For the past sixty-five summers, the Men’s college baseball season has, for the lucky teams, ended in Omaha, Nebraska at the College World Series. The nation’s top eight teams advance to the series, which not only serves as a sort of temporary mecca for fans, but also showcases the history, culture, and artistic talents of the fine city of Omaha. One such way this baseball tournament highlights local performers is through the selection process for performing the national anthem at the beginning of each game. The audition process is intense to say the least. This year 100 artists tried out via live audition at TD Ameritrade Park, after which finalists were selected to perform at the actual games. While musicians from all over the country tried out, the roster includes a majority of natives to the heartland. One finalist in particular, Kaitlyn Hova, currently lives right here in Berkeley! Read below the Clog’s conversation with Kaitlyn regarding her upcoming CWS performance:
Daily Clog: How did you first hear about and decide to try out to perform for the College World Series?
Kaitlyn Hova: For the most part I grew up in Omaha, and the CWS was one of the biggest events of the year. It does wonderful things for Omaha’s economy, and I always wanted to find a way to contribute to the festivities. I heard about the national anthem auditions through my membership in the Omaha Musicians Union, so I wrote out my own arrangement and gave it a go. I wasn’t fully confident that I’d have a chance (being that it’s usually vocalists that perform), but I had a goal and stuck to it. I even made my arrangement way more elaborate than it had to be to see if I could pull it off. This year is now my 4th year in a row performing for the CWS! It’s an honor and probably one of the coolest things i’ve ever done.
DC: What is your favorite part of performing for the CWS?
Kaitlyn: Performing for the CWS is something that is just an all around rad experience: the staff are amazing, the people you meet are inspiring and performing for a packed stadium of that size by yourself is unreal. In the studio, you use reverb plugins and such, but there is nothing like the real sound of a stadium. It’s such an honor.
DC: How long have you been playing violin?
Kaitlyn: I started violin in public school in 4th grade, and I just really liked the colors that I saw with the notes (which I later found out was called synesthesia). I started performing professionally at 13 with Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Mannheim Steamroller, Josh Groban, Mary J Blige, Michael Buble and a bunch of other artists. At this point I’ve been playing for over half my life and have started on a solo career. All my music and projects are at KaitlynHova.com!
DC: Do you have any upcoming performances in the Bay Area?
Kaitlyn: I am focusing more on studio work at the moment, but I will be performing at RAW in San Francisco in August.
DC: Do you have any advice for aspiring musicians?
Kaitlyn: I’ve been thinking about this over the years, and I think it really comes down to four things:
1. Find what makes you happy about playing music and make it your own. It’s so easy to see all the things that other people are doing and want to be them instead of who you are. However, the world doesn’t need another “Lady Gaga,” but it does need “___” (insert your name).
2. Spend a lot of time figuring out what your niche is and who you are as an artist. Maybe find a specialty in a type of music, in performing, recording and/or even arranging music. When you find out what you enjoy doing, you will have a better time becoming the best at what you want to do. I think Einstein really said it right: “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by it’s ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” If you don’t feel that you are performing well and don’t enjoy what you are doing, keep looking for what makes you happy and excited to work on. You’ll always find something.
3. Be versatile. You need to treat music like the language that it is. You really should be able to read it, write it and speak it (improvisation). This is not necessary, but it is invaluable.
4. Don’t take rejection personally. In music there is no “best,” only taste. Music isn’t a mountain to climb with only one person sitting at the top. Technique is important, but everyone has a voice that defines them. Not everyone will appreciate your voice, and that’s okay. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, including the haters, but that doesn’t mean you have to let them get you down.
Image Source: Courtesy Kaitlynhova.com