Katie Quick
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Katie Quick

Nashville, Tennessee, United States | SELF

Nashville, Tennessee, United States | SELF
Band Country Pop




"Community comes together for Hearts of Hope Concert"

VERONA, NY — There was a mutual ambiance of camaraderie between rising Nashville-based country singer Katie Quick and her audience Saturday night as she made her first-ever central New York appearance onstage in the Vernon-Verona-Sherrill Central School auditorium.

And there just might be a large number of students changing their career plans to now include some kind of work in the music industry thanks to the warm and friendly visit with the former 6th grade teacher turned singer/songwriter.

“I just loved her,” said VVS senior and flutist Paige Brown, 17, who was one of many student performers from the school who helped warm up the crowd before Quick took the stage Saturday.

“It was totally exhilarating,” agreed fellow senior and flutist Adam Chandler, 16. Both teens said they were so impressed by Quick’s performance and a question and answer session before hand that they were seriously interested in following her lead by pursuing a musical career after they graduate.

The free event was sponsored by the VVS Music Boosters as a “thank you” offering to the area community for their support in the school’s music programs and fundraisers, said Booster President Sherri Brown of Verona. It also served as a kick off for the Hearts for Hope Project collaboration between students in the VVS entertainment industry class and the KEYS Program, a Sherrill-based outreach for young people battling cancer. That project will entail the production of a CD of music specially created for those cancer patients.

It was KEYS founder Colleen Bennett who brought Quick to town, after a chance meeting with the singer while she was in Nashville during the summer. Quick was networking with visitors after one of her performances, and Bennett shared with the singer stories of her own endeavors in musical therapy. The women hit a common chord almost immediately, and plans began for Quick’s arrival on the Verona stage.

“This is my dream concert,” Quick said, explaining she moved to Nashville from Chicago six months ago and is now on her very first tour of the northeast in support of her independently released CD “Be the Change” from last year. “Coming from teaching and having left that profession and now going out on my own solo, I haven’t been in a school environment for a couple of years. This has been more than amazing.”

Quick met with an audience of students before the concert to answer their questions about her work. She told them about the inner-city school where she was a 6th grade teacher, a place where there was no music program at the school. She said she would bring her guitar in to class for a special treat to motivate her students and they responded favorably to her injection of music into the curriculum.

Their test scores and attendance figures went up but that feeling of success wasn’t shared by the administration, she recalled. Quick said she was chastised by the school’s principal for her unorthodox methods after her second year there and given an unfavorable rating that tarnished her future in teaching.

But even as that door closed, the call of a music career brought her to Nashville, where she is now pursuing her musical dream. At the same time, she is setting a better example for those former students, Quick added.

“There I was telling the kids they could do anything they wanted to do, but at the same time I was being told what to do,” Quick said.

There were a variety of opening acts for Quick’s performance, including the VVS High School Trash Can Band, their Fiddle Group, individual student musicians and singers, and their High School Chorus singing a spirited rendition of Queen’s challenging vocal tour de force “Somebody to Love.”

Luminary bags lining the front of the stage were lighted and the writing on them explained in a special video titled “VVS -- Turning Hopes into Dreams, Dreams into Reality” created by Entertainment Industry students Vincent Bailey and Matt Lumbard. The emotional production showed various VVS students and teachers discussing their private desires and their plans for the future, and Quick admitted having to excuse herself just before her performance to wipe her eyes after hearing the students’ testimonials of their dreams.

“I had to go to the bathroom to wipe away all of my tears because I’m so moved by all of this -- I think you guys are inspiring me probably more than I can do for you. I’m bawling in the front row,” Quick said.

Bailey, 17 and a VVS junior, said he and senior Lumbard worked about 10 hours on the video in class, during lunch and study halls, and after school. Seeing the crowd brought to a misty empathy by their work was touching, he said.

“It felt a little unreal,” Bailey admitted. “I’m just glad that people liked it.”

Quick shared her infectiously upbeat country music with songs from her disc plus some unreleased tracks from her upcoming, as-yet-untitled follow-up expected in May 2011. In between numbers she told fun stories of her blossoming Nashville career and some of the secrets behind the composition of her songs, engaging the audience into full attention with her rapport with the crowd.

Perhaps no student in the audience that evening was more encouraged by the event than VVS 8th grader Molly Blehar, 13, who was asked by her chorus teacher to sing a duet on Quick’s song “Home.” Blehar nailed her lead vocals on the song with the expertise of a much older performer, thrilling the audience of her peers and their parents and her own family members.

“This was the best feeling ever,” she said as she rejoined parents Mary and Tim Blehar of Sherrill in the audience after her time in the spotlight.

“She just did a wonderful job -- we are so proud of Molly,” her mom said.

Her dad said Molly has been singing since she was little at family gatherings so she has had lots of practice, and Molly said she hopes to pursue a career on Broadway some day. She took a giant leap towards fulfilling that goal Saturday night.

Volunteer KEYS Musicians Coordinator Donna Mucks joined Quick for a duet on her popular “Fingertips,” an inspiring song she wrote for her former students telling them -- as well as every person in the VVS auditorium Saturday night -- “I know if you work real hard, you can do anything; you’ve got it all at your fingertips.” Quick has donated that song for inclusion on the “Hearts for Hope” CD of music that will be shared with kids battling cancer in children’s hospitals, camps and hospice care.

