Singer Kaitlyn Lusk credits dad for musical leanings
Last Modified: Tuesday, June 10, 2014 at 7:14 p.m.
In honor of Father’s Day, the Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra and guest vocalist Kaitlyn Lusk will present “A Hollywood Celebration” at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Zimmerli Amphitheater in Barnet Park.
The pops concert will feature songs from Hollywood, both old and new. Along with everything from “Singin’ in the Rain” and “Moon River” to contemporary Disney favorites and award-winning “Lord of the Rings” compositions, a few patriotic songs will be sprinkled into the mix.
Lusk is an internationally renowned soprano who reached critical acclaim when she debuted with the Baltimore Symphony at age 14 and, later, with her many concerts with the Boston Pops. She attributes much of her musical influence to her father.
“Music is something I inherited from my father,” Lusk said. “He is a musician and phenomenal trombonist who dedicated his life to music and teaching his students at Penn State for more than 25 years.
“I have sung with the world’s finest musicians, from New York to London to Sydney, but I feel that none are as musical as my dad. There is certainly an indescribable, intangible connection that we share. I can only hope to become half the musician he is.”
Music was always around Lusk. In fact, her babysitters would often be her dad’s students, who would teach her musical theory and voice.
Lusk said that, growing up, music was always around her, whether it was through her father, church or the school choir.
“I always knew music would be a part of my life, but it wasn’t until I started voice lessons and was the lead of my first show in middle school that I realized it would be my life,” she said.
Despite her preference toward gospel and old country, Lusk attributes her appreciation for all genres to her dad.
“What I love about having a father as a musician is that he exposed me to so many different types of music: jazz, classical, musical theater, film music, country, classic rock, pop (and) gospel,” Lusk said. “I grew up with an affinity and appreciation for all types and forms.
“But my heart feels just as at home when I rip into a gospel piece or sing an acoustic country ballad. I am a simple person, so an honest and true to life lyric is where my music really comes to life.”
The theme of Hollywood for the concert was meant to capture a frame in the life of a father, one in which he and his family are huddled around the TV, watching a film the whole family enjoys.
“With this concert, I wanted to showcase that love of film music we both share,” Lusk said. “Not to mention the bond my own husband and other dads experience with their kids and the movies they have seen together. Whether it’s on family road trips, holidays, lounging around the house or with a big bag of buttery popcorn at the cinema, movies bring families together and are the centerpiece for many a shared moment.”
Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra music director Sarah Ioannides will be conducting the concert, which promises to be a good time for all.
“This is one of those concerts where everything is falling into place,” SPO executive director Keysie Maddox said in a news release. “We have a great mix of classical music and pop; we have a world-class guest singer who has name recognition; and we’ll be celebrating Father’s Day with a free outdoor concert.”
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