Memories of The PBS Filming at Longwood Gardens

CaptureRecently, I had the pleasure of attending the concert and taping of Jackie Evancho‘s third PBS special on location at Longwood Gardens, Pennsylvania on August 21, 2014.  This will have been the seventh Jackie Evancho concert that I have attended. Of all the concerts that I have attended, as spectacular as they have all been, I would have to say this was by far the most memorable.  The experience of seeing Jackie perform live is extraordinary in itself, but when you combine that with all the ambiance of a place like Longwood Gardens. plus the excitement of watching her PBS TV special being filmed live, it is almost overwhelming!  At first when I found out about this concert I wasn’t sure if I could attend.  My wife and I had already made plans to see Jackie at Chautauqua.  The late announcement of the PBS concert filming ended up being two weeks after the concert at Chautauqua.  The drive to Longwood would only be about 7 hours, so I knew that this was about as good as it gets to witness the recording of a Jackie Evancho PBS special.  It was an opportunity that I could not pass up.  I purchased two tickets for my wife and I.  Unfortunately, a few weeks later my wife realized that she had a schedule conflict on the day of the concert and could not attend.  So, I decided to go to the concert solo even though I really wanted to have my wife go with me too.  I know she would have loved to see it.

As with any Jackie Evancho concert, the anticipation leading up to the event is almost as exciting as the actual concert itself.  However, the time leading up to this concert also presented some anxiety.  Being that this was an open-air outdoor concert, the threat of bad weather was a major concern.  The weather forecast for the day of the concert did not look good at all.  The chance of rain was very strong (80 to 90 percent).  There was a rain date schedule for August 22nd, but that day didn’t look much better.  The weather forecast for the entire week of the concert was very poor, and the actual day of the concert was looking like the worst weather day of the week.  It would be so heartbreaking if this wonderful concert was hampered by bad weather.  The only thing I could do was pray that somehow God would shield the area from the impending rain.

On the morning of August 20th,I departed on the 7 hour drive to Longwood.  I decided to leave a day before the concert so that I would not have any stress or anxiety about trying to get to the concert on time.  The morning that I departed from Ohio, the weather was very bad.  There was a heavy rain falling.  Typically Ohio weather moves eastward, so it didn’t look good for the Longwood area in eastern PA.    I was driving in rain for about an hour, when it suddenly cleared up.  I probably got ahead of the rain and it was now chasing me across PA.  I continued to pray as I drove in hopes that the weather situation would improve.  About 100 miles from Longwood, it started to rain heavily again, however once I reached my hotel the skies were sunny and there was no rain in sight.  I was really worried though that the rain was on its way.

The next day, the weather was overcast, but no rain.  Temperatures were in the 80s with very high humidity (about 80 – 90 percent).  As long as it didn’t rain, then I was OK with the humidity.  I made my way over to Longwood Gardens around 11:00 am to tour the grounds before the concert.  My hotel was about 10 miles away, so I decided to wear my concert attire there and just try my best to stay cool.  It was very hot and humid, but I wanted to tour the grounds.  I must say that it is a beautiful place.  The gardens, flowers, fountains and overall scenery are pristine.  It is an incredible location for Jackie to do her PBS special.  Very good choice by whoever made the decision to film there.  One of the most impressive areas that I saw were some of the sections of the indoor conservatory.

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Later during the day, I  heard that Jackie had a filming session in the ballroom in that area, as well as various other surrounding gardens near the conservatory.  Unfortunately, I missed a filming of Jackie that occurred just moments after I left the conservatory area.  By the time I had heard about it and started heading back there, the session was over.  Oh well, story of my life.  By mid -afternoon, many of Jackie’s fans were getting together at the Longwood Cafe for lunch and to socialize before the concert.  There were fans who came from Russia, France, Germany, and the UK as well as many fans from all over the United States.  Jackie has a very loyal fan following, and I must say they are all very nice and generous people.  Many fan-made custom Jackie buttons were given out and everyone was sharing their thoughts about Jackie and the upcoming concert.  The atmosphere was electric!

