In the Philippines, a little girl participated in singing competitions.
When she moved to the United States in 2002 at 9, she continued to compete and used her winnings to support her family. Fast forward 15 years, and Kathrina Feigh is still competing, but now on national television.
Feigh, a 24-year-old Pierce alumni and a contestant on season 13 of the NBC singing competition show “The Voice,” lives in New York City, where she recently graduated from Pace University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theater.
Feigh, who was born in Manilla, began singing at 2, starting with the song, “Can You Feel The Love Tonight.”
From a young age, her parents told her to not compare herself to others, but to do her best.
“I am very passionate about my work,” Feigh said. “My parents have a great deal of responsibility in engraving that on me from a young age, whether for school or for music, they’ve always pushed me to be the best that I can be.”
At 5, her mom asked her if she loved to sing, she replied, “Yes.”
“She put me through singing lessons, ballet lessons and piano lessons,” Feigh said. “I wouldn’t be here without my parents because they really were the ones that pushed me to go and support that music.”
Feigh said her love of singing continued when she moved to the United States, where her competitions meant more than just sharing her voice.
“We aren’t super financially stable, so that was a way of me helping out my family by winning competitions,” Feigh said.
Feigh was part of the Musical Theatre Department when she attended Pierce from 2011-2013.
Feigh comes from a family that works in the medical field, and she said she planned to go to school to study pharmaceuticals, but changed her mind after she attended Pierce.
“When I got to Pierce, that’s when it [singing] really took off,” Feigh said. “I took a lot of classes in theater and that’s when I realized.”
Feigh said that Pierce was a beneficial part in furthering her education.
“I know we [Pierce] have a great transfer rate, and what better way to seal the deal than in New York City and get that musical theater degree,” she said.
Feigh said that being a part of the Music and Theatre Departments at Pierce shaped her into who she is now.
“I owe it all to Denise Gibson and also Valorie Grear,” Feigh said.
Performing Arts Department instructor Denise Gibson wrote Feigh’s college letter of recommendation, and said that she knew Feigh had a career ahead of her.
“Any student like that, when they ask for a letter of recommendation, I almost jump to do it because I know they are going to be successful,” Feigh said.
Gibson said that Feigh was always pleasant to work with, and her colleagues thought so, too.
“When you see something like that, you know that they are going to work well in group scenarios and in group casts and musicals,” Gibson said.
Gibson said that she thought Feigh would go into musical theater.
“She also has a really beautiful singing voice,” Gibson said. “I knew that would go far. She worked really hard as a dancer to become that triple threat.”
Valorie Grear, an instructor in the Theater Arts and Dance Department, said that Feigh took her acting class in fall 2011 and was one of the top students.
“She did some fantastic work in the class, but she was also so receptive and wanting to learn and grow and to use this as a full experience for her,” Grear said. “She was very warm and very outgoing and such a contributor to the class in terms of the positive energy.”
Grear said that Feigh was always looking to expand her education.
“She also took my dramatic literature class, and that’s really telling to me too, because a lot of people just want to take acting and be up on stage, but she wanted to know more,” Grear said.
Feigh said that while it is a cliche, her advice for people is to “never give up.”
“Sometimes, it’s really hard to meet your goals and meet your dreams, but everyday is a struggle. If you’re really passionate and you really love what you do, I think that you can really achieve that,” Feigh said. “Love your passion and love the people around you, and you’ll be successful.”