Kendra Balmer is in her 5th year as a teaching artist at Sister Cities! Get to know her better and understand why her students love her!
When did you become a musician and why do you love it?
I have always been a musician from when I was very young. I had a tiny piano next to my crib and a tape player (that’s a thing that played music 100 years ago) with a microphone attached for me to sing along. I have always felt making and listening to music makes me feel free and allows me to forget about anything else.
What kinds of performing and teaching do you do currently?
Currently I am a choral conducting graduate student at Temple University. At Temple I get to work with collegiate choirs as well as young conductors who are learning how to make music with ensembles. I spend my Saturdays with Sister Cities Girlchoir and the Brilliant Blues of third and fourth grade magical girls. When I can, I spend my Sunday nights playing Ewe percussion from West Africa and sometimes we perform around the city.
Who is one of your biggest musical influences?
Why do you love working with SCG?
Sister Cities Girlchoir is my home. A place where girls are encouraged to feel free to be themselves and make music together is just the place for me. I have enjoyed every bit of my work with SCG, and I can’t say enough great things about the girls, the teaching staff, the parents, the community, and the magical moments that have ensued.
What’s something interesting we should know about you?
This summer, while traveling through Southern Africa in search of new girls to sing in SCG, I decided to take a leap of faith. I will soon be moving to South Africa, and to represent this giant leap, I bungee jumped off the bridge over Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. This is the largest waterfall in the world and is one of the seven wonders of the world. Jumping felt like flying and I knew then that this new chapter of my life is going to be incredible.