Around 4:00 pm many fans  started gathering around the blocked off entrance to the stage area.  The tickets for the concert were unreserved, so some of us die-hard fans wanted to get to the head of the line so that we could get good seats.  At 4:30, the gates would open, but not where we thought.  An usher indicated the line would form just down the path from where we were standing.  Myself and several other fans immediately headed in the direction indicated by the usher, and through some miracle, we were at the head of the line – I was about the 4th person in line.   We would still have to wait there in the sweltering humid heat for two hours before they would let us into the theater area at 6:30.  The weather forecast was still very iffy around that time.  The forecast still showed a 90% chance of rain and the weather radar on my phone showed a very large cell headed our way.  I kept saying to myself, “Please God, hold off this rain just until the concert is over!”  So far, so good!

At a little past 6:30, we were permitted to enter the theater area.  Being at the head of the line, I thought we would get very good seats.  I did not expect to get real close to the front because I suspected that some seats would be reserved.  I expected to get within at least the first 10 rows.  Unfortunately as we entered the theater, one of the ushers told us to start sitting in the back of the theater.  What’s with that?  First in line yet we are to sit in the back!?  Understandably we were a bit upset!  I didn’t want to make a scene, but it was troubling.  Suddenly I looked over and all the people who were way behind us in line were streaming to the front of the theater to get the unreserved closer seats.  I decided to do the same, but by then it was too late.  There was some confusion as to what was going on.  As it turns out, I ended up in about the 20th row and could see many people who were way back behind me in line within the first 10 rows.  I still ended up in a fairly good seat so I shouldn’t complain, but the process for handling the seating by the ushers was not one of the highlights of the day.

The theater area looked like a wonderland of beauty.  The stage was adorned with a multitude of flowers and plants.  There were large camera booms, teleprompters, video cameras, and lighting systems in place.  It all looked amazing!  I felt like I was in another world.  I could hardly contain the excitement I was feeling.  Right in front of me was this magnificent stage that looked like a flowering paradise.  There were several levels to the stage and towards the back were large fountains that would spray huge plumes of water.  The lighting was incredible as it glistened off all of the plants and flowers – highlighting all the nuances of the greenery.

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The concert was scheduled to start around 7:30, but ended up starting about 15 minutes late.  The producer of the show gave the audience a few instructions on how the evening would progress.  This would not be a typical concert.  There may be some re-takes, and some audience shots by the cameras.  That was to be expected.  Personally, I couldn’t be happier to hear Jackie sing a song more than once, so bring on the re-takes!  The MC of the show was also Jackie’s duet partner for a couple of songs.  His name was Cheyenne Jackson.  He is a prominent Broadway singer and actor.  He would sing two duets with Jackie –  “Think of Me” and “Say Something.”   The following is the complete set list with a few of my comments on some of the songs.  The song list is from Jackie’s new CD titled “Awakening” that will be released this September 23rd.

Act #1:

  • Think Of Me – This was performed as a duet with Cheyenne.  I was surprised that this was a duet, since the single of Think Of Me was just released with Jackie singing it solo.  There were some whimsical lyrics that Cheyenne used that were not part of the original Phantom of the Opera song that this came from.
  • Your Love - Currently, I would have to say this was my favorite song of the night.  This song is a a beautiful vocalized version of the song from the movie “Once Upon a Time In the West”
  • Je T’aime - This song is a remake of the same song made popular by Lara Fabian.  I must say that after hearing Jackie sing it, I think Lara may have some competition.  I was not a real big fan of this song until I heard Jackie sing it.  Now it is one of my favorites of the concert.
  • Made To Dream – This is a new song that I believe was specifically written for Jackie.  Unfortunately, I don’t remember too much about this one.
  • O Mio Babinno Caro  – Jackie commented on this song and eluded to the fact that this is her signature song that she wanted to include on all her concerts.  It is the song that made her famous on her debut at America’s Got Talent.

