Bullitt East High School sophomore Trinity Smith performed with the 2019 All-National Honor Ensembles Nov. 7-10 in Orlando, FL.
The 15 year-old daughter of Amanda and Matthew Smith was selected to sing Alto 2 with 240 “best of the best” in the mixed choir for the National Association for Music Education.
“Orlando was wonderful. A huge learning experience,” Trinity said. “Much more intense than All-State but in a good way.”
According to Trinity’s music teacher Carrie Gary, she is the first local high school choral student to reach this level of national prominence.
“I am extremely proud of her,” Carrie said. “Trinity is not only naturally talented, but she possesses a work ethic and spirit that sets her apart.”
Trinity performed the song To The Sky by Carl Strommen for her audition. She was eligible to audition for the National Choir because she was a member of the State Honor Choir.
"She took the initiative to learn the very difficult audition song, and then record her audition,” Carrie explained. “She worked over the summer to raise money to attend the costly event and has learned all of her music on her own.”
A total of 557 students from 49 states and territories showcased their talents during this year’s All-National Honor Ensembles which consists of a concert band, symphony orchestra, mixed choir, jazz ensemble, guitar ensemble and modern band.
“I am very excited to see all of the accomplishments that Trinity will achieve not only over the remaining two years of her career at BEHS, but throughout her life,” Carrie said.
When notified of her selection, Trinity expressed dual feelings.
“Shock and excitement,” she exclaimed. “My Mom was beside me when I opened the email but I immediately called Ms. Gary. She answered the phone ‘Yay!’ She knew before me and had to keep it a secret. She was patiently waiting for me to get the email.”
Trinity said Ms. Gary has provided her opportunities that were not available before high school.
“Ms. Gary has pushed me and challenged me beyond my natural comfort zone,” she said. “She’s encouraging and real. She’ll let me know if I mess up or if she hears too much of my country twang."
Her preparation for the national stage was practice, practice and more practice.
“I was singing and listening to the music daily,” Trinity said. “I also had a private lesson to improve my sight reading skills.”
How Trinity became interested in music occurred before her birth.
“My Mom and Dad played music the entire pregnancy,” she explained. “I rode home from the hospital at birth with my Dad jamming various CD’s. No silent road trip. I slept with music playing. My family isn’t huge on TV so music is usually in the background. When I started to watch TV, they allowed me to watch Veggie Tales (singing vegetables). I started singing the alphabet before I could make a complete sentence. At 2½, I started singing at church. I sang at a funeral when I was 5. It’s continued from there. I like to believe music is all I’ve ever known.”
The impact music has had on Trinity’s life has been profound since an early age.
She was diagnosed with Tourette’s in first grade leading to physical tics when she becomes anxious or nervous.
“For example, my eye twitches and I clear my throat,” Trinity said. “Some kids would question, what’s wrong me? Some would laugh.”
Singing is not a cure but a respite from the Tourette effects and Trinity discovered a venue to turn a negative into a positive.
“When I sing, they usually go away,” Trinity said. “Almost always when I sing, the nerves disappear and a sense of calmness comes over me. Singing is my refuge. It’s my comfort. There’s a song for every emotion a human can feel. I now believe Tourette’s has helped me become a better singer.”
Accomplished artists work hard to maintain their skill set. Trinity said the biggest obstacles to her singing voice are weather and allergies.
“Dr. Hubbs, my pediatrician, has been such a blessing,” she praised. “The last two weeks I’ve been sick and he’s done everything possible to keep my lungs clear and my throat from getting scratchy.”
Trinity aspires to become a singer after she focuses on her education and her remaining years at Bullitt East.
“I’d love to attend Bellarmine and graduate with an MSN-FNP (Nurse Practitioner),” she said. “I want to work in oncology or possibly have a clinic in a rural farm town. From there, I’ll sing my way to Nashville with no worries of being a starving artist, since I’ll always have my education to fall back on.”
Her Bullitt East activities include Advanced Choir, Charger Chics (an audition only for the all-girls choir), Archery, FFA officer, Beta Club and Assistant Director for the Eastside Middle School Drama Club.
She has already earned several honors as a singer:
- Runner up at the State Beta Convention in sixth grade
- Two time winner of the Bullitt County Farm Bureau Youth Talent
- Kentucky All-State Choir
- Multiple Talent Show winnings across Kentucky
- Performed at State and National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) Tournaments
- Sang for some pretty significant Kentucky politicians at political fundraisers (don’t want this to get political but it was Sen. Mitch McConnell and Lt. Gov. Jenean Hampton…no matter your political beliefs, that’s pretty cool).
Outside of school, Trinity enjoys camping with her family (we bring guitars and sing around the campfire), hiking, fishing, shooting her bow, riding 4 wheelers, working on the farm, playing guitar and singing anytime someone asks.