Western Nebraska Observer - Observations all along the line - Kimball & the Southern Panhandle First

Friends and Neighbors: Katie Warner


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Katie Hansen Warner of Kimball received her bachelors degree from Wayne State College in 2012. Warner it currently preparing for the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria.

An early childhood filled with music inspired one former Kimball graduate to make a career of singing and when you do what you love it really doesn't seem so much like work.

Katie Warner, nee Hansen, said she has been singing as long as she can remember, first at home with her family all singing along.

"I started piano lessons in the first grade and found that I loved learning about music as well," Warner said. "I also sang in the church choir for many years."

As her passion for music grew, she began looking for more ways to challenge herself, using her voice as her instrument of choice.

"When I was a sophomore in high school, I decided to audition for All-State Choir," she said. "I knew that not many sophomores got in, but that inspired me all the more. When I was accepted it felt like a career in music might be an actual possibility."

She began taking voice lessons at WNCC with Rita Stinner at the beginning of her junior year in high school and continued through graduation.

After graduating she attended Wayne State College and graduated with a BA in vocal performance in 2012.

"My voice teacher there encouraged me to audition for graduate school," Warner said.

Just weeks after marrying Erik Warner, they moved to Colorado and began looking at schools.

"I definitely wouldn't be where I am without my education," she said "I've had numerous opportunities for growth and professional development that wouldn't have been available to me otherwise."

Warner attributes so much to those who taught and supported her along the way. Many of whom are still instrumental today.

"I've been fortunate to have had many great teacher. My piano teach, Janice Randolph, was a big inspiration for me. She made learning about music as much fun as playing or singing it. I still use the techniques she taught me in my daily study," she said. "My teachers, Dr. Elise Hepworth and Dr. Diane Bolden-Taylor, have been invaluable throughout my education. I've also found a lot of inspiration in my family and my community. Everyone has been so encouraging and supportive from the very beginning."

Warner will enter two singing competitions next month and plans at least two more in the following semester. She views these as a chance to showcase some of the more difficult pieces she has worked one as well as an opportunity to capitalize on the judges remarks and further hone her talent.

Perhaps the most exciting opportunity in front of Warner is her upcoming trip to Graz, Austria.

"I was recently accepted into the American Institute of Musical Studies (AIMS). It's an intensive six-week study program where I'll have an opportunity to work with acclaimed European and American artists," she said. "While I'm there I will have two lessons a week, audition for roles, sing in weekly recitals and have many more career-building opportunities."

Warner said that she will also have the chance to study the German language in addition to performing, voice studies and working with renowned teachers, opera coaches, conductors and directors.

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"I will also have the opportunity to attend masterclasses and lecture series," she said. "I'm really looking forward to this new and challenging experience."

Although the tuition to get to Austria is substantial, Warner is planning a fund raising concert in May with her husband.

The road from church choir to Graz, Austria isn't so long when it is paved with the support of teachers and friends.

"I set up a gofundme page recently and I have already received so many generous donations," she added. "I am tremendously grateful to all those who contribute in any way!"

When Warner returns she will finish her degree at the University of Northern Colorado before she will begin auditioning for opera companies. She will also set up a private voice studio.


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