Act #2:

  • Say Something (duet) – Jackie and Cheyenne sang this song beautifully.  The song originated from  Ian Axel
  • Ave Maria – This is the Caccini version.  I will have to say this is another one of my top favorite songs on the concert.  Jackie sang this song in such a heavenly way, all I could do was look up at the sky and reflect on the magnificence of the moment.
  • Rains of Castamere – This song has been released as a single from the TV show Game of Thrones.  We were treated to two performances of this song due to a retake.
  • Vocalise – This is the song composed by Rachmaninoff.  Probably the most difficult song for Jackie to sing.  However, she sang it effortlessly and I was amazed at how incredible she did on it.  Two ballerinas danced to this piece while Jackie sang.  It was very elegant.   Because of a slight wardrobe issue with one of the ballerinas, Jackie was asked to sing it one more time so that the TV producer could get the shot right.  I thought about how hard it must be to have to sing that song again, and yet Jackie sang it again perfectly.
  • Open Fields Of Grace – This was a very tranquil song that gave me visions of walking through Longwood Gardens and marveling at all of the marvelous scenery there.  I believe there was a segue to a part of Longwood that may be on the DVD of the concert when it is released.  I guess we will know for sure when the DVD comes out.

Act #3:

  • Take Me There – This was actually supposed to be the concluding piece on the show, but they wanted to get it in soon just in case the weather didn’t hold out and because it was getting late.  I believe this song was another original song for Jackie.  It had more of an upbeat tempo and a bit more on the pop side.  I could see this song possibly getting radio air-play.  I loved it!
  • With or Without You  – This is the song by the group U2.  I will have to say that although Jackie sang it great, it is probably not my most favorite song, but according to Jackie her Dad likes it a lot.
  • My Immortal – This is the song by Evanescence.   Jackie surprised us all by coming out and playing the piano for this while she sang the first half of the song.  I was impressed at how well she did since I have never seen her play piano before.  She did an outstanding job singing and playing.  Part way through the piece she transitioned from the piano to sing at center stage as someone took over the piano part for the remainder of the song.
  • Memories – Another beautiful song that may be an original as well.  I don’t recall ever hearing this song before.  And no, it is not the song from Cats.
  • Dormi Jesu – Another very challenging song for Jackie to sing.  Yet, it was outstanding!  Another one of my top favorite songs of the evening.

The song list was the right balance between classical and pop songs as is typical in the Classical Crossover genre that Jackie sings.  It has some reminiscence of her very successful Dream With Me CD, only that Jackie has turned it up a notch.  She is older now and much more powerful with her voice.  Yet, she still maintains the warmth and purity to her vocals that trigger tears to flow from listening to her sing.  With all that, Jackie still maintains a relaxed and whimsical demeanor on stage.  She joked around with the audience at times and was very fun to watch as she would occasionally jump and skip on stage – still preserving some of those little-girl moments as she transitions to being a young woman.  In the past 4 years I have seen Jackie progress from a very talented 10 year-old little girl to a 14 year-old superstar who is cherished and admired by many.  She continues to get better and better as the years progress.  Her new CD is going to be epic and I hope that anyone reading this blog will get a copy when it comes out on September 23rd.

Ironically, it never did rain during the concert.  The rain held off until we were exiting the theater after the concert had ended.  Just then, a soft drizzle of rain fell from the skies.  It was almost as if the angels were weeping for joy from what they had just heard too.  God did indeed answer our prayers.

