Looking at Ashley Kruth’s accomplishments and current projects, it is hard to believe she just graduated college. She is recording an album, started a new job, traveled around the world, performed at the KFC Yum! Center, Fourth Street Live, and at Headliners Music Hall, and was a program director for a non-profit music program.
When she is not teaching at Scottsburg Middle School and Scottsburg High School, Kruth is working a country album.
“I was signed to a label last December,” Kruth said. “I am recording near Nashville.”
Late last year, Kruth was introduced to someone in the music business through one of her friends. Kruth attended a meeting, and she was asked to audition on the spot — at a restaurant.
“I had to sing in the middle of the restaurant,” Kruth said about her audition. “I sang a jazz tune. It was interesting.”
Before being signed, Kruth was no stranger to public performances and recording CDs. She performed the national anthem at least four times at the KFC Yum! Center, and last month, she performed at Fourth Street Live with Daya and JoJo.
In college, Kruth was a member of the Cardinal Singers, a world-class choir at the University of Louisville. Recently, she traveled to China for two weeks with the choir.
There, she learned about the culture and how differently the Chinese experience concerts than Americans.
“There was talking during the concert and walking around. That was really shocking,” Kruth said. “The way they experience a concert is different than the way we experience it.”
While in China, she attended an international music competition even though the Cardinal Singers did not compete there.
“[The venue for the competition] literally looked like the Grammy’s,” Kruth said. “It was the biggest hall I’ve ever seen.”
Before traveling with the Cardinal Singers, the Minnesota native visited other countries through her singing experiences. Growing up, Kruth performed in Ireland and Italy and recorded a CD of liturgical songs and plays.
“The first time I ever sang was in the eighth grade. I had to sing for mass,” said Kruth, who attended a private school in northern Kentucky after her family moved south.
But the CDs, the performances, and the travel almost did not happen — Kruth quit choir to play sports. It was not until her mother encouraged her to return to music that Kruth seriously considered singing and music could be in her future.
“My mom told me to get back into choir,” Kruth said. “We recorded a CD of liturgical songs, and she remembered how well I sang.”
With her mom’s encouragement, Kruth returned to music. Through high school, Kruth was further encouraged by her choir teacher, Eileen Bird.
“She pushed me to be a leader,” Kruth said. “She let me teach a lot in choir.”
As her high school choir teacher pushed classical pieces and performance, Kruth and her friend found another love — opera.
“Opera was my thing,” Kruth said. “I listen to opera all the time.”
Anywhere they could, the two high school students would make time to go to the opera. As an avid opera fan, Kruth fell in love with La bohème by Giacomo Puccini.
“I love the relationships between the characters. It has good supporting roles,” Kruth said.
From her experiences as a student, Kruth decided to become a teacher. She decided to focus on teaching high school after student teaching at Floyd Central High School.
“I loved teaching high school,” Kruth said.
Along with her classroom experience, Kruth was also the program director for AMPED, Academy of Music Production Education and Development, in Louisville. The non-profit program gives students the opportunity to explore music with recording, composition, engineering, and more.
At Scott County School District 2, Kruth’s story is our story. Your story matters. You matter.