'Idol' pursuit Student's entry was her gift to mom

March 15, 2009|By BOB MAGINNIS

Her mother told me Raven Jackson spends 20 hours a week practicing gymnastics, but on March 28, the 15-year-old will demonstrate her vocal agility as part of Hagerstown's "Teen Idol" competition.

"Idol," run as a partnership between the Washington County Free Library and The Maryland Theatre, held its second round of auditions at the Valley Mall on Feb. 25.

The North Hagerstown High School student was there, delivering a rendition of "Ave Maria."

She said she chose the song after seeing Beyonce perform it during the Christmas at Rockefeller Center program.

Jackson said she then decided to learn it herself, as a Christmas present for her mother.

"I learned it, I watched it and it took me about an hour. I'm really good at memorizing songs," she said.

Perhaps that ability comes from the work she's put in as a member of North High's chorus.

"I've always loved singing," she said, adding that "I got into chorus and everything."


Her favorite singer now, she said, is Demi Lovato, who played Mitchie Torres in the Disney production of "Camp Rock."

According to the March 11 Edmonton Sun, Lovato is also set to start in a new situation comedy, "Sonny with a Chance."

Jackson said her favorite Lavato song is "This is Real, This is Me."

Jackson is also a fan of country music and would like to try her hand at acting, too, in a Broadway musical such as "Annie Get Your Gun."

She also hopes to audition for a production of "Avalon High," which School Library Journal described as a modern take on the legend of King Arthur's Court.

Jackson may sound like an aggressive performer, but she says she's actually "kind of shy."

In my experience, being shy doesn't necessarily mean lacking in confidence.Standing alone in the spotlight before a crowd that has paid to see you perform takes more poise and self-assurance than most of us have.

The "Idol" contestants will be will be trimmed by a panel of judges to 20 finalists, who will compete at the Maryland Theatre at 7 p.m. on Saturday, March 28.

Those 20 will then be trimmed to a list of five, who will compete for two prizes, of $500 and $1,000.

Bob Maginnis is Opinion editor of The Herald-Mail.

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