Dan Pacheco, Professional Singer/Actor
"I was a student in Mrs. Keith's first year as a middle school chorus teacher. Even then she was a highly motivated and extremely qualified educator. She was my first experience with voice lessons. Her guidance and extra time before and after school helped me audition and in turn be accepted to the Maryland All-State Chorus. This ended up being my first of five times in the All-State chorus. Her support and patience helped me to learn how to read and understand music as well as the vocal technique required to create it. Mrs. Keith's attention inspired me to pursue the performing arts throughout high school, summer programs, and beyond. I was accepted to New York University's Tisch School of the Arts and studied musical theatre. Over the last ten years I have worked solely as a professional actor in almost every aspect of the performing arts. From theatre, cruise ships, theme parks, film, tv, commercials, print, and radio. I have toured the U.S. and Europe as a singer and most recently was seen playing Boq on the National tour of Wicked. Mrs. Keith taught me that diligence and hard work can lead to success while having fun in the process. She is incredibly nurturing and supportive. Her musicianship is top notch and she has the experience both directing and performing to prove that. I was incredibly fortunate to have had someone as passionate about teaching and creating music as she has always been."
Roberta Gore, Parent/Teacher
"I had the honor to work with Trish Keith at North Carroll High School in the fine arts department from Sept. of 2000 until June of 2007. We worked as a team directing The Wizard of Oz, Les Miserables, West Side Story, and Aida. In addition to her amazing skill in working with teens as a classroom teacher and music director, she also worked with 70 three to ten year olds in The Wizard of Oz and a much smaller but vital group of children in Les Miserables. As a mother, myself, to three young children, I feel confident recommending Trish as exactly the right mixture of kind, patient, nurturing with rigorous, challenging, professional. She consistently raises the bar with all ages of children. My own young daughter loved nothing more than visiting Miss Trish when she was at our school, and sitting down at her piano and playing for her- and then hearing from her what Miss Trish thought."
Alex Winter, Piano Student, age 16
"After joining chorus in 7th grade, I was hooked into singing. I was unsure whether to continue singing in high school, but after my warm introduction to the choral program by Mrs. Keith, I was definitely ready to continue. This past summer, I also received piano lessons from Mrs. Keith to further my education and skills in performing music of all sorts. Her knowledge of how each of her students work and their strengths and weaknesses is amazing. On top of all her experience with music and her students, she's also one of the nicest people you could possibly learn from. Now I split my time between marching band on saxophone, playing with the school band on clarinet, singing in North Carroll's famous Vocal Ensemble and Chamber Singers, and even playing guitar for a "ska" rock band. Her guidance helped make me the musician I am today, and I hope her knowledge and personality will positively affect all her students as well as it affected me."
Kristin Nemecek, Voice Student, student from age 16-18
"Very positive experience! I became a more well-rounded vocalist, singing genres from Italian Aria, to musical theater, to pop. Mrs. Keith created an excellent environment for me to prepare for auditions and performances. Mrs. Keith helped me to set personal goals, and overcome challenges. She never gave up on me! I'm currently attending Hofstra University in New York, studying theater. The skills I've learned with Mrs. Keith have carried over into musical theater at the college level. I will continue to take voice lessons at Hofstra. "
Kellie Handley, Piano Student, age 15
"It was great!!! I learned not only piano skills, but theory as well!!!"
Elizabeth E. Rostek- Elementary/Middle School teacher and parent
When I first met Mrs. Keith, she was my youngest daughter's music teacher at North Carroll High School. My daughter was in eleventh grade and was going through a difficult time in her life. Well, Mrs. Keith took her under her wings and nurtured her as her music teacher. She praised my daughter's talents, developed her musical skills to where she was doing solos, duets, and ensemble work with music of different styles. My daughter came from having such a low-self esteem to being modest, yet very confident of her musical talents and skills. Today, my daughter is twenty-two years old. Although she started as a music major in college (and received all A's in all of her music courses), she decided to become a graphic artist and is graduating this coming year. Although she did not major in music, the confidence built in her through Mrs. Keith, gave her the courage and strength to pursue a new field that was unfamiliar and extremely challenging. She still loves her music and tells everyone just how a very special teacher, Mrs. Keith, taught her everything she knows. Last, but not least, she has a fan club of parents who would do anything for her because she is just a unique, sincere fun-loving professional who loves music.
