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Alumni Stories

Want to know what is going on with old Valor friends? Stay up to date with the latest stories about our alumni! 

Katherine Noonan balances recording new music while studying medicine at Vanderbilt University 

Written by Blake Froistad

Going the medical route in college has a way of refining even the finest of students. Trying to balance the coursework alone has forced many aspiring Doctors and Nurses to question if they really want to stick it out, or pursue another calling. Yet Katherine Noonan has found a way to not only continue her pursuit of being a physical therapist, but also record new music while studying medicine at Vanderbilt University. To pull this off, it takes more than just a hobby, but a deeply rooted passion. From a young age, Katherine took a liking to music, "I took lessons growing up and started with the flute, taking more of a classical approach." The classical approach laid a solid foundation, and it wasn't long before she started vocals too, "I got a guitar for Christmas and started playing songs, and found out I loved singing too." After getting involved with the Cherry Hills Praise Band, she really started to develop her talent by the time she arrived at Valor. 

Katherine performing at 2021 Commencement 

"I really fell in love with it at Valor, and was able to work at the craft and learn the structure of songs." But this didn't come easy, and Katherine talked about battling some self doubt before really breaking free as a songwriter. "I remember writing my first song about my sister leaving for college and the reaction was great. It gave me the confidence I needed to keep trying." But a little more adversity was just what she needed to really take hold of being a singer-songwriter. "I broke my ankle in soccer my sophomore year and missed the whole season. I met Marty, and enrolled in songwriting junior year, and picked up piano too." Yet another testament to the Lord's healing and sovereignty in brokenness. 

Being at Vanderbilt has allowed her to not only cultivate her PT goals, but to continue to be exposed to the music industry. "There's so many young, like-minded musicians. It's fun taking a break during the week to go to concerts and be around other creators." But Katherine isn't just a consumer of music now, she also leads worship on campus and at her church in Nashville. She recently released a new song in September called "No One Like You" and has numerous other songs in the works. In true Music City fashion, she records out of friends houses to keep the dream and passion alive.

You're probably wondering what will give way first: the medical career or the music career? Reflecting on pursuing music beyond college: "I think about it everyday. I love music so much and the songwriting process. No matter what I end up doing, it'll always be a part of my life. I play with the idea of doing this for a living, and the uncertainty is scary, but trusting in God's sovereignty that He will guide my every step." Be sure to stay up with Katherine's new music on her Spotify page. 

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