Updated: Mar 3, 2021
Even with the world in a health crisis, Kaitlynn Russell is still finding something to sing about! Coming from a musical family, Russell has always been interested in the arts and although she played the flute for a short while, singing was where she ultimately found her passion.
She’s been involved in the music programs provided by the school since elementary school and by the time she had hit her senior year, she had been a member of the freshman and treble chorus groups as well as concert choir this year.
Outside of school, Russell has sung with multiple national and regional choirs, sharing that one of her major accomplishments was when she was accepted into the All State national competition last year where she later had the opportunity to perform at NJPAC and Atlantic City. Throughout high school, she has also been a part of the Central Jersey Music Educators Associations, otherwise known as CJMEA.
Russell has performed in the school’s winter and spring seasonal concerts in addition to the coffeehouse events normally held in the Commons. In the most recent virtual editions of the coffeehouse, she sang Chloe Moriondo’s “Silly Girl” and Kacey Musgraves’ “Rainbow” accompanied by her friend, Allyson Fu, on the piano. Russell also had a solo during this year’s winter concert at the beginning of the choir's rendition of Andrea Ramsey’s “There has to be a Song.”
To Russell, chorus has been a “form of stress relief” and “way of expression.”
She reflected on her time at Monroe, writing in part, “I think the part that I [will] miss most from performing alongside my classmates would be the connections that we make with each other and the audience...seeing our hard work pay off by making an impact on members within the audience is also something that I [will] truly miss.”
While Russell spent plenty of her time dedicated to the arts, she has also made an impact in other parts of the school and the community at large. She has served as the school’s volleyball manager, a tutor, and Girl Scout along with giving her time to local food banks and the Knights of Columbus organization in Jamesburg. Through this experience, Russell has been able to combine passions of hers from school and serve a greater purpose elsewhere, like hosting volleyball tournaments to raise awareness about DMD, a genetic disorder that usually affects boys and their muscles.
Following graduation in June, Russell is set on attending Seton Hall University in South Jersey to study psychology and become a psychologist one day. With plenty of high and low notes from her high school career, Russell, like many other seniors, has surely learned that the show must go on!