• Special to the Daily Leader
Two Pancake Day events this year will feature up and coming Christian vocalist Daniel Kirkley. The Franklin, Tenn., recording artist will headline the Christian Artist Showcase Sunday evening and will also emcee the annual Pancake Day Talent Show on Monday.
A native of South Carolina, Kirkley co-wrote five of the songs on his most recent album, “Let Love Win.” According to Kirkley’s Web site, his “vocal style incorporates elements of his classical training, fused with vibrant pop sensibilities and the blend results in a unique sound, unlike anything on the contemporary Christian music landscape.”
While Kirkley’s interest in music dates back to his childhood, his decision to pursue a full-time singing career is fairly recent. In fact, he planned to become a doctor.
“I started singing in church when I was five or six years old,” Kirkley said. “When I got older, I fell in love with science and medicine. I ended up getting an academic and music scholarship to University of South Carolina. I double majored in pre-med and classical voice, but at that point, music didn’t seem feasible as a career.”
While in college, he sang during his summer breaks at a North Carolina theme park, an experience that set him on the road to a change in career paths.
“I loved the experience so much, being in front of people and connecting with people,” Kirkley said. “I came back to school just completely restless and not satisfied.”
Kirkley transferred to Belmont University in Nashville, where he did an internship with BMG Music Publishing, working in the gospel division. He tried his hand at songwriting, learned the ins and outs of the music business and, after releasing an independent album in 2003, began getting invitations to perform.
Kirkley signed with Centricity Records and fans can now find him performing all over the country, from Massachusetts and Florida, to Kansas and Arizona.
The Christian Artist Showcase is set for 7:30 p.m. Sunday in the Liberal High School Auditorium in Liberal. Tickets are $5 and are available by calling 624-6423. Tickets will also be on sale at the door. The Christian Artist Showcase is sponsored by the International Pancake Day Board, First Southern Baptist Church and The Liberal Ministerial Alliance.
Kirkley will also serve as emcee for the Pancake Day Talent Show, set to begin at 7:30 p.m. Monday in the Liberal High School Auditorium in Liberal. The talent show will feature 24 acts competing in four divisions for cash prizes. Tickets are $7 in advance and are on sale at First National Bank. Tickets will be $10 at the door. The talent show is sponsored by the Liberal Noon Lions Club. For more information on any Pancake Day event, call 624-6423.