I witnessed and observed Mrs. Keith's style of teaching many times throughout the eight years that I have known her. Being a music teacher myself for twenty-two years, I could not stay away from an opportunity to observe her nurturing teaching style. What I witnessed was this. When I entered the classroom, auditorium, or place of performance, it was warm, friendly, nurturing, fun and very positive. The student's ideas were always heard, welcomed, developed and successfully carried out in such a musical, creative, expressive manner. I was amazed at the level of music performed by her students and the outcome of those performances. She offered challenges to all of her students and the students always welcomed those challenges. The rewards of those challenges brought students home with many awards and trophies of the highest achievement. As a music teacher, I asked Mrs. Keith to be a guest artist at my middle school where I was working at the time. She worked with my students in preparing for a competition. Please understand, this was a very challenging task. The students fell in love with her because she was diligent, fun and instilled in them the belief that they can achieve anything with hard work and a positive attitude. As a result, we came out of the competition as, "Best Overall Choir," and "First Place, superior." Needless to say, the music department just prospered from that point on.
Today, I am an elementary school teacher. I teach children from the ages of three years-old to eleven years-old. As a parent and teacher, there are many concerns these days as to who is a good teacher and who I trust my child with in these days of great uncertainty. No matter the age, talent, disposition of a child, I can guarantee that you can trust your child with Mrs. Keith. If and when you decide to send your child for music lessons, you will be very grateful that you did, because your child will get a nurturing professional who will meet the needs of her students. She not only teaches the mechanics, theory and the process of playing the piano or singing, she teaches the meaning of what they are performing so they may communicate what is in their hearts and the hearts of the composers. This is a great way to teach children how to comprehend and communicate not only what is written and performed, but what is heard(unwritten) and felt through music. She is a great listener, and teaches her students the art of listening effectively. A beneficial skill that students need to develop in order to follow directions effectively in a classroom , testing, and in a sports setting. Mrs. Keith will challenge her students creating self-confidence, self-determination, perseverance and discipline. What makes her so unique? She is blessed with the gift of music, she loves music and wants to share her talents and joys of music with others in the most nurturing, professional manner. If you would like to contact me for further praise, please feel free to do so through my e-mail address: email@example.com. Oh…don't be surprised if you don't ask to have lessons yourself. She's just that outstanding.
Renee Rogers, Voice Student, age 21
"Studying with Mrs. Keith was a great experience! We worked on everything from Italian Arias to Musical Theatre. I was able to focus on skills that I personally lacked, such as breath support. Since working with her my range has expanded, I have purer vowels, and my voice has learned to soar! I am currently working in the Baltimore and Catonsville area in the world of Musical Theatre."
Mary Moore, Parent
"Mrs. Keith gave Caitlin an amazing amount of self confidence. She helped her find audition, and personal music that really enriched her voice, but was different from what other students were using. She demanded excellence,respect and hard work, while admitting how she had had to work through her own weaknesses and mistakes. She also had a firm understanding of how to use your throat, palate and voice to get the richest sound possible.She was a real gift in the three years that we were in her classes, at North Carroll and in private lessons."
Caitlin Moore, Voice Student, age 17
"Currently I am apart of the award winning North Carroll Ensemble and Chamber Singers, singing various solos, singing with our choirs, and loving every minute of it. I auditioned for All-State Chorus this year and hope to become a part of that amazing group.I also plan to pursue vocal performance classes in college."
Mrs. Keith is a fabulous voice teacher, accompanist,and all around musician. Not only does she teach you how to improve techniques with your voice, she ensures that you come to understand music theory, improving your musicianship. She never makes you feel like you are doing poorly even if you are having a bad day. She teaches you how to deal with those situations when they arise and pull off a great performance. She is the reason I feel comfortable singing in front of an audience.