You can pre-order Jackie’s new CD titled “Awakening” at the link below:

http://www.jackieevancho.com/awakening

Dedicated Jackie Evancho Fan

There is a point where the personal realization of being associated with a particular label or group is evident.  In the case of this blog, it is an association with being a dedicated Jackie Evancho Fan.  For me, this increasingly occurred over a gradual progression of time ever since I saw Jackie perform on America’s Got Talent in 2010.  It wasn’t long before I reached a point where I realized that I am indeed a fan, not just the every day run of the mill fan, but a truly dedicated fan that wants to be part of something great – following the music and career of Jackie Evancho.  It has been over a year now since that realization occurred, and I can say that I have been greatly enriched because of it.

Never before in my 49 years have I ever considered myself a dedicated fan for anyone like I have been for Jackie.  What was the turning point that brought me to where I am now?  Hard to say for sure, but the number of elements that have pushed me to this level have piled up over the last 12 months.  I have given this some thought and have tried to come up with reasons why I have developed such a strong dedication to being a fan of Jackie.  Here is my attempt at putting together a list of some of the tangible elements that have contributed to my dedication:

  • The kindhearted nature that Jackie continually shows towards everyone around her.
  • Jackie’s joyful good-nature.
  • The songs that Jackie sings and the way she sings them is very emotionally meaningful.
  • Jackie’s profession of her faith in God and the thankful heart that she has for her gift coming from God.
  • Myself being a Catholic, I am drawn in to Jackie’s commitment to her own Catholic faith.
  • I am very moved that Jackie sings some songs that are connected to her faith.
  • The short video clip of Jackie praying before her concert in Japan is very endearing to me.
  • The positive energy that seems to emanate from Jackie is truly contagious and it shows from the good-natured fans that follow her.
  • The fans that are drawn in to Jackie and the commonalities that I have with many of them regarding Jackie have been very gratifying. Many fans have helped me to come to an understand of my own thoughts and feelings towards being such a committed fan.
  • The structure of Jackie’s family is very similar to my own. I may not have a child superstar in the midst of my own children, but I cherish the family that I have. Seeing video clips and pictures of Jackie’s family helps to reinforce my own family values.
  • The caring nature that Jackie shows towards animals and all living creatures both big and small.
  • Jackie seems very humble and shows a wonderful sense of humility.
  • I really admire the way Mike and Lisa Evancho (Jackie’s parents) have kept their family grounded with all of the probable pressures that surround them to change their ways regarding Jackie’s career. They have remained steadfast and true to their ideals regarding Jackie.
  • The willingness of Mike and Lisa Evancho to participate in on-line forums and discussions with fans as a community of people who care for Jackie and one another.  The society of people whom have formed around Jackie’s career is very special.
  • Attending a live performance and seeing the incredible stage presence that Jackie exhibits, in addition to the caring interaction she has with her audience.
  • Seeing the joy that Jackie experiences when performing.  She truly loves singing for people and it really shows.

As you can see from the list above, there is so much that I have discovered about Jackie that has solidified my position as being the committed fan that I have become. The list continually grows and I am sure I will be able to easily add to it.

Around this time last year I discovered the YouTube video that really energized my interest in Jackie, and that was the PBS Great Performances clip of “Nessun Dorma”. Yes… I did see Jackie perform on AGT in 2010, and I thought she was fantastic, but that was not the main spark that got me into the dedicated fan arena. When I heard Jackie sing “Nessun Dorma” five months later on YouTube, it was like a spiritual light switch went on inside of me as tears were running down my cheeks. After that, I started the Internet quest to discover more music and information about Jackie. The more I found, the more I came to admire her.  Every song she sings is filled with sincere emotion and it touches your heart with joy.  There are many others out there who are just like me.  There is something good going on with Jackie Evancho and I hope others who are unfamiliar with her will do their own research to discover all the wonderful things that I and all of her existing fans have come to know and love.


Jackie will be releasing a new CD this fall.  She will also be featured on a new PBS Great Performances special titled “Music of the Movies” that is due to air sometime in August.  Consult your local PBS broadcast affiliate for exact dates and times.

