Crystal Watts’s career in music began when she married her husband Allen in 1981. They became “Just the Two of Us,” traveling the Los Angeles and Palm Desert areas, and making a living doing what they loved: singing and entertaining. Seven years later, they had their first child and moved to Bakersfield, Allen’s hometown. In 1988, they began singing at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church as music ministers. In 1997, after the birth of their third daughter, Crystal was hired by Monsignor Michael Braun to teach music and drama to the children at the school.
Over the years, Crystal has helped the music and drama program grow tremendously. What began as free downloaded plays off the Internet and small concerts in the cafeteria became licensed Broadway Disney shows and grand concerts with the entire school at some of the best auditoriums and theatres in Bakersfield.
All three of Crystal’s daughters attended OLPH from kindergarten to 8th grade, which is part of the reason she feels such a warm connection with the school. Crystal’s oldest daughter Ashley has a M.S. degree in Biology and works for Wonderful Orchards. Her middle daughter, Kristen, has her M.A. in English and teaches at Garces Memorial High School. Both live in Bakersfield with their husbands. Jessica, her youngest, is finishing up her B.A. degree in Entertainment and Tourism Communications at Fullerton State, where she now lives.
Crystal’s success as a music teacher is due to her extensive music education. In 1978 she began her vocal training in Los Angeles with Peggy Flannery and continued her training at Rio Hondo College. Most recently at Cal State University Bakersfield, she took many courses in Theory, Performance, and Conducting. She also studied vocal technique with Peggy Sears for 2 years and performed in the CSUB choir.
While this diverse education is very important to her, Crystal has found that the best educator is perhaps experience, which she has learned from her 21 years at OLPH, making her the longest working teacher on staff.
Crystal believes that everyone with a heart can sing, and the best way to bring out the potential of each student is with a challenge—because when children stop underestimating themselves, then adults stop underestimating them as well. Crystal will take this philosophy with her into her next 20 years.