Bernadette Korpacz, Parent
"When you have a teacher that instills the love of music in any student she meets, you have a gift from God. Mrs. Keith is a patient, loving, caring, and gifted music teacher. Her talents range from opera to whatever is current with the children she teaches. Kristen's beautiful voice was nurtured by Mrs. Keith into a voice that hit notes that I didn't know existed. Her enthusiasm and love of music is infectious to not only her students but their parents. It is amazing to a parent to see the transformation of a beautiful voice (and we all think our children's voices are beautiful) into a magnificent voice with depth and range that you didn't know your child was possible of. For anyone who is serious about wanting to sing to your potential (and beyond), I highly recommend the talents Mrs. Keith has to offer."
Megan Smith, voice student, age 17
"I had always been a shy person growing up, never spoke up and was always a quiet singer. After taking lessons with Mrs. Keith I gained the confidence to come out of my shell. She was able to bring out a more grown up and mature, strong voice. By taking lessons with Mrs. Keith I have been more confident in my performances and everyday life, I find myself more apt to participate and voice my opinion.
Recent news: Since Mrs. Keith moved to Pennsylvania I have continued singing in my school's Show Choir where I am a confident leader which all the under-class members can look up to. I have been given multiple solo opportunities since taking lessons with the AMAZING Mrs. Keith!!"
Ilana Kelsey, Voice Student, age 18
" I took private lessons from Mrs. Keith during this past summer in order to prepare audition pieces for the choral programs at The University of Maryland, College Park. I also had the opportunity to study under Mrs. Keith in various classes and after-school choirs during all four years of high school, which greatly helped prepare me for singing in college. In private lessons I studied mezzo voice, rehearsing a variety of songs which highlighted both a Soprano II and Alto I range. Mrs. Keith is a phenomenal teacher who thoroughly knows music and the voice as an instrument. She was always fun to work with, encouraging and flexible. She also taught my younger sister who’s 16 and my 12 year old brother. Everything she helped me accomplish vocally she also effectively achieved in her teaching of younger students. Thanks to everything I learned between four years of classes and private lessons this past summer, I have been more than prepared for singing in a college choir. Currently I am a member of the Women’s Chorus on campus, in addition to also participating in the marching band and University band. My preparation in the past four years has enabled me to quickly adjust to college level music, and I often find that my knowledge of singing, good vowel production, breath support, and so much more, is more thorough than most other non-music major singers whom I’ve met here."
Melissa Hughes, Voice Student, age 17
"Mrs. Patricia Keith was my chorus and singing teacher for a period of three years. She helped me to gain more confidence in my vocal ability. In my private sessions, with her, I noticed that I was able to gain more volume in my singing without "yelling." Mrs. Keith is very serious and hard-working, but she is also extremely nice and supportive. I am positive that without the help of Mrs. Keith, I would not be at the point that I am now with my vocal ability."
Christine Cox, Voice Student, Adult
"As a dancer I was always told that I didn't have voice, just great dancing ability. I didn't know what to expect out of my voice lessons when I began with Mrs. Keith, but my main goal was to get through 16 bars at an audition. When I started studying not only did Mrs. Keith teach me about voice, she showed me all those people who told me I couldn't sing were wrong. Her teaching style was always very positive and encouraging. Even as an adult student she started from the beginning making sure that I understood basic elements of voice parts, sight reading, breath support, singing posture, and music terminology. Being an adult I was able to quickly move through a lot of material, but because she built a good foundation I was able to excel faster than I had anticipated. No matter how discouraged I got she didn't stop believing that there was a voice inside, and through only a few months she started to open up a voice and prepared me for some very big auditions. When I got my first vocal callback I knew that it would never have happened if I hadn't gotten such a strong foundation.
