Ladera Ranch 11-Year-Old To Sing at US Open

A lifelong dream of singing on a huge stage with 20,000 people watching – and in New York City, no less – has come true for a young Southern California prodigy.

Ladera Ranch Middle School sixth-grader Peyton Kirkner, 11, has been chosen to sing America the Beautiful before the night session of the US Open this Monday night.

Allison iPhone 005

“I’m kind of nervous, but not a lot,” said Kirkner. “I really had to practice it and learn it because I didn’t have much experience with it before.”

Kirkner has sang the National Anthem on several occasions at local events. Her goal is to one day sing it before her favorite baseball team – the L.A. Dodgers – take the field.

Kirkner said she started singing when she was 3, but she wasn’t very good at first. “I would sit on my play structure and sing my heart out,” she said. “But I was terrible. I felt so sorry for the neighbors.”

She began taking singing lessons at age 8, and continues to do musical theatre, tap and ballet. “I want to be on Broadway someday,” she said.

This summer, she attended a week-long intensive theatre camp in New York at Broadway Artists Alliance, and was accepted into their summer program as a vocal major, according to her mother Allison. She already has one big audition under her belt as she tried out for the play Annie.

Allison said she was looking up some videos of former X-Factor star Carly Rose Sonenclar and saw where she had once sang at the US Open. “And I saw that Taylor Swift had sang, too,” Allison said. “So I just researched US Open singing auditions online and we sent in a video.”

They got the call for a live audition in New York City so they ventured off in June, and also took in plays Hamilton and School of Rock on Broadway.

Soon after, the call came that she was one of 12 young vocalists to perform. She will be accompanied to New York by Allison, father Scott and her 9-year-old brother Jack.

The Kirkners aren’t tennis players, but are willing to learn. “We do not play tennis at all,” Allison said. “We know it would make a much better story if we did.”

Peyton is a naturally talented singer, but has worked at her craft to improve. She is pretty confident she’d pick up the sport quickly. “I play a lot of tennis on xBox, and I’m pretty good at it, so I think if I played for real it would be easy,” she said.

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