The outreach of KEYS is one Quick said she can sincerely appreciate.

“I think KEYS is amazing,” she complimented. “I’m a firm believer that music can truly work magic. It is underestimated in its healing power.”

After the concert, Quick met with her new fans of all ages outside of the auditorium, signing autographs, giving out hugs, and posing for photos. She even took time to return to the stage area to listen to an original composition performed on the piano and sang by VVS senior Aeshley Detor, giving the teen professional and heartfelt encouragement to continue her own musical endeavors.

Quick’s Facebook page was almost immediately besieged by smitten well-wishers offering kudos for her performance and CD plus sincere hopes of having her back to the VVS area as soon as possible.

“She was just awesome,” said VVS High School chorus member Bryan Joanis, 15, another student who said he was thinking about a singing career. “It was incredibly moving and inspirational.”

“This really gave me goosebumps -- there is such a great community feel here tonight and we are so privileged to be able to host this concert,” said VVS Assistant Superintendent Martha Group.
- Mike Jaquays, Contributing Editor- Oneida Dispatch

"Best Local Country Album 2009"

Best Local Country Music Artist Album Release of the Year:

Katie Quick – “Be The Change”

Katie has some real potential. (Label execs pay attention!) Her passion and talent will hopefully prove her well in the years to come. Hopefully, I’ll be adding her to the overall category in the future. - Country Music Chicago

"A Musical Pied Piper Visits VVS"

Probably the best part of writing a blog is being able to share some of the emotions felt behind the scenes during the production of stories that appear in the paper. Regular readers will know I'm no stranger to the concert scene, but I have to admit this particular musical event probably touched me more than any other -- and that includes my own performances. And I think the more than 600 people who came out that evening would agree, because I've never seen such a warm feeling of affection between an audience and a performer.

Students at the Vernon-Verona-Sherrill Central School heard a nightmarish tale on Oct. 9, 2010 of an inner-city Chicago school where there was no music curriculum and how a sole teacher who took the initiative to introduce her guitar playing and singing as an educational tool in class was soon driven out -- not only from the building but from the profession as well.

But that didn't stop singer/songwriter Katie Quick from inspiring and educating students as she visited the Verona, N.Y. school that night. She released her first CD "Be the Change" on May 1, 2009, moved from Chicago to Nashville six months ago, and took her trip to VVS as part of her first-ever tour of northeastern United States. There, Katie had the young people plus faculty and community members falling quickly for her upbeat and catchy county music and fun stories in between songs.

(Rising Nashville star Katie Quick plays songs from her independently released CD "Be the Change" plus some new tunes during her concert Oct. 9, 2010 at the Vernon-Verona-Sherrill Central School. Some 600 new fans instantly fell in love with her that night.)

Katie came out for a special concert that Saturday evening, sponsored by the school's Music Boosters as a token of their gratitude for the community's support. The event was also the kickoff to the Hearts For Hope Project, a collaboration between the students in the VVS entertainment industry class and the KEYS Program, a musical outreach for children with cancer that will produce a special therapeutic CD of music for those kids.

Before the concert, Katie met with students to share some of the tales behind her rise to fame. And don't think she wasn't just as big a star as anyone the kids hear regularly on the radio; I doubt any singer could have impressed the people that evening like Katie did.

She told them of that school where she was a 6th grade teacher -- the place where music was not allowed.

"You guys are extremely lucky to have your music programs," she said, reminding them to appreciate what VVS and their music teachers had to offer them because not every kid out there has the same opportunities of instrument lessons, bands and chorus groups in the schools. And I have to admit, as a VVS graduate and musician myself, I was just as impressed by her words as the kids were. We all need a little reminder now and then of how good we have it, and that we should be thankful. Where would I be without a music curriculum in school? Definitely wishing I had a teacher like Miss Quick to bring in her guitar and sing to us!

And no, her name is not a takeoff of a synonymly-named fellow country singer -- Katie said she had the surname Quick a good 10 years before Taylor was Swift.

She told the mostly-teenaged audience how she released her CD by herself; Katie is unsigned so she has no record label and no manager, doing all chores from writing to recording to marketing herself. This means she has nobody telling her what to do and what not to do, when she can talk to fans, and how long she can mingle with them after a concert. She certainly proved that at VVS -- Katie stayed after the show until every single member of the audience was happy with a hug, autograph, or their own copy of her CD.

"I like being an independent artist," she said. "You have total control over every aspect of your career."

Katie reminisced about the first time she went to a concert -- a Celine Dion show while she was in 7th grade, she said -- and how she would actually become envious watching performers ply their craft. While her friends would be dancing and enjoying the music, Katie stood back feeling what she called "a really strange jealousy" towards them.

"I said, 'I can do that.' I really had a burning desire to perform," she said.

She started dancing in front of a mirror, singing into a hairbrush, and was coerced into the role of Jan in her school's production of "Grease" -- a part that included a song of her own. On stage for that performance, Katie suddenly knew she was in the right place because "it felt like home," she explained to the teens.