Mrs. Keith prepared me for the start of my professional performing career that has taken me to New York City. I no longer dread those 16 bars at an audition! I have successfully found a lot of professional work including TV appearances on Good Morning America, The View, and The Today Show. I also run my own children's entertainment company, www.misschristine.net, in which I use my performing/singing skills to entertain at high end events all over the New York City tri-state area. I most recently starred in an off Broadway production as Dorothy in "The Magical Wizard of Oz", in which I had a lot of singing! Through my professional career Mrs. Keith remains a mentor and positive supporter. She cares about her students and wants to remain involved in all of her former student's voice experiences. When you have Mrs. Keith as a voice teacher, you have more than a teacher, you are creating a long lasting relationship with a very special, creative teaching artist. I am luckily to have had such a wonderful person be such a big impact on my career."
Joyce Hughes, Parent
"Mrs. Patricia Keith continued to amaze me through my daughter's time with her. She is a very conscientious teacher with high standards for her students. She knows how to criticize without any harsh words, and she always congratulates her students of their successes. I was fortunate enough to travel on a vocal symposium with Mrs. Keith. I watched her teach several classes on choral teaching strategies and was amazed at her knowledge and confidence while doing so. She has a way with children that cannot be matched by anyone else I have seen.
I'd like to congratulate her on her accomplishments and wish her the best in her future endeavors. I would like to let you know, that if you choose Mrs. Keith, you will be taken in by her spirit and love of music, and you will be amazed by the musical growth of your child."
"My name is Jocelyn Garcia (maiden name Petit de Mange), I'm 24 years old living in Fayetteville, North Carolina. I've known Tricia since I was little but didn't start studying with her until I started at Mt.Airy middle school in the Fall of 1994. Tricia was such an energetic and fun music teacher and inspired me to keep singing and follow my heart. Once I started at South Carroll high school I began private lessons with Tricia where she helped fine tune my voice and prepare me for many events throughout high school and finally helped to get me into West Chester University as a vocal music major. Tricia is such a talented, and passionate musician who not only knows her stuff when it comes to music but also knows and cares about each and everyone of her students. Even though I changed majors and received my BS in Nursing and am working as a Neonatal Intensive care nurse singing to my premature infant in the unit, I still carry with me a love and respect for music because of Tricia. She is an incredible person and anyone who has the honor of having her as a teacher should feel blessed and know that you will walk away from your experience with her inspired and passionate for not only music but for everything you do in life, SHE'S AWESOME!"
Kristen Korpacz, Voice Student, student from ages 14-18
"I learned more in studying privately with her in four years than I ever would have learned in my high school music classes alone. My parents and I attribute my vocal skills entirely to her teaching. Currently I only use my singing when my sorority needs someone to put on stage. I have won numerous "Best Female Vocals" during our annual Greek Carnival (against the top opera singer in the university's music school!) and have participated in two Greek Goddess pageants. Our Greek Life advisor was floored when my little person showed off my big voice, he has me sing at all the alumni events and has even recommended me to our ritual speaker to be the one to sing "Lean On Me" at the beginning of her lectures. "
Patricia Kelley Keith's Students Perform at Carnegie Hall; The Baltimore Sun
April 17, 2005 | By Katie Martin | Katie Martin, SUN STAFF
Student voices resonated within the choir room at North Carroll High School in Hampstead, as they sang while the choral director played the piano. At the conclusion of one section of the song, they listened intently as the director instructed which lines to repeat and which notes to hit on key.
That's when a voice from the back asked whether the altos could try line 44 again.
The students have been practicing for more than three months to learn a musical composition for several performances, including a concert at Carnegie Hall.
On Memorial Day, 47 students from North Carroll's choir program will perform at Carnegie Hall with the New England Symphonic Ensemble and other choruses from around the country. They are working on a piece by British composer John Rutter for the concert.
Rutter, a resident of Cambridge, England, is a composer, conductor and recording artist, internationally known for his Christmas carols and choral music. He will work with the students in rehearsals for three days and then conduct the groups as they perform his work May 30.
Rutter said last week that he has worked with choruses in preparation for nearly 100 similar Carnegie Hall concerts since the late 1980s. He said it is his job to take all of the slightly different voices and meld them into a unified performance, turning the choir students into "the finest professionals."
