5 Questions with: Kate McEnerney, RC senior & singer, songwriter and guitarist

by rcnewsblog on March 22, 2013

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Kate McEnerney, a senior at Roanoke College, is a singer and songwriter who writes her own music, and also sings popular country and rock tunes. She also plays the guitar.

Her music inspiration comes from national folk rock singer-songwriters, Jack Johnson and Jason Mraz, who she says have a relaxed, acoustic music style.

McEnerney, who is from Leawood, Kan., regularly performs at several Salem establishments, including Mac and Bob’s Restaurant and Billy’s Barn.

She’s a creative writing major at Roanoke, and her ties to the College are strong. Her father, Jim McEnerney, is a Roanoke graduate and a lacrosse alumnus who co-owns Mac and Bob’s.

Though McEnerney would love to make a living as a singer and a musician, she has her sights set on a career in writing or marketing.

When she’s performing, McEnerney goes by her stage name of Kate Mac Band. Her music is sold through iTunes.

RC News Blog: When did you realize that you loved to sing, and when did you start to play the guitar?

Kate McEnerney: When I was really young I used to sing all the time. In first grade, I wanted to be a rock star. I got a guitar in sixth grade and that was when I first took lessons for a couple of months and then taught myself to play.  I started song writing by seventh grade.

My family also has always loved to sing. My mom likes to sing at church. My younger sister Broghan, a freshman here at RC, sings and likes to play the guitar as well. My brother is the same way. He likes to play a lot of Mumford and Sons [a folk rock band], and my other sister has the most insane voice and is really talented.

RC News Blog: Where do you get your song-writing ideas?

Kate McEnerney: I get most of my inspiration from situations that have happened to me and that have happened to my friends. As I’ve gotten older, some of my newest songs are not based off of specific things. They are just more about life in general and words that rhyme.

RC News Blog: Explain how you began to sell your music via iTunes.

Kate McEnerney: Getting your music on iTunes is actually not a hard process. I have a website that I put all my music on, and there is a website[where] you can upload your music. iTunes needs to approve it.

RC News Blog: What are your plans after you graduate from Roanoke in May?

Kate McEnerney: I’m moving to Charlotte, N.C., and I definitely want to continue to play [music] when I get there. I’ve joined a singer-songwriter group that puts together shows. In a dream world, I would love to go out and only work by singing and playing shows and make a living that way, but it doesn’t pay that well so I have to have a real job. I hope someday I can spend a few months in Nashville after I’ve saved some money and just really try to go all for it.

RC News Blog: What are your most memorable moments on stage?

Kate McEnerney: It was last year when I was playing at Billy’s Barn, and all of my friends were there, and we were all singing “Semi-Charmed Life” by Third Eye Blind. Everyone was gathered around singing. It’s the most fun for me when I can sing in front of my friends.

Hear McEnerney sing during Roanoke’s Alumni Weekend on Friday, April 12 at 7 p.m. at the Fowler House.

Check out her band website and listen to her music here. 

-By Shelby Sacco ’14

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