By KAY BURNS
LEWISPORTE — Ashley Ball is a young woman whose love for singing has led her to happily pursue weekly singing lessons for nine years – efforts which have resulted in numerous music awards for her since the age of six.
Ashley is 15-years-old, currently in Grade 10 at Lewisporte Collegiate. She goes to Norris Arm every Wednesday for vocal lessons at the home of Karen Cater, a music teacher with Greenwood Academy.
“I started voice lessons at six-years-old,” Ashley said. “Mom had told her (Karen Cater) I could sing and she thought, ‘Okay it’s another parent who thinks that their kid has got all this talent, so okay, let’s sit down and listen.’ So then I sang for her, and in her words she said she was ‘blown away.’”
Ashley’s musical interests are varied.
“I enjoy a wide variety of musical styles,” she said. “I don’t do many classical pieces, but I really love Broadway musical. And I really love mainstream music and contemporary music.”
Ashley’s most recent awards were earned at the Kiwanis Music Festival in Gander in March. For her performances there she sang Then Came the Morning for the Gospel/Inspirational category; Out from St. Leonard’s for the Newfoundland Folk Category; and Popular from Wicked for the Musical Theatre category. Within her individual groups she placed with two firsts and a second. Plus the larger awards she won were Best Overall Newfoundland Folk senior category and Best Overall Gospel/Inspirational senior category.
As she has been involved with Kiwanis competitions since she was a young child, Ashley is quite comfortable with the processes.
“There’s always nerves, like am I going to forget something, or am going to not do this right, stuff like that,” she admits. “But I enjoy singing and the main part is just going there and having fun. It’s just a really enjoyable experience.”
Her vocal training involves more than just working through and learning new songs. She learns some important aspects about how to care for her voice. Such things include that she should not drink milk on a day she’s going to perform, as it’s not good for her vocal chords; and likewise she should drink room temperature water and not cold water.