Impressions of “Dream With Me” CD

Several months have passed since the release of Jackie Evancho‘s “Dream With Me” CD on June 14th, 2011.  I purchased my copy sometime in July.  From the first time I started listening, I was amazed at how much Jackie’s voice had progressed since her appearance on America’s Got Talent in 2010. At the time of the show, her performances were exceptional.  As I listened to the CD months later, it was as if Jackie had taken her already amazing talent and propelled it to the next level.  The vocals that are produced from this gifted little girl (11 years old at the time the CD was released) are absolutely incredible.  Over 2 months have passed since I first listened to it, and I am still playing it almost daily in my car.  It draws me in like no other recording has ever done.  There is this uncanny sense of peace and tranquility that comes over me when I listen to her sing.  It is almost indescribable.  The CD covers a range of musical genres that highlight Jackie’s singing style very well.  Each track is beautifully orchestrated and the sound quality is exceptional.

For anyone who has not purchased this CD or at least watched some of the videos of her singing on PBS Great Performances as shown on YouTube , I would highly encourage you to do so – and to be clear, I am not a paid promoter.  Jackie is a rare pearl that will fill your heart with joy when you see and hear her perform.

The only critical comment that I would make of the CD is that there does seem to be a bit of background noise that was picked up on the “Nessun Dorma” track.  It almost sounds as if someone bumped a mic. during the recording.  This could be due to it being recorded live.  I have watched the PBS Great Performances video of “Nessun Dorma” as well (where I believe the CD recording was taken from), and it does not appear that Jackie had anything to do with the background noise.  It may have been an orchestra member or stage hand that bumped something that was picked up on the recording.  It occurs about 3 or 4 times, but does not detract from the piece.  I am a bit surprised that it could not be “edited out” of the recording considering the advancements in audio processing that are available today.

From my perspective and personal tastes regarding each piece on the CD, I have come up with my own order of favorites concerning each track.  Keep in mind that this was not easy considering I absolutely love each and every track, but I think that I do have a slight preferential ranking that I would like to share – basically an order of favorites among favorites.  The rankings that I have come up with are as follows:

  1. “Lovers” by Shigeru Umebayashi – Absolutely my most favored track.  It is just such a powerful piece of music and to hear Jackie’s performance of it with such great orchestral backing is just mesmerizing.
  2. “Nessun Dorma” by Giacomo Puccini,  Giuseppe Adami, Renato Simoni - Jackie broke the mold singing this piece considering it is primarily meant to be performed by male adult tenors.  However, Jackie took this thing on and totally nailed it.  She made it her own and created a new dimension to this piece that is fresh and inspiring.  Even though there is some background noise in portions as mentioned earlier, I still would rank this as part of my top picks.
  3. “Imaginer”  by Walter Afanasieff,  Lara Fabian – Just when I was blown away by Jackie  taking on the complex task of singing in Italian with “Nessun Dorma”, she goes one step further and sings in French on “Imaginer” with equally amazing skill.  The emotion that comes from her interpretation of this piece is absolutely brilliant.
  4. “The Lords Prayer” by Albert Hay Malotte  – This is probably one of the most touching songs that Jackie sings on the CD.  When I first played this for my wife and kids in the car, everyone was speechless.  When it had ended, you could hear a pin drop.  It was as if our souls had been touched in a unique and profound way.  When I pray this prayer, I now hear Jackie singing it in my head and I feel an even deeper connection with God because of it.
  5. “To Believe” by Matthew Evancho – This is another spiritually touching piece that Jackie sings.  This was written by her uncle who is a musical composer.  It showcases Jackie in a very charming and endearing way as a prayer in song.  Having a children’s’ choir for accompaniment to Jackie is another wonderful touch within this piece that portrays the sacred innocence of childhood.  I think the lyrics illustrate the hopes and dreams of us all.

From here on, it starts getting a bit harder for me to rank.  I pretty much have equal favoritism for each of these next pieces, but if I will rank them nonetheless.

