Music has been a part of Jennifer Fair's life since she first sang onstage at the Casey County Apple Festival in Liberty as a 3-year-old.
Later, as a student at the University of Kentucky, Fair was open to almost any career opportunity that would allow her to sing for a living.
"The obstacle," she said, "was making a living at it."
Now Fair, who graduated in 1998, is singing aboard the cruise ship Oceania Nautica.
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She will be performing her show, The Soprano Experience, in Midway on Friday. And she's looking forward to seeing old friends there.
"It's a great opportunity to come home and see people I haven't seen in a while," Fair said. "I'm bringing my travels home."
Fair went to New York City to begin her career after earning a bachelor's degree in music education and a master's degree in voice. After the terrorist attack on Sept. 11, 2001, Fair felt that she owed it to herself to travel the world.
She got a call about two weeks later asking if she could come to New Zealand and sing on a cruise liner.
"I packed up my apartment, went to New Zealand and started doing it," Fair said. "I needed to find something that would pay for me to travel."
Fair applied ideas that she learned at UK when putting together her cabaret show.
One of her professors, Everett McCorvey, remembers her well.
"Jennifer was a wonderful student when she was here, and she was part of a terrific class of young artists when she was here," said McCorvey, director and producer of UK Opera Theatre, who was one of Fair's mentors. "She has represented the voice program at UK in a wonderful manner around the world."
With UK commencement on Saturday, Fair jokingly offered advice to students thinking about careers in music: "Take a good couple of months not to think about it."
She urges students to relish this time with their friends. "Really try to enjoy each precious moment," Fair said.
Her more serious advice: "Definitely do everything. Take every job that you are offered and do it. You will figure out what you want to do that way. ... Sometimes you will surprise yourself.
"The most important thing, be open to opportunities because they will come to you."
Fair has always enjoyed singing more than anything, she said.