Other than some time in the high school choir and some vocal technique lessons she admits now she doesn't really remember, Katie had no formal training. She didn't take guitar or songwriting instruction, she told them; she just had a driving desire that has now taken her to Nashville in pursuit of her dreams.

"If you want something bad enough you can make it happen," Katie said. "If you want to get up there and sing, just do it."

Her parents were big supporters, and she said it made them happy that she was doing what made her happy.

"I just feel really blessed and lucky that I grew up in a family that was supportive," she said.

Katie admitted that at this stage in her career she hasn't yet made her fortune, but she's happier than ever because she is doing what she loves -- making music and touring the country bringing her songs to new fans and friends. And there are several hundred new Verona-area fans who can't wait to have her back. - Mike Jaquays: Oneida Dispatch, New York

"Katie Quick- Be the Change"

Local Artist Katie Quick to release debut album, Be the Change

The road to Nashville notoriety is often long and difficult but local country music singer and songwriter Katie Quick is in it for the long haul. An Evergreen Park native, Quick has quit her job as a school teacher concentrate on perusing a full-time career in country music and on May 1, she will release her debut Nashville recorded album Be the Change.

Quick’s hard-work and devotion to the craft is beautifully arranged in her 13 track album that covers all typical topics of love, loneliness and just plain fun. Among her songs like “Something About the Rain”, “Your Song” and “If Only I Could” show Quick’s natural ability to tell a story through music. Something we feel will prove her well on the road ahead.

You can pick up a copy of Quick’s album at her exclusive album release party on May 1 at Gilhooley’s Grande Saloon, 3901 W. 103rd St, Chicago. Quick and her band will perform starting 9 p.m.

Can’t wait till May 1, check out KatieQuick.com

CMC - Country Music Chicago Magazine

"Be the Change (5 Stars)"

Independent release
Infectious, country release that is intriguing, captivating and compelling… for a self released, self produced debut, this is a masterpiece.
This album has caught me by surprise. With so many American female country vocalists trying to hit the big time, we’ve been inundated with review requests. But this is truly awesome. Opening with Lonely Stage; an upbeat full country sound, convicting in both style and ability, Katie soon makes a huge positive introduction to her music and the level of talent on show here. As the story gets underway, country twang and lyrical essences stream through and the current is somewhat uplifting. The second track Gone provides us with a convincing love song but also the chance to see Katie take on a slower track with passion. By now I was comparing her to Laura Vecchione, Alana Kurtis and Lisa Redford, but with track three 85 Degrees this all changed. Suddenly a full catchy country-pop song hits the waves and within a minute you’re hooked and everything’s changed. Now I could happily put her in the same category as Carrie Underwood, Dixie Chicks and Jewel—the wonderful vocals shine through as do the songs that come across with ease and conviction and the musicianship that tidily provides a bouncing board to immense success. ‘California’s not what I thought it would be, despite the sun always shining on me… Cos it’s 85 degrees, but I’m still lonely.’Fiddle, guitars, drums, pedal steel, Dobro all feature on this album and all songs have been written by Katie. For a self-released, self-produced country album, amongst all of the releases at the moment, this shines brighter than any country release I’ve listened to in a while. Something About The Rain introduces us to her bluesy style, which is again impeccable and features a wonderful guitar solo. She continues on this wonderful streak with a few rocky, grittier tracks—blues and country-pop—but all of them as riveting as the next. For fans of any of the names mentioned above and more, Katie is set for success beyond her wildest dreams—one question stands… how is it that Katie Quick is still unsigned? LB
- Maverick Magazine- UK


* Katie Quick (EP) 2008
* Be the Change (LP) 2009
* Chicago Summer Nights (Single) 2010
* Valley Between Love (LP) 2011



Katie Quick’s debut album was hailed “a masterpiece…intriguing, captivating, and compelling,” by Maverick Magazine, one of the world’s leading country music publications. This Nashville artist has garnered even bigger and better reviews with the release of her latest self-produced album, Valley Between Love. In fact, CountryChart.com expects her to have “a meteoric rise on the country charts…similar to that of Lady Antebellum,” and says “she has the vocal chops to take on the divas of country music.” Maverick Magazine gave Katie another glowing review for this release calling it “absolutely inspirational work…a joy from start to finish!” So is Katie Quick truly the “next big thing?” WYCD 99.5 thinks so, along with thousands of fans worldwide. With all the buzz about this Chicago native, it’s no wonder she has been moving up at the speed of light in the country music scene. The most fascinating aspect of her career is that she has achieved all of this success on her own. Without the help of a manager, booking agent, or public relations firm, this former Chicago Public School teacher has toured coast to coast playing some of the most notable venues in the country, appeared on hundreds of television shows and radio stations worldwide (including ABC, NBC, GAC, CMT, and more), and singlehandedly launched her own groundbreaking arts and education program called Fingertips. This unique motivational concert experience has allowed Katie to get back to the classroom setting all while using her music to encourage students to follow their dreams. It will only be a matter of time before Katie Quick becomes a household name. For more information please visit www.katiequick.com.