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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