Mary Kate Connor, a senior at Stone Bridge High School, performed “Stars” by Grace Potter & the Nocturnals on NBC’s The Voice Tuesday night in a blind audition as the show kicks off its 23rd season.
“I loved how beautiful and tender it was – you just nailed it dead on and you sound like a younger Brandi Carlile,” Clarkson said.
“Your voice is very soft and angelic,” Shelton added.
Connor has been working hard for the past several years to have an opportunity to perform on the show, she said in an interview on Tuesday.
“I was set to audition in season 19 in 2020 but I came down with COVID,” she said. “It was a hard time. I wanted to hone my skills and make sure I was ready to come back. I wanted to be the best I could be before I auditioned again.”
This time around, auditions started last April, she said, adding the process is “long and stressful but the reward is great.”
Regarding her blind audition performance, she said “it was probably the most nervous I have been in my life.”
“You have to wait awhile before going on stage and I ended up standing there for 20 minutes before the blind audition. I was very nervous,” she said.
However, she said The Voice sets you up to be successful with plenty of time for rehearsals. Her parents, Bryan and Lori Connor, were also seen on camera watching from the side of the stage.
While it was a nerve-wracking experience, she said it was “probably the most fun thing I have done.”
The 18-year-old Ashburn resident has been performing in musicals around Loudoun County since she was 9 years old when she auditioned for Les Miserable at Heritage High School in Leesburg. That show sparked a love for singing and performing and she attended Rock Ridge High School in Ashburn for two years to perform in their musical theater program.
During her junior hear she transferred to Stone Bridge High School and began to focus on learning how to play the guitar and write her own music.
Connor – who plans to attend James Madison University this fall – is grateful for the support she has received from friends and family throughout the process of auditioning for The Voice.
“My friends at school have been my biggest cheerleaders. It’s really fun,” she said.
Welcome to the discussion.
Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.