On Thursday, November 1st, students buzzed with excitement for the arrival of Windsor High School alum Kymberli Joye, who was invited to share her life story and experience as contestant on “The Voice” in the place where her passion grew: Windsor High School’s choir room.
Participants of the school choir were given the opportunity to listen to Joye’s story and ask questions about her career. During her visit, the audience learned about her inspirations, adventures, and personal struggles.
The visit started with an introduction made by Joye. Joye states, “Windsor High School is a huge part of my story.” Joye explained that grew up singing in Windsor, then continued her education at Berkeley School of Music in Boston. Then, she says she became a background vocalist for gospel singer JJ Hairston. As a background vocalist, she says something was missing and started to do solo music. She makes covers on Instagram and has 2 singles out right now: “Destiny,” which was released in 2015, and “Abba,” which was released in 2018.
Joye states that she got an email for casting for the latest season of “The Voice.” Joye says that during the blind auditions, she “stood on stage, took a deep breath, and began to sing.” She performed of “Run to You” by Whitney Houston.She says the ballad was chosen because “I was in a really low place, and that song lifted me from that.” Kelly Clarkson, Jennifer Hudson, and Blake Shelton turned their chairs for Joye. Joye says she had a hard time choosing between Kelly Clarkson and Jennifer Hudson, but because Kelly Clarkson blocked Jennifer Hudson, the choice was made easier. The singer/songwriter says that it is a “welcoming industry,” and that many successful artists welcomed her.
The students asked about obstacles Joye faced. Joye says that she suffered from depression shortly after graduating from college. “I believed I had a gift, but wasn’t ready to share it with the world,” she commented. She says that she did not have a job, and was fearful of the future. However, her sister, Kayla Rush, says she watched her sister rise past this obstacle. She says, “Even before the voice, it looked like she was elevating constantly from the depression.”
Aside from mental health, there were other obstacles Joye had to face to continue her career. There was a time when she thought she would never sing again. She says that she was put on vocal rest by her doctor, and that she feared she had permanently lost her voice. She also says she was worried about what people would think about her, whether it was how she sounded or how she looked. However, she says she had a good support system, and it helped her get through those obstacles. She says it is also “good to know who you are.”
The topic of conversation shifted from Joye’s forthcomings to her experience on “The Voice.” More specifically, students asked how she felt causing a dispute between Jennifer Hudson and Kelly Clarkson. Joye says that she had been a fan of Kelly Clarkson since”American Idol,” and that it felt good to have Kelly Clarkson compliment her voice. Joye says, “It was inspiring because she liked my voice.”
As a youth, Joye was always very fond of singing. She was surprisingly shy and thought she would never be able to gain enough confidence to sing in front of people. It took encouragement from her mother to rise above her fear and perform a solo in church at the age of twelve. From then on she began to pursue her dreams, involving herself in many clubs and activities in high school. Influenced by the teachings of Tracy White, a Windsor High School choir teacher, she was able to attain many goals she never thought were possible. It was evident that Joye had talent, but from the help of White, she was able to reach her full potential as a singer.
The students learned quite a bit from her visit. Jerel Pollard, a senior at Windsor High School, says it is “inspiring to see people do what they love.” Senior Amaya Balner also says she learned “to keep trying and never give up…and not to be afraid to dream big whilst living in a small town.”
Joye has made it past the knockout round, and is advancing to the live shows. Many students are inspired by her, and share her hope for winning the competition. Kymberli’s continued journey can be viewed on“The Voice” aired on Monday and Tuesday evenings on NBC .