From a young age Christy Gauley knew that she wanted to be a singer. Her musical journey began at the age of 8 when she started taking piano and voice lessons. Christy says her family has always been supportive of her passion for music, but despite this, she had always felt a little bit different. Although she had lots of good friends in the small town of Logan Lake where she grew up, she sometimes felt as though she couldn't connect with those friends on a musical level. All of this changed, however, when Christy started attending the Kamloops Interior Summer School of Music (KISSM).
Christy first heard about KISSM from her mom, and was immediately excited about attending the program! Through nostalgic laughter, she told the Kamloops Music Collective, “At first I didn't like that it was called ‘KISSM’ because the word “kiss” was in the name, and it sounded really inappropriate! I was like, ‘no way!’ But I was very excited to go and meet other people who loved music just as much as I did.”
Excited about the prospect of learning more about music and meeting new, like minded friends Christy and her two siblings decided to sign up for KISSM. Driving back and forth to Logan Lake each day wasn't really an option for Christy’s family so they made arrangements to camp in the driveway of one of their relatives for 3 weeks!
KISSM was an overwhelmingly positive experience for Christy. The program helped solidify who she was and who she wanted to become! KISSM also helped Christy find friends who were music lovers just like her! She discovered that at KISSM kids would just burst into song and the best part was that it wasn’t weird to anyone! KISSM provided a musical world where Christy felt a strong sense belonging. Even though KISSM only takes place for 3 weeks each year, it provided a much needed outlet for her. When she would return to school each September she would do what she needed to to fit in, but in her heart she was singing show tunes doing a kick line with her friends at KISSM.
To say that Christy is an inspiration to our community is an understatement. She has spent her life teaching others about music and has inspired so many local kids to follow their dreams. During her interview with the Kamloops Music Collective (KMC) Christy taught us yet another important lesson. Christy told us about an early experience she had during KISSM. She had joined musical theatre that year, optimistic and excited for another 3 weeks of song and dance, but she was met with a surprise when she did not get the part in the musical that she had auditioned for. In fact, she didn’t receive any of the parts she had hoped for and was instead chosen as a member of the chorus. At first she says she was super disappointed, but once she realized that the show wasn’t about her, and that it was about a collective group coming together to create a piece of artwork, she had the best three weeks at KISSM ever!
Christy has worked as a staff member for KISSM for the past several years, and we enjoy every minute we work with her! She is one of the many passionate music educators that is inspiring the next generation of kids at KISSM each July. When we asked her how teaching at KISSM has impacted her as an adult, she said, “Very much in the same way as it did when I was a kid!” Each July, Christy brings her enthusiasm for music and love of teaching to the halls of the Kamloops Interior Summer School of Music. She relishes that time spent mentoring the next generation of musicians. Christy says, "My time at KISSM helps me to be a better teacher all year round" and for this we are grateful!