She's one in 10,000: Lindsay Uhrich really is pitch perfect


Infographic by Taylor Staab

Talent finds a home in many people, especially in students. This year’s graduating class is made up of winning athletes, entrepreneurs and art prodigies. But a rare few are pitch perfect musicians like Lindsay Uhrich. According to The Creativity Post, only one in 10,000 people have this talent.

A senior this year, Uhrich utilizes her rare skill in the choirs that she participates in. The acapella group, Above the Noise, is where she has found her talent is needed most. The choir director, Cheryl Brooks, believes Uhrich to be a valuable contribution to the choir, for she acts as a “human pitch pipe,” leading each rehearsal by humming the exact pitch the choir needs to follow.

According to Brooks, perfect pitch is something a person is born with. If a student isn’t born with it, they can train themselves to have relative pitch. “Perfect pitch is when someone can, without any coaching/practicing/training, identify different pitches completely by ear,” Brooks said.

Uhrich has lived with this keen awareness of musical notes since the second grade. It all started with a child’s game between friends, all completely unaware of the skill within Uhrich.

“My music teacher used to babysit me. One day her kids were playing on the piano, and I was able to name each key they played. I didn’t think it was that big of a deal until my teacher told me that I had perfect pitch,” Uhrich said.

Despite all the benefits having perfect pitch seemingly has for a music student like Uhrich, she considers it a blessing and a curse. There are even moments when it doesn’t kick in, and Uhrich is left in the dark, unable to distinguish the right notes. “I can always tell when the choir is out of tune, and it drives me crazy. Sometimes, they’re in a gray area where I don’t know if they’re in tune or out of tune, and I never know what note to sing,” Urich said.

No matter, Uhrich’s contribution to the choir is invaluable, and she has become a real leader in the music department. “We can rely on Lindsay. She is an outstanding musician, so she is a rehearsal lead. She can lead a sectional and know other parts easily,” Brooks said.

On top of helping the choir as a whole, Uhrich also uses her talent to help identify whether another choir student has perfect pitch. “Another student started showing signs of perhaps having the same gift! Lindsay is putting her through some rigorous testing. [Lindsay’s] a natural singer, performer and teacher,” Brooks said.

As Uhrich finishes her high school career, she looks towards the future, curious as to how she’ll make use of her perfect pitch. “I probably will [use perfect pitch] without even knowing it. I might be the pitch pipe for choirs in the future, but I don’t know if I’ll use it if I perform professionally,” Uhrich said.

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