"I say to them at the beginning of it, `OK, here we are ... and in just a few days from now you will be on the stage of Carnegie Hall, and we've got a long journey to get there.'"
Training and then performing with a famous composer adds to the excitement of going to New York City, students said.
Senior Chris Rudy, 17, of Hampstead said it will be cool to work with the composer.
Chris said he envisions Rutter as an eccentric, crazy, fun kind of guy.
"For people that like him and have heard him, he's pretty distinguishable," Chris said. "He has a definite style."
The students will sing Rutter's Requiem, a piece composed in 1985. It is a seven-movement work that is about 45 minutes long and is written in English and Latin, said Patricia Kelley, North Carroll's choral director.
"It's been really exciting that [the students] like the work because sometimes high school kids don't like classical music," Kelley said.
Senior Courtney Burda, 17, of Finksburg said Kelley taught the students tricks to help them learn how to pronounce the Latin words. Having the English translation printed under the Latin also helped the students understand the mood of the lines, she said.
"I am looking forward to meeting John Rutter and working with him and getting to combine with other choruses from across the U.S. to produce the sound that he wrote," Courtney said.
Rutter said the choruses will spend four to five hours each day rehearsing. He plans to discuss with them what to expect about the Carnegie Hall performance, such as how the acoustics and the audience's reaction will be different from what happens in their gymnasiums.
"We must not have any stage fright, or any nerves or any complacency," Rutter said. "It's kind of like they are in training in preparation for a big athletic event."
He said that after the choruses have been working together, he always looks for the "breakthrough moment."
"All of a sudden it just clicks and the performance just seems to take shape," he said. "It's like a fuzzy picture that's just out of focus and suddenly it comes into sharp focus. I think that's the moment I look forward to ... just seeing the joy on everyone's face because they've got there."
The concert will feature 10 choirs from high schools, colleges, churches and community groups from several states, including California, Florida, Washington and Alabama.
The event is sponsored by MidAmerica Productions, a New York company that runs a series of concerts every year at Carnegie Hall, said Kathleen Drohan, director of public relations and publications.
Drohan said the company looks for outstanding ensembles to perform, and groups such as North Carroll's chorus are usually recommended by "luminaries in the choral music landscape."
The groups then send in an audition tape, and if they are worthy of performing in Carnegie Hall, they will be invited, Drohan said.
Kelley said that after the chorus received an invitation to perform at the concert, she brought it up to choral-booster parents last April. She said the parents thought it was a great opportunity, and they have been fund raising ever since.
A recent prom fashion show, held in conjunction with Boscov's department store at TownMall of Westminster, raised about $4,000 for the trip. The group also raised funds through a bull roast and through donations from community members and businesses.
$1,000 a student
The cost is about $1,000 a student, which includes the trip to Carnegie Hall, rehearsals and the hotel, Kelley said. The students will spend four nights in New York City, arriving by bus May 27 and returning home May 31.
"What I am looking forward to most is sitting in Carnegie Hall, looking up to the stage and watching my students sing," Kelley said. "I know there will be tears streaming down my face."
Most of the time before the 8 p.m. May 30 performance will be spent rehearsing, but the students will have a few hours of free time for sightseeing in New York City.
Accompanied by chaperones, they will be able to tour the Empire State Building, buy tickets to a show or walk down Fifth Avenue, Kelley said. The students will also take a post-concert cruise that includes a reception and a view of the Statue of Liberty and Manhattan skyline.
Sophomore Amanda Peacock, 15, of Hampstead said she has been to New York City, but was looking forward to walking around the city again. She said she has seen the outside of Carnegie Hall, but has never been inside.
All of the approximately 175 students in North Carroll's three choir classes will perform Rutter's Requiem, accompanied by the McDaniel College organ and chamber orchestra, at 7:30 p.m. May 11 in the college's Big Baker Chapel. The students will perform popular music at North Carroll's spring concert at 7:30 p.m. May 19.
"I would like these kids to go home feeling that this is a high point of their musical life," Rutter said. "That is the aim because there is only one Carnegie Hall ... and it's not just a wonderful building, but such a wonderful tradition."