Artist of the Week: Kayli Decker


Artist of the Week: Kayli Decker

December 19, 2023

Warwick Valley Middle School 8th grader Kayli Decker has had a thing for singing for as long as she can recall.

“Always! I’ve always just loved listening to music and singing along,” said Kayli. She remembers singing along to her favorite songs as far back as second grade, but also said that the recorded evidence of her passion for music goes back even further!

“It was close to this time of year; I was two years old,” Kaylie said, setting the scene. “My mom has a video she took of me sitting on our stairs, singing Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.”

Nowadays, Kayli’s numerous musical influences include singers like Lana Del Rey, Taylor Swift, and Sia, and the band Arctic Monkeys. In 4th grade, Kayli brought her hobby of singing along to her favorites at home into school, when she and her Park Avenue classmates began singing together in class. When Kayli hit 5th grade, she officially joined the chorus and has been performing with a district vocal ensemble every year since.

“Kayli has such an incredible singing voice and, I hope more people can learn about the gift she possesses,” said WVMS chorus director Shane Peters. “The tone of her voice is uniquely beautiful and it’s something that can’t stay hidden from the world. Her short solos in concert only leave the audience wanting more.”

Mr. Peters appreciates the strong presence that Kayli has had in the chorus over the past few years. She became a soloist in the chorus last year and, just this week, wowed an audience of holiday concert goers with another of her outstanding solo performances during the Winter Concert.

Kayli’s love of music and performance has led her to put in a lot of time practicing her craft, even taking voice lessons from 6th grade right up until the end of last year. Kayli finds the practice rewarding, but there are two specific opportunities she enjoys most about being in chorus.

“Really, what I love is that I get to sing every other day, and that I get to sing with a big group of people,” Kayli smiled. “We all sound amazing together! So, I think that’s really fun, getting to work with other people.”

This year, Kayli is planning to step out even further as a soloist, and work on preparing a solo for the Orange County Music Educators Association All-County Festival. Looking ahead to all of the musical opportunities waiting for her next year at the high school, she knows chorus will remain her focus, but is also considering giving herself some new personal challenges.

“Well, I want to try out for all the solos,” Kayli said first with a laugh, before adding that she also has a growing interest in musical theater. “I’ve been wanting to try out [in elementary and middle school], but I’m not really the type of person to act and stuff, so I’ve never really gotten the courage to do it. But, I think I am going to go out for drama club!”

Kayli also plans on continuing to approach music with the work ethic and enthusiasm that has led to all of her success and fulfillment so far. She’s also looking to get her music into more ears, even considering posting performances on social media. For now, though, she is enjoying her time with the WVMS chorus and the collaborative opportunities it affords her to rehearse, perform, and form bonds with her classmates.

“Like I said, it’s really fun to be working with other people and just seeing how we all can come together and sing something,” Kayli said. “And, I think Mr. Peters does such a good job teaching us; he’s my favorite!”

Clearly, this is a mutual admiration situation.

“As Kayli gets ready to leave us for high school, she’s growing more and more as a talented vocalist,” said Mr. Peters. “She’s going to be unstoppable. I am so proud of her!”


If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

Comments are closed.