Kate Allenger is an accomplished violinist who has turned her hand to many styles over her career.
A firm favorite on the Cayman music circuit, Allenger, whose “day job” is with Pinnacle Media, tells Weekender that it wasn’t exactly the smoothest journey to her current fame.
“I actually stopped playing the violin when I was 13,” she laughs.
“I had been classically trained, and at that tender age, unfortunately, I decided that classical music was ‘sissy’ and I had fallen in love with horses, so I dropped it for horse riding.
“Then, several years after I had moved to Cayman (won’t tell you when as you might guess my age!), I brought my violin back with me after a trip to the U.K. and I started playing again. I started playing with a quartet called Cayman Strings, then the Cayman National Orchestra formed and I started playing with them.”
It snowballed from there, with Allenger being asked to play at a friend’s wedding.
“Then a wedding planner asked me, then another, then another … and that was the start of my life as a wedding player. Same thing with my playing with quite a number of local bands – someone asked me to play with them – I had never played their genre of music, but I gave it a go, and the next thing you know, I was playing pop, country, rock ‘n’ roll, etc.”
Allenger describes her influences as a mix of everything.
“I love just joining in with whatever and whoever happens to be playing – whether it’s DJ Craig, who I play quite often with, a local band here, or very often I play solo with my backing tracks – and that’s anything from Beethoven to Bruno Mars.”
As you’d expect, her listening tastes are suitably wide.
“It depends where I am and what the mood is,” the fiddle player remarks. “It can be ‘Phantom of the Opera’ one minute and Jason Mraz’s ‘I’m Yours’ the next. I have so many favorites. At the moment, I love Ed Sheeran, John Mayer, Jason Mraz and my son Cory.”
As yet, there are no records available (but she does say it would be a “good idea,” so you never know.) There are many favorite live moments in her career, she says.
”Wow! I’ve had several – a couple I can’t mention, but I really do love all the weddings I play for. I love being a part in someone’s big day. I have also played with a Southern gospel artist, Coffey, here in Cayman, and I have played with Paul Overstreet, country music writer and artist. And I absolutely love playing with my very, very talented son Cory and his friend Jarrett in our band, Trinity.”
Talking of Cayman’s music scene, Allenger reckons it’s “very exciting” at the moment.
“There are lots of very talented up-and-coming young artists here. I have so much fun playing with different bands and people here (when I’m invited).
“I feel very lucky and privileged to have such great musical friends to work with.”
You can catch Kate Allenger every Monday at Grand Old House from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.; Saturday nights in the lobby at the Westin from 9 to 11 p.m. Trinity plays once a month at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, in the Silver Palm Lounge, 8:30 p.m. to midnight.