Sterling Heights teen to sing in Nashville — and at Sterlingfest

By: Eric Czarnik | Sterling Heights Sentry | Published May 27, 2015

During a time when many Warren Consolidated Schools students are getting ready to end the school year, one Sterling Heights teen is getting ready to sing in Nashville.

Bernadette Kathryn is getting ready to go to Nashville to sing there during the Country Music Association Music Festival, which runs from June 11-14. Performers at the festival include Rascal Flatts, Brad Paisley and Keith Urban.

Kathryn, 15, said this will be her third year going to the CMA Festival, and she plans to sing a mix of original and cover songs at venues like restaurants. She described her excitement about the event.

“It’s pretty much how I would describe going to Disney World, but country-style,” she said.

Kathryn said she started writing her own music when she was 11, adding that her first song, “Look at Me Now,” is about standing up to bullies.

In between her singing engagements, she continues to study at Sterling Heights High School and at the Warren Consolidated School of Performing Arts.

“I finally feel like I belong there, and I’ve made so many great friends, and they support me with my music, and it’s just really fun and great,” she said. “The main focus there is theater and dancing and music. Those are the three main focuses, which helps me a lot with my stage presence.”

Kathryn is currently an independent artist, though she’s hoping to get noticed and sign with a label.

Her classic country musical influences range from Patsy Cline to Loretta Lynn, and she explained that she also admires newer artists like Miranda Lambert, KT Tunstall and Gretchen Wilson.

“They’ve inspired me to be where I am today,” Kathryn said.

Kathryn said she sees country music as a way to express herself.

“I find that a lot of country music tells a story and I can relate to it, whereas other genres like pop and hip-hop, they don’t tell a story,” she said.

According to Kathryn’s father, Randy Magner, Kathryn’s grades have improved since she has to keep them high to stay in the performing arts program.

He said his daughter could sing before she could talk, and she began performing early in life at church and at a dinner theater business.

“I put her on stage when she was 5,” he said. “And she really enjoyed it — no stage fright.”

Magner said Kathryn expressed an interest in a singing career around third grade after she went to a school career day. She looked for books about a career at the library, but found none that really appealed to her.

“I said, ‘You don’t have to be a dentist,’” Magner said. “She said, ‘I want to be a rock star, but they don’t have any books on that.’”

Kathryn is also expected to perform at this year’s Sterlingfest Art & Music Fair with the Lonely Days Band at 7 p.m. July 24.

“Her band consists of studio musician veterans who have been in the business forever,” Magner said. “They’ve opened for Sheryl Crow.”

Learn more about Bernadette Kathryn by visiting www.bernadettekathrynmusic.com. Find out more about the CMA Music Festival by visiting www.cmaworld.com. For a list of scheduled acts at the Sterlingfest Art & Music Fair, visit www.sterling-heights.net.