Alumna Performs at the Hammer

By Kristin Lam

Two worlds collided for mezzo soprano Katherine Trimble when she returned to San José State to perform at the Hammer Theatre in the national touring show An Irish Christmas on Nov. 28.

“When I lived in LA, I got the job with Kerry Irish Productions back in 2011,” Trimble explains. “When I came up to San José State I didn’t work with them because I was in school and couldn’t do the touring. But then I graduated. I rejoined the tour, and it just feels like these big two important parts of my life of are coming together in this moment.”

Trimble looks at her time in the Master of Arts in Vocal Performance program fondly. She made meaningful connections with professors, including Layna Chianakas and Gordon Haramaki, and her colleagues. Trimble describes the relationships she built at SJSU as wonderful.

“It makes me feel really excited to know that the Music Department and the College of Humanities and the Arts have progressed since I graduated,” Trimble says. “It feels good to see that everything is moving forward and more performing opportunities are being offered to people and to the community.”

SJSU honored her as the first recipient of the Irene Dalis Memorial Award in 2015 in remembrance of the Spartan alumna who founded Opera San José. A couple of months before, Trimble sang at Dalis’s memorial service, which was the first time she ever performed with Opera San José.

Since then, she has portrayed the Witch/Mother in outreach shows of Hansel and Gretel and Lilas Pastia (as Carmen), also with Opera San José. She has been the alto soloist in Mozart’s and Durufle’s Requiem as well as Saint-Saen’s Christmas Oratorio. With the Bay Area choir The New Choir, she has performed as the alto vocalist/soloist and toured in South Korea.

Today, Trimble tours as the alto soloist of The Kerry Voice Squad, a trio of classically trained women who sing for Kerry Irish Productions. The Voice Squad stars in An Irish Christmas, which travels across the United States celebrating traditional Irish dance, music, and traditions.

In addition to performing, Trimble cherishes spending time and creating inside jokes with her fellow Kerry Irish Productions performers.   

“The overall feeling of having that sort of bond makes me happy to wake up every morning in a new town with these people,” Trimble explains. “Sometimes we’re cramped together in a 12-person passenger van, going for eight-hour drive stretches at a time. But it’s all worth it because when we get on stage, we just feel so connected to each other.”

Trimble is considered a young artist and does more touring because it’s appropriate for her voice right now. She hopes to transition to more opera as she gets older.

Her involvement in the Chamber Music Silicon Valley’s Young Artist Program this year also excites her. In the spring, she’ll be doing a recital and several other chamber music performances.

Teaching is another relatively new experience for Trimble. She occasionally coaches at Piedmont Hills High School plus teaches at Colorful Universe, a children’s singing troupe in Cupertino.

Looking back at what sparked her passion, Trimble says her grandmother sang, shared an interest in classical music, and taught her how to play the piano. Her parents, despite not being musicians, have always supported her.

Over the next 10 years, she hopes to tour and perform with the Kerry Voice Squad and pursue solo work as well.

“I’m open to all things,” Trimble says. “As long as I’m performing and sharing music that I love with other people, I’m pretty happy.”  

Trimble will be back at the Hammer Theatre in March to perform in the next Kerry Irish Productions performance at the Hammer Theatre, An Irish Hooley scheduled on March 16, 2018.

To check out more of her work, please visit her website