Kathy Haley has been making music for more than 50 years. Hymns. Christmas carols. Folk music.


It’s been a lifelong calling, one she’s shared with the world as both a singer and a pianist/organist. And for today’s young musicians who feel that same calling? She has some advice.

Name: Kathy (Redmun) Haley (though my mother named me Kathleen for the song “I’ll Take You Home Again Kathleen,” a favorite of her father’s.)

Age: (Ouch.) 63 as of Jan. 4!

Town: Danville


Married/single/relationship: Married to Donald Haley for almost 33 years

Job: Musician — pianist, vocalist, church organist and choir director, currently at Court Street Baptist Church. Also, accompanist for the Edward Little High School choral program.

What got you interested in music? My parents sang and loved music. We listened to old 78 records and sang and danced along. My uncle, Bill Redmun, was known for having a wonderful voice and I loved to hear him. My mother had a dream that her daughters, Aileen, Kathleen and Christeen, would be the next Andrews Sisters, so sent us for dance and music lessons at early ages with Mrs. Blake on Highland Avenue in Auburn for a short time.

How long have you been singing? Pretty much since I could talk. I remember dressing in costumes with my sisters and brother entertaining our neighbors! I sang in the children’s choir at the Danville Union Church. Later sang folk music with small groups until forming the Chord Majority with Tom Rowe, Joanne (Demers) Fuller, and Sue (Foisy) McKenney as a ninth-grade English project. We performed all through high school and beyond, adding members Ken Ford and Denny Breau. After college I sang with a few bands, leading up to becoming a founding member of Good and Plenty, the top-40 dance band most known for the years at the Ramada Inn of Lewiston from the ’70s to the ’90s.

How many churches have you played piano/organ in? Oh let’s see . . .  as the primary organist/pianist: Danville Union Church, West Auburn Congregational Church, Court Street Baptist Church, Sixth Street Congregational, Stroudwater Christian Church of Portland, South Freeport Congregational Church. I have also had the privilege of playing for many weddings, funerals or substituting at dozens of other area churches.

What’s special about religious music? Touching hearts and sharing hope through the words and melodies is what makes sacred music so unique. Music and the arts speak to each of us on a deep level. Adding the element of faith to music is such a great way to communicate with each other and to our God in heaven.

What’s your favorite song to sing? Just one would be hard to choose. “Come In from the Rain” by Melissa Manchester is certainly one. My mother’s favorite song to hear me sing is “I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor. “In Heaven’s Eyes” by Sandi Patti is one of my favorite Christian songs, which I had the privilege of recording with my friend Phil House. From my years as a folk singer with the Chord Majority my favorite song to sing was “The Song Is Love” by Peter, Paul and Mary.

Christmas carols: Bring them on? Or thank goodness that season is finally over? I am sitting hear listening to three Christmas CDs as I answer these questions. All three were Christmas gifts from friends. The only downside to playing for all the special concerts and programs is not being able to take it in on a spiritual level. Sure, there is joy in the performance and lifting up others in the process, but today I am filling my cup with the gift that music has always been to me. Feeling very blessed today!

What advice would you give to aspiring musicians? Go for it! Your life will only be enriched by the people who make or teach music or by the people for whom you have the privilege of sharing your talent. A note to parents who have to choose between activities for their children: Baseball, football, soccer, gymnastics and all the other wonderful sports and activities available are only for a season of life. The ability to play an instrument and sing with others will add such a rich dimension to your life . . . for the rest of your life!

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