  1. “Nella Fantasia” by Ennio Morricone, Chiara Ferrau  – Another beautiful Italian piece that Jackie sings so effortlessly.  This is one of the reasons why Jackie’s voice has such a great appeal.  She can beautifully sing a song like this with a gentle style that is not overpowering.
  2. “O mio ba babbino caro” by Giacomo Puccinni – This piece has special meaning to me, because it is the first debut piece that I heard Jackie sing on America’s Got Talent.  This is where her launch to stardom began and it will always be something dear to me and probably many of her fans.
  3. “Dream With Me” by David Foster, Linda Thompson, and Jackie Evancho – This is the title track on the CD and I love the fact that Jackie had a hand in writing it.  I am not sure of the level of contribution that Jackie made on this piece, but just to know that she was involved with it is very appealing.  It is indeed a dreamy song full of things you would expect an 11-year-old girl to dream about, which is what I love about it.
  4. “Ombra mai fu” by George Frideric Handel – The vocal entrance that Jackie makes after the intro is one of the many reasons to love her performance of this piece.  In addition, she demonstrates great control over her voice by showcasing her ability to hit a broad range of notes with a great sense of pitch while making it seem effortless.
  5. “A Mother’s Prayer” by David Foster, Carol Bayer Sager – This piece has been performed many different ways by many different artists.  Typically performed as a duet, Jackie Evancho and Susan Boyle team up to record this piece.  Although the recording was made using “studio magic” to combine Jackie and Susan’s voices to form the duet, it is masterfully done and is a joy to hear.
  6. “Somewhere” by Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Sondheim – Another amazing use of “studio magic” to combine the voices of Jackie Evancho and the legendary Barbra Streisand.  Jackie and Barbara complement each other very well in this piece.
  7. “All I Ask of You” by Charles Hart, Andrew Lloyd-Webber, Richard Stilgoe – For anyone who has followed Jackie Evancho, this piece should have special meaning since it is from “The Phantom of the Opera” — one of the reasons why Jackie became inspired to sing.  Starting at age 8, she began singing songs from the musical and it eventually lead to where she is today.  You can sense the passion that she has for this piece when she sings.
  8. “When You Wish Upon a Star” by Leigh Harline, Ned Washington – An all time Disney classic.  At first I though this piece was a bit beneath the skills of Jackie until I listened to it.  She treats this piece with an equal level of grace as the more complex works that she performs.  I believe that Disney could use this as their headline rendition, it is that good!
  9. “Angel” by Sarah McLachlan – Although this comes in at the bottom of the list (something has to when you rate things), I think this is another fine performance by Jackie that deserves accolades for sure.  Although I personally feel that Jackie is better suited for classics as opposed to pop music, she still does a wonderful job with this piece and I can understand why it was chosen for her to perform — she has the voice of an angel and it is only fitting for her to sing it.

As I said earlier, I am not a paid promoter, nor am I a professional music critic.  I am just a simple man who has been impressed beyond belief by the wonderful gift of music that God has allowed me to enjoy.  I think that Jackie is heaven-sent and I truly cherish what she has done so far.  I can’t wait to see what she does next.

To see one of my favorite reviews of “Dream with Me”  and of her other releases  on Amazon, click here.

Why do I admire Jackie Evancho?

I am not sure why I am compelled to write a blog entry on this topic, but I have a deep desire to do so based on inspiration that I have found in an 11-year-old girl named Jackie Evancho.  So here goes my first blog attempt.

