Great Singing Means More than Carrying a Tune
By Armand Hodge
What exactly is a great singer? We already know great singers have good voices, but what else is it that they possess? Personality is definitely one, a love for music, and knowledge of many excellent artists in all genres as well.
But many singers also have a sense of their musical history as well. That's exactly what sophomore Kelly Beathea possesses. But Beathea is different from your average singer. Sure she can relate to other singers, but there's something about her. She has a certain glow about her. Some of the qualities I see in Beathea is a person who is down-to-earth, outgoing, charismatic, and very mature for her age.
Beathea has pretty much been singing her whole life. "My mom told me that I came out her womb singing!" Beathea had her first concert when she was five years old. "I don't quite remember where the concert was, but I do remember that I sang ‘Silent Night' in Spanish for Christmas." Even though Beathea can only speak English, she can sing in other languages as well, which include Italian, Spanish, French, and Latin.
Beathea could be considered a soprano or classical singer. "I'm trained as an opera singer, but I can sing all types of music." Beathea has performed at many locations and great venues across the country. Some include the Kennedy Center, Lincoln Theatre, Department of Interior and the Office of the Mayor of the District of Columbia; Myrtle Beach, S.C., and Disney World in Orlando, Fla. When Beathea isn't performing at great places across the country, she uses her gift when she's performing with the Bowie State Choir and Bowie State Madrigal.
Beathea is also a big fan of musicals. "Some of my favorite musicals would have to be ‘Mama Mia,' ‘Good Morning Baltimore,' ‘The Color Purple,' ‘Wicked,' ‘Aida,' and ‘The Lion King.'" When I asked Beathea what artists inspired her, it took her some time to come up with her actual favorites. "Hmmmmmm that's a hard question, so many artists have inspired me, so many genres.......I'm a universal fan of music." Some artists who have inspired Beathea are R&B singer Alicia Keys, gospel singer Mahalia Jackson, classical singer Jessye Norman, and neo-soul singer Erykah Badu.
Beathea thinks she has a bright future ahead of her. "Not to be cocky, I could see myself performing at the Sydney Opera House or even Carnegie Hall." But Beathea could also see herself being successful in other careers. "I love the field of broadcasting so I could see myself as a reporter or even a political analyst."
Beathea is truly gifted and ambitious as well. Music is more than just a gift to her. "I try to show people there's another side of me."