Change has been a long time coming, and certainly so much has happened since I last filled you all in! Currently I’m sitting in what will be one of the longest trips I’ve taken to date- 16 hours to Hong Kong and then another 7 to Perth Australia. But I am so glad to have so much time, so I can attempt to sum up the past year and half of my life!
Looking back at how many personal and professional benchmarks 2012 and 2013 has brought, I cannot help starting my reflection with my last trip Down Under. May two years ago, I finished my first round the world trip, making stops in Germany, Finland, Rotterdam Chicago, and Sydney. Making my debut at the Sydney Opera House, I cannot think of a more successful and fulfilling year than being able to say I performed with 5 of the world’s greatest orchestras in less than 6 months! Talk about a bucket list of a year!
Within a month of my return to the States, I was married to my wonderful husband Jacob, who I have known since preschool. We had a day full of family, laughter, and beautiful music, with lots of memories with our families and friends. It was quite the collection of individuals from various backgrounds and parts of the country, but we would not have had it any other way! Three weeks later we moved down to Alabama to start our lives together, me singing around the world, and my husband flying for the US military. Talk about a whirlwind summer!
After settling into life in the deep South, and falling in love with life amongst my fellow military wives and friends, myself and the Lord of the Rings team took off on a month long West Coast tour. We made stops all the way from Phoenix up to Washington, hitting cities all over California. Next stop was Dublin Ireland- and what a green dream it was! I brought my mother sister, and husband’s family over for Thanksgiving and we basked in all the glory the Celtic Island had to offer. Seeing the city of Dublin, County Cork, and the Cliffs of Moher, it was a trip to remember. Truly one of the moments where I feel blessed to be able to do what I do, and to have my family share in it with me. Continuing on to Luzern Switzerland, I returned to working with the fabulous 21st Century Orchestra in a concert dedicated to the music of Ennio Morricone. Such beautiful haunting melodies, and a vibrant group of musicians to share it with.
Enjoying the holidays, we found out two days after New Years that we were expecting another little gift- our first baby! Shocked as my husband and I were to be expecting, our families and us soon-to-be parents could not contain our excitement! With a baby due in August, I knew everything would change as soon as that sweet little bundle entered our lives.
Lord of the Rings had performances in Grand Rapids Michigan, our debut in Taiwan, and a return to the De Doelen in Rotterdam. All of which I loved as my growing belly started to make life a little more interesting. People have asked me whether or not I felt any different with my voice while pregnant, and if anything I sang better! My range was larger, and I had even more breath control. Plus the first kicks I ever felt were on stage! I had hoped to make it to one more gig in Lyon France, but had to unexpectedly remain grounded in the US due to the health of the baby and myself. With so much anticipation building, Lily Anna finally entered the world on August 29th healthy and ready to take names! Kaitlyn the singer was now Kaitlyn the mommy!
Little Lily has changed my life in so many ways, and definitely for the better! I love being a mom! And other than seeing your own child smile, there is no greater blessing than being able to do what you I love and share it with others. It is true love knows no bounds when you get married, but then when you both can bring a life into this world. How sweeter everything is! With the love and support of my family, I am able to continue touring, and have even been able to bring her with me.
Less than two months after Lily was born I went to Paris, and enjoyed a weeklong break in the city of love. The food, the sights, the city was fabulous and yet all I could do is think of how much I wanted to bring Lily and Jacob there with me. That is the one of the fun parts of Lord of the Rings- we get to do each city three times! With a little baby to return to, I made my way back to Alabama. 2012 rolled into the next with Lily’s first Christmas with the family, and an end to one of the greatest years of my life thus far.
Yet 2013 has not seemed to slow down! My husband is an amazing individual with talents about as opposite as my own. Even through college, we have always supported each other in our talents and careers and never held each other back from pursuing our goals. He graduated from flight school, and together with our four month old, we made our way to our next stop in the Army: Fort Bragg North Carolina. Still below the Mason-Dixon line, we have fallen in love once again. With so many friends based there, and being less than two hours from the beach or the mountains, we are happy to be back on the east coast.
The year launched with me travelling to Switzerland to perform an Oscar-Winning Themed concert full of some of my favorites from my show FilmSong and film’s greatest movie songs. The 21t Century Orchestra and myself dived into excerpts from Titanic, The Wizard of Oz, Pocahontas, and Breakfast at Tiffanys. I flew back to Germany less than a month later to do a Germany tour with the Munchen Symphoniker with stops in Munich, Nurnberg, and Stuttgart. In April we did our last concert with the Rotterdam Philharmonic, and working with Ben Van Dijk and the rest of the fabulous Rotterdam Philharmonic brought a final sweet note to our three years at De Doelen. Lily and my sister travelled with me to Calgary Canada in May, where together with our LOTR family we spent a spectacular day in Banff. Full of gorgeous landscapes and majestic sights it was so fun having Lily with me and to finally have her meet my “road” family. She even got to play the timpani, and tried to steal the microphone from me. A little diva already!
I travelled to Singapore at the beginning of this month, and finally got to experience the island that my dad had told me so much about from his trip with the Woody Herman Band years ago. As I am sure the Singapore I saw is vastly different, with so many new and extravagant buildings springing up all over the city. It was no less spectacular getting to experience the blend of Chinese, Indian, Malaysian, and British influence. We had three great shows and I can’t wait to hopefully return!
Which brings me to today, here on board another long flight. This time stopping in Perth for two performances, and then immediately off to Paris for four performances in France where the 21st Century Orchestra will be joining us. I have such love for the people of this young and vibrant orchestra, and have had more concerts with their Maestro Ludwig Wicki than any other conductor to date. It will be a great trip getting to see Perth for the first time, and to experience the parts of Paris I could not fit in last year!
Soon after a little break with my family for the 4th of July, I will be returning to Australia for three concerts in Melbourne. After that we return to Chicago at Ravinia with the amazing Chicago Symphony for the second movie. and I will be showing both Lily and my husband all that Chicago has to offer! Including a stop for some deep-dish pizza!
I will be going into my tenth year with the music of Howard Shore in my life. When I started in Albuquerque New Mexico, could I have foreseen that I would graduate high school, college, get married, have a baby, and move twice that I would STILL be living with this music? Heck no! But I would have it no other way. I have lived each day to the fullest, and plan on continuing to do so with each new day to come. I believe things happen for a reason, and the people I have met so far, the places I have been, and the love I have been able to share with the fans can only become more rich and full as my life personally and professionally continues to blossom. I could not do it without the support of Howard Shore, my manager Jack Forchette, and the love and support of my LOTR family, and all my amazing loved ones back at home. Here’s to a fabulous 2013!