Loving the local markets!

Must give a shout-out to Lynn Caldwell who founded Atherton Mill and Market and provided my favorite place to play in Charlotte since I started "playing out." I'll be playing there Saturday, May 18 in the am. I'm also excited about a new arts market uptown that Ed Camp is bringing to Epicentre where I'll play for the first time (same day!) in the afternoon. Hooray for the way Charlotte supports local food, businesses and artists!


Original song to premier January 8 at book signing

Cheryl and I enjoyed playing as the audience gathered for this event and then performing my original song "Laughing Through My Tears" which Katya partly inspired. Katya has faced her battle with cancer with tenacity, humor, and a full-throttled love of life, family and friends, and my song was written to try to capture those emotions and reactions. Katya had invited her doctors to speak to a packed conference room at the JCC; Cheryl and I were so moved by the experience of getting to share this song with so many people who are going through adversity and still carrying on.

Alleluja from Exsultate Jubilate by Mozart

Singing this song (when it goes well!) is like flying. It takes so much breath control and strength to sing all of the fast notes that build to high notes, but when the notes take off it feels like I'm levitating. My body literally shakes with the power of the notes bouncing around my body. Maureen and I recorded all 10 piano songs in one day...and this one was (unbelievably) the last song we recorded. I had no idea if the high note at the end would be there, but there it was...singing is always an act of faith.

Charlotte Observer: Music Will Always Be A Part of Her

Music will always be part of her lifeKatie Oates shares talent to ‘empower’ By Katya Lezin

Katie Oates enjoys the flexibility her newfound guitar skills give her to perform around the community. Learn more: To learn about upcoming gigs and sign up for email alerts, visit www.katie oatesmusic.com (the website is under construction.) When Katie Oates, 47, left Clinton, S.C., for boarding school in New York at the age of 14, she was miserably homesick.

As a preacher’s daughter, she sought comfort in the school’s empty chapel, where she would play the piano and sing. [expand title="Read more..."]

“Music was therapy,” she recalls.

The school’s accompanist overheard a few of Oates’ sessions and convinced her to audition for the school musical.

By her junior year, Oates was receiving a standing ovation for her one-woman show.

“By putting yourself out in the spotlight,” Oates says, “you get a lot of reactions. A lot good, but the bad ones just stay with you.”

Oates returned to her Southern roots upon graduation, choosing to attend Davidson College because “it wasn’t a music school, but it did have a music department.”

Oates majored in English but took voice lessons from the European wife of the school’s symphony conductor, who taught her how to be comfortable performing in front of an audience.

“Singing is sexy,” she’d say in a great accent, encouraging Oates to “be more comfortable in my own body.”

It was at Davidson that Oates met her husband, DNC Host Committee Chairman and former County Commissioner Dan Murrey, and they were married in June 1987. She shelved her musical aspirations, working research jobs while Murrey was in medical school, but, she says, “I just couldn’t shake the music part of me.”

She began auditioning for community theatre musicals and had an epiphany that has served her well.

“Music will always be a part of my life,” Oates realized. “It doesn’t have to be an either or scenario.”

Another challenge to Oates’ aspirations has been navigating her musical commitments with raising children.

Her son, Sam, 16, is a sophomore at Myers Park High School and her daughter, Lucy, 13, is an eighth grader at Trinity Episcopal School.

It is through Trinity’s partnership with Urban Ministry that Oates got the idea to share her talents “to empower and give hope.”

She contacted Urban Ministries about putting together a choir of homeless singers and was able to join with others who were in the process of doing that.

“I was finding my own voice by helping others find theirs,” she said.

After several years singing with church choirs (Oates was a soprano with the Myers Park Presbyterian Church and sang in Park Road Baptist’s choir), she wanted to pursue singing on her own.

In January 2010, Oates began taking guitar lessons from John Tosco, a local musician who is responsible for the popular Tosco Music Parties.

“A guitar is much more portable than a piano,” Oates explains, “so it is easier to find venues.”

And that is just what Oates has done. She and her guitar can be found out and about town, performing a wide array of songs because, as Oates puts it, “I just love every form of music.”

She tries to schedule at least one gig each month and practices for at least one hour each day. One of the best pieces of advice she received, at an artist’s workshop she attended, was to quiet her inner critic.

“Your job is to do the work,” she was told, “Not judge the work.”

She has also enjoyed combining music with her civic commitments, such as performing at fundraisers and farmers’ markets, allowing her to “use music as a way of supporting people and causes that are important to me.”

Last summer, Oates attended a week-long guitar and folk song camp at Warren Wilson College in Swannanoa, where she added to her repertoire of songs.

No matter the venue or type of song, however, what comes through loud and clear whenever Oates performs is her love of music.

Katya Lezin is a freelance writer for South Charlotte News. Do you have a story idea for Katya? Email her at bowserwoof@mindspring.com.

Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2012/05/21/3257199/music-will-always-be-part-of-her.html#storylink=cpy

Find the article here.[/expand]