Right now, I’m writing this blog listening to the film score from The Lone Ranger.
Perhaps you’re asking.. Umm.. what?!?!
You read that right. John Williams radio on Pandora is my go-to when I need to drown out the world.. whether it’s my own thoughts, chatter, or negativity clouding my mind. The violins, the drums, the SERENITY of these symphonic masterpieces help me focus and block out all the distractions trying to make their way in. From this Hans Zimmer soundtrack piping through my earbuds, to Williams’ iconic (and for me, BELOVED) movie soundtracks.. music is my rock in these moments.
Music represents even more for Kate Lynne Duncan, a UNK student and future music teacher. In the soundtrack of her life, there’s a song for every milestone moment and she’s usually working on what will play next. Music is her past, present and future.
Photo courtesy Jenn Cady Photography
“Music has been a huge part of my life for as long as I can remember,” Kate told me recently. “I can’t imagine my education, or life, without music and I hope that my future students never have to.”
It’s that love of performing that led Kate to the Miss Nebraska Organization; she’ll compete for the title in June as Miss Alliance 2016. This is Kate’s third local title within the Miss America Organization, and she also competed as a teenager starting at the age of 14.
“I could not have paid for my first semester of college without the money I received from Miss Nebraska that fall,” said Kate. “More recently, the scholarship money has helped pay off part of my student loan. I have increased my self-confidence, poise, sharpened my interview skills and gained communication skills. I really feel that I can tackle any job interview I encounter.”
But neither pageants, nor college have just been about building to a final crescendo. When I spoke with Kate last year as she served as Miss Sandhills (click here to read more!) she described the last few years as a metamorphosis in way because of all of her personal growth. Kate is currently in her fourth year at the University of Nebraska Kearney where she is also a member of Alpha Omicron Pi, the Nebraska Association for Music Educators, the Thompson Scholar Learning Community and the National Association for Residence Hall Honorary (Kate is a third year Resident Assistant).
“I have enthusiasm, positivity, zeal and I encourage those around me,” said Kate. “It may take a little coffee to wake me up, but I strive to put a smile on someone’s face each day.”
Kate credits that drive to a support network including her family, sorority sisters, and her boyfriend, Andrew.
“I consider my mother to both my role model and one of my closest friends,” added Kate. ” I would not stay sane with my hectic daily lifestyle if it wasn’t for her love, support and guidance. She is always a phone call away and makes frequent 5+ hour drives to see me when I haven’t been able to make it home for a few months.”
Kate also has a close relationship with her father, nurtured by, of course, music.
“Editing my pageant music has become a bonding activity for my father and I,” said Kate. “He knows the technological aspects of the software program, and I just sing through our cutting and help with the fine tuning of the audio.”
But Kate was to spread her music far beyond the Miss Nebraska Pageant; she’s devoted this to her personal platform called ‘Please Don’t Stop The Music: the importance of fine arts education in schools.’
“I’ve built many connections in my hometown, college town and across the state that will enable me to participate in events and reach out to schools,” said Kate.
So back to John Williams (and by the way, the score from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade is now playing).. for anyone who’s never followed it, the Miss Nebraska Pageant is truly MUSIC in a way.. it’s the union of different sounds and styles to create one symphonic masterpiece. This organization highlights women with various backgrounds, talents and visions that when brought together, empower and inspire everyone who witnesses it.
These women make MUSIC together. And Kate Duncan is on a mission to remind all of us how much the world needs that.
CLICK EACH LINK to follow Miss Alliance 2016 Kate Lynne Duncan
WANT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT KATE?
For more information about the Miss Alliance Pageant, visit FACEBOOK PAGE. For information on becoming a contestant, contact Director Riki Cornish Hunter by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 308-430-4355.
To read more about this year’s contestants, or the Miss Nebraska/Miss Nebraska’s OT classes of 2015 & 2014, click the THERE SHE IS link at the top of the page!