from an activity to other clubs you may join and compare there, too.
I enjoy meeting with people and learning about their financial desires and challenges. Please visit my website at www.taraenolan.com or call Tara at