BYU professor Kelly Eisenhour takes her skills as a jazz vocalist to bring harmony to the classroom, creating a relaxed environment that swings and drives her students to becoming mature musicians.Eisenhour
lives every part of her
life in rhythm, sometimes speeding up, sometimes slowing down, but there are always constant beats of music driving her
The music started for Eisenhour
was 6 years old.
"The story goes that my piano teacher told my mother that I was very musical and to never let me quit," Eisenhour
said."It was obvious at an early age that this was my talent, and I was very active in music all through school."
was inspired by jazz musicians, and developed a passion for jazz.
"My father was a role model because he
was so passionate about jazz music," Eisenhour
said."It was always playing in my home when I was young."
The constant playing of jazz music in the Eisenhour
home propelled Eisenhour through her
career, with some of her
first musical steps taken near her
home, beginning her
singing career in her
hometown of Tucson, Ariz.She
would later travel the United States singing with groups like the Boston Pops and stars like Gladys Knight.Her
knowledge of jazz and rich expressions impressed some of the top artists in the country."Eisenhour is very humble; she's a lot better than anyone else gives her credit for," said Andrew Burton from North Potomac, Md., who has played the bass for the BYU Jazz Voices directed by Eisenhour."Eisenhour is very humble; she's a lot better than anyone else gives her credit for," said Andrew Burton from North Potomac, Md., who has played the bass for the BYU Jazz Voices directed by Eisenhour.
has succeeded in an industry that does not often picture rich deep tones come from someone like her
Her vocal talented prompted Gladys Knight to invite her to tour with musicians like Patty LaBelle and Dionne Warwick, but the rhythm that drives Eisenhour
pushed her elsewhere.
Knight would later invite her to sing backup in her Las Vegas show and later Eisenhour
assisted Knight in forming the Saints Unified Voices Gospel Choir.
...Afterward, Eisenhour was invited to teach jazz at BYU.
"I spent most of my career performing but always thought that I would enjoy teaching," Eisenhour
classes continue her
life's rhythm; however, she
never gets overwhelmed by taking periodic rests to let the beat stand out.
After listening to her
students get a feel for the day, Eisenhour
pushes the rhythm.
can see the potential in all her students, you know with every soloist that some were amazing and some had work to do, but she saw the potential in everyone," Burton said.
"It is very exciting to watch students grow and develop in their music," Eisenhour
said."I am in awe of the Lord's gifts unique to each of us."Eisenhour
students that music allows people to express themselves more freely, she
said.Some of her
students feel music can be a spiritual experience, like sharing a testimony.
"Although jazz music is not necessarily sacred music, it is music that is joyous and creative and connects people," Eisenhour