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Area girl competing for PBS youth talent show

By Alyssa Wieber • Apr 4, 2019 at 6:00 PM

SANDUSKY — A local fifth grader’s powerful vocals and passion for performing could propel her into the spotlight of a national competition show.

Emma McLelland, 11, will have a chance to show the world her talents on the PBS talent show "Celebration of Music."

The Huron student has performed since she was 5-years-old and has been singing, acting and dancing ever since.

“When I was little, I really liked to sing my favorite songs,” McLelland said. “It inspired me to try new things out. I tried theatre and acting, and I also was a lead singer in a Kids Rock Band. I just decided singing was something I wanted to do more of. I knew from a young age I wanted to share my voice with people.”

Explaining her passion, Emma McLelland said, “My favorite part of performing is having fun, laughing, and being able to sing. I just really enjoy entertaining people. I just love being able to share my talents with everybody.”

McLelland has taken the stage over 100 times, so she’s used to the spotlight. Her talents were recently recognized with a rising star award for her performance in “Jane Eyre,” a Broadway musical, in January.

Now McLelland is working on her next big accomplishment. She sent in an audition tape to “Celebration of Music,” a PBS talent program, for an opportunity to fly out to Los Angeles and perform on national television.

The show celebrates young performers ages 4 to 25 in America. The show is hosted by pianist superstar Ethan Bortnick.

The two winners of the competition's Ohio portion will be announced on April 28 during a live concert at the Lincoln Center in Columbus. One will be selected by winning the most popular choice and the other winner will be chosen by a panel of judges.

“I am honored that I was given this opportunity to share my music,” McLelland said. “It’s been super exciting for me and the process has been really cool. It’s always been a dream of mine to be part of a singing competition show.”

To help McLelland land a spot on the show, vote for her at celebrationofmusic.com/columbus-oh-2019

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