Our Weekly Spotlight on the Arts is shining brightly on Patricia Armstrong!
Our featured artist is not only a long-time vocalist but a talented guitar player as well! It’s hard to believe that Patricia has been an instrumentalist for only just over a year, we are amazed at how far she has progressed in such a short period of time. Patricia’s musical roots go way back to her childhood in North Carolina as her grandmother sung many a hymn to her. As a child, Patricia would follow suit and often sang the same songs around the house for family members and friends, perhaps even to a captive audience of dolls and stuffed animals as well!
Years later, Patricia enrolled in piano lessons while a senior in high school and soon after was part of a church choir for almost ten years. A highlight of this time period was singing in the alto section of a 100-voice community chorus at Christmas time in which they performed Handel’s Messiah along with members of the North Carolina Symphony. Patricia’s choir experiences taught her many lessons about reading music and theory which would help advance her musical journey.
Over time as Patricia went off to college, started a career, and then a family, her musical ambitions fell to the wayside but were never truly forgotten about. Fast forward to the summer of 2019 when Patricia found herself waking up from quite an inspirational dream in which she was playing guitar, and playing it well! She felt as this was some type of mysterious calling, which soon led to the purchase of her first guitar.
Finding a good music instructor was the next window of opportunity which opened for her, once Patricia started working with local musician Josh Airhart she found that her guitar playing skills rapidly progressed which placed her on a solid path of learning and skills-building.
Patricia cites her earliest musical influences to be Karen Carpenter, whose alto voice was a good match for hers. She also favorites performing artists of various genres with a focus on guitar being on all types of country and bluegrass music, both new and old. She enjoys the work of many singer-songwriters such as Taylor Swift and Hank Williams, Sr. Equally inspiring is the local music scene including artists such as her instructor Josh Airhart as well as members of the Robbie Boothe band, Chris Dean, Jay Armsworthy, and many others.
Although the COVID-19 pandemic has put a halting stop to several of Mrs. Armstrong’s community volunteer activities which she usually engages in, she has found time to watch and learn from artists performing and teaching virtually. Josh Airhart encouraged Patricia to post her music videos online, which she initially found to be a bit daunting, but now states that she is “hooked into” as she has found much joy in sharing her music with others.
Shine on Patricia, we love watching our local stars rise as they work to reach their goals!
“My guitar and singing has been the biggest blessing to me for survival during this pandemic.” ~Patricia Armstrong
Links of interest:
Bluegrass on the Bay featuring Jay Armsworthy – for traditional local bluegrass from one of Patricia’s favorite artists! (https://bluegrasscountry.org/shows/bluegrass-on-the-bay/)
The Bluegrass Jamboree -recommended by Patricia for wonderful bluegrass music! (https://thebluegrassjamboree.com/)
(Select photos captured by Norine Rowe, others provided by artist).