After moving from Texas to attend Meredith, Kristin Foster, ’19, built her own community of friends while strengthening her talents in music.
“Freshman year especially was challenging because I had no family or friends anywhere close and had to start over building roots in Raleigh,” Kristin said. “It really brought me out of my shell to have to find new friendships and build those up.”
In addition to friendships with classmates, Kristin has had the support of music faculty as she earned a Bachelor of Arts in music and a performance certificate, specializing in voice and clarinet.
“My relationships with my music faculty in particular have been strong. They are always there if I have questions, are encouraging of my personal musical growth in both clarinet and voice, and are incredible role models for leadership and incredible musicianship,” Kristin said. “I’ve spent a lot of time with my voice teacher, Mrs. Carter, who emphasizes that mistakes are opportunities for musical growth. This thought is mirrored in how Dr. Gravelle runs Chorale by always telling us if we make mistakes, to make them confidently.”
It was encouragement from faculty, and a leadership position in music, that led Kristin to add a voice major. During her sophomore year, a faculty member nominated her to be a section leader of Chorale, Meredith’s auditioned touring vocal ensemble at Meredith.
“It was very stressful in multiple ways. I struggled with my self-worth a lot because I was younger and not yet a voice major. It was in Chorale under the direction of Dr. Gravelle that I realized my love of singing went past a mere hobby,” Kristin said.
As a junior, she added a voice major, and had to complete four years of requirements into two years. “It has been a struggle sometimes, but totally worth it,” she said.
Overcoming challenges like these have made Kristin a stronger person and musician. “I’ve learned that your best is good enough, if it is truly the best you can do in that moment,” she said. “In performances and in the classroom, no one is perfect.”
Kristin was a winner of the Raleigh Symphony Orchestra’s Concerto/Aria competition in 2018 and 2019. This year she has also added an internship with the North Carolina Opera. “The internship has shown me the ins and outs of how an opera company operates successfully,” Kristin said.
Kristin will continue to work part-time with North Carolina Opera after graduation, while continuing as a performer, as a singer and on clarinet.
Looking back on her years at Meredith, Kristin recalls participating in Cornhuskin’ as a freshman and senior as favorite memories.
“This created almost a bookend experience for my time here, from when I knew no one and we had no clue what we were doing, to senior year having built many strong friendships.”