Today we’d like to introduce you to Kate Crellin.
Kate, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
As a professional choral musician, it’s hard to pinpoint what started my love for choir, as it’s seemingly always been a part of me. I played with the idea of other possible careers (law, architecture, business) but music was never the obvious choice. The idea of a career made up of singing and conducting seemed unreal, and now that choral music is my entire world, I have to pinch myself.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
I have struggled with comparison and insecurity within the music world, not always feeling good enough or deserving. My favorite quote, “Comparison is the Thief of Joy,” helps keep me self-motivated and driven for the right reasons. Now that I’m doing my Master’s, I’ve experienced a lot of imposter syndrome. I am not alone in this feeling and sharing my feelings with my peers helps build community and understanding among us.
We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
I would say I am a freelance musician. I don’t feel that I can label myself as a conductor, choral musician or educator, as those are all facets of what I enjoy doing. On an average day, I might be in a jazz big band rehearsal, singing in a choir or arranging for a college a cappella group. Whereas I used to think my diverse interests were a distraction from a singular focus, I now view this as a strength and find that it keeps me motivated and interested in my pursuits. The variation allows me to keep exploring new fields and have a wider skill set for the future. I am especially interested in gender diversity research and have created an organization, @choirclusive, to help make choirs safe for trans and non-binary singers. This work is extremely rewarding and has given me many opportunities for growth, conversation, and change.
So, what’s next? Any big plans?
I will be graduating from Cambridge in the summer and am not quite sure of what’s next- and I think that’s okay! As mentioned, I love having a varied schedule and I’m hoping that my future includes everything I love- choral music, jazz, a cappella, research and education!
Janis Yue Photography