Terry Mathews interviews Hannah Kirby, Thursday night, in the Sulphur Springs Public Library.
Friends of the Library Hosts An Evening
With Hannah Kirby
by: Bobby McDonald
It was a pleasant evening of great music and a chance to learn some of the inspiration behind the talented Hannah Kirby, as the Friends of the Sulphur Springs Public Library hosted "An Evening With Hannah Kirby," on Thursday night, before a packed crowd. There was hardly a seat left, as those in attendance listened first to tributes for Hannah and her music, and then was treated to an in-depth interview by Terry Mathews, Arts Editor for the News Telegram. Hannah delighted the crowd with a performance of four numbers, as she was accompanied by fellow local artist, Ryan McKenzie.
Noted Northeast Texas author, Jim Ainsworth, began the tributes to Hannah, as he explained his deep love for the fiddle or violin, and his struggles early in life to learn to play, and never mastered the art. And, Enola Gay Mathews told of her watching the growth of Hannah's talent as she was featured on a number of local venues and learned the art of performing with others.
Then, Terry Mathews began her interview with Kirby, as she asked her parent's support for her talent and the encouragement they gave her. "Yes, it's true that I virtually have no fear of performing on the stage," expressed Kirby. "I've done it since I was three or four years old, so it's become a part of me. I've been very, very fortunate to have parents that have always encouraged me to develop my talents and to pursue my dreams, so that has developed an inner confidence that 'comes to life' every time I perform."
Hannah began taking violin lessons at age 4 and is now majoring in music at TAMU-C, with plans to transfer to North Texas State University and be a part of the renowned music program there, next year.
"I enjoy a wide range of music styles and continue to work in all areas," expressed Kirby. "But, looking toward the future, my education in college, should help me to develop a much more effective range to my voice and is teaching me to protect my vocal chords and to sing in the 'right way' to make certain that I don't damage my voice."
"I can't sing a song unless I feel it!" continued Kirby. "Lyrics of a song must be something that I believe or I can't connect and perform it for a group of people, if I don't believe them!"
Mathews encouraged Hannah to tell about her song writing talents, that includes a constant reading, in order to write. Kirby then told the audience the effects that the book, "The Kite Runner" had on her in high school and appealed to her emotions.
"I think all of you will agree, that we'll all be saying that we knew Hannah Kirby before she was discovered by the world!" expressed Terry Mathews, as she concluded the interview. "I know you all, like me, are ardent fans and can't wait to see where she 'sprouts her wings' in the music world!"
Kirby then "picked up" her violin, as she was joined on stage by local artist Ryan McKenzie. MeKenzie told the audience that he had first heard Kirby in church and was "taken aback" by her talent and voice, and soon began thinking of songs that they could do together. Kirby accepted the invitation and they performed at several local venues, including the Market on the Square.
McKenzie and Kirby then began an awesome performance of four selections, beginning with "Angel From Montgomery." The duo then performed what Hannah told the audience was her favorite song, that she has written, "Light." Kirby and McKenzie ended the performance with a stunning performance of "Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus!"
Hannah Kirby will be performing at the Market Square, on Saturday night, accompanied by another local artist, Kurt Bittner.