It has been over a year since America was introduced to Jackie Evancho on the TV show called America’s Got Talent in 2010. At the time she started competing/performing on the show, it was clear that she was a very gifted child with extraordinary singing talent. But after the show’s season ended for that year, I would have no idea just how special she is until this summer (2011) when, for whatever reason, I felt like passing the time away by searching for videos of her on YouTube. I came across many videos of Jackie Evancho singing on various TV talk shows, performance halls, and also saw some videos of her singing on PBS Great Performances. One video in particular that caught my attention was of her singing “Nessun Dorma” by Puccini. I was mesmerized by how lovely she sang such a complex and challenging piece of music. Coming from an instrumental music background (Bachelor of Music in Education, 1985) I can truly appreciate the natural musicality that she shows at such a young age.  She is so expressive in her approach to the music. Her performance of this piece and many others has moved me to tears. I cannot explain why or how, but for whatever reason the vocals that she is capable of producing at such a young age is overwhelming – consuming the listener into a deep connection that penetrates the soul. In the time that followed my listening and viewing experiences, I could not help but become compelled to discover more videos of her. Each video that I found was special in its own way and had an emotional affect on me. You could tell that she would immerse herself in the music almost as if she was intimately connected with God. I said to myself, “God is singing to us through Jackie.” How amazing it is that such splendor could be shown to us through such a small child!

I don’t have words to express why I have been affected so much by this little girl. Maybe it is the combination of the charm of her age coupled with her uncanny ability to sing the genre of music that she performs. It may also be because there seems to be more to her than just a talented singer. From what I can tell she seems genuinely nice, kind, respectful, and caring.  As I continue to dig further into the life of Jackie, as seen through the Internet, I am truly amazed at how well she composes herself when she is in the spotlight. She has given many interviews where she is joyful and pleasant – all while staying true to herself as a kid. She comes across as being very well-rounded for an 11 year-old. That is quite a lot to believe for anyone who has not viewed her videos, but I can say that I have seen all of these things without ever having met her.  Of course, there are always differences in how a person can be perceived in the media vs. real-life, but I would hope that the things that I have read and watched are true indicators of her character.  I believe that they are!

There has been plenty of testimonial videos from very prominent people who have nothing but praise for Jackie.  The comments pour in over her videos almost daily.  She has truly touched many lives by simply showcasing the talents that God has given her.  I have spent a lot of time scanning through comments that people have written to her on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter. She has impacted the lives of many people. Some have even claimed to have found a belief in God when once they had none, based solely on how they were astounded by her singing ability. Others have found inner peace within themselves even during troubling times.  How amazing that a child like this can have such a positive impact on people.

I believe that one of the reasons why Jackie is held together so well is that she has a very strong foundation in her family. I would like to express my compliments to her parents. I think that they have done a tremendous job with managing their family while being thrown into the entertainment limelight with Jackie’s recent fame. This has probably been quite a ride for them and I pray that they are able to keep up with the rigors of balancing home-life with the attention that has surrounded Jackie. I remember when my children were under 12. It is a fun and challenging time – some of the fondest years that I have had as a parent.  My advice is to cherish it as much as you can.

I think that Jackie Evancho has so much going for her as a singer and a person as long as she remains true to herself and isn’t corrupted by the entertainment industry to become something that doesn’t suit her.  I hope she continues to remain a classical-crossover singer or perhaps just a classical performer.  She seems to fit very well into that genre.

I can truly say that I am indeed a fan and would hope to be able to see her live in concert some day.  I listen to her “Dream With Me” CD on a regular basis and I cannot emphasize enough how much inner peace I feel when I am lulled by her angelic voice.  If I am having a stressful day, I start-up her music and just listen.  It doesn’t take long before I feel a peaceful calmness that envelopes me.

A lot of us can learn a few things about how to look at life through the eyes of this very gifted child. It is like witnessing a beautiful flower in bloom. I am so thankful to God for giving us such a great gift in Jackie Evancho. To me it shows another depth of love that God our Father has for us because of what has been revealed.  Bless Jackie and her family for sharing this precious gift with all of us!

“And he said to them: Whoever will receive this child in my name, receives me; and whoever receives me, receives him who sent me. For whoever is the lesser among you all, the same is greater.” – Luke 9:48

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