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Despite success, Evancho sees talent as a gift

Despite success, Evancho sees talent as a gift

Jackie Evancho will play the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall Saturday night.
Despite success, Evancho sees talent as a gift
Jackie Evancho, who finished second in the 2010 season of 'America's Got Talent' at age 10, will be at Troy Savings Bank Music Hall on Saturday.

Jackie Evancho is in the driver’s seat.

And not just for her career — the American classical crossover singer is just 16, and has released five albums since 2009.

She’s on the road this weekend — the high school junior from Pittsburgh will play the Troy Savings Banks Music Hall Saturday night — and she’s also on the road back home. She recently purchased a new sleek black Mazda CX-3 sports utility vehicle.

“I’m allowed to treat myself sometimes,” Evancho said in a telephone interview, adding that most earnings from her recording and performance ventures go into a trust fund. She’s saving for college.

For someone still in her teens, Evancho has built an impressive resume. Among the high points:

* She’s made three solo specials for Public Broadcasting Service.

Jackie Evancho

WHERE: Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, 30 2nd St., Troy

WHEN: Saturday, 7:30 p.m.

HOW MUCH: $79-$29

MORE INFO: 273-0038, www.troymusichall.org

* At age 10, she finished second in 2010’s fifth season of NBC’s “America’s Got Talent.”

* When her “O Holy Night” extended play record was released in 2010, she became the year’s best-selling debut artist, the youngest top 10 debut artist in U.S. history and the youngest solo artist ever to go platinum in the U.S.

* In 2010, she performed at the National Christmas Tree lighting in Washington.

“I really haven’t had the chance to step back and look at [my career], because I’m afraid if I do, I’ll get full of myself,” Evancho said. “So I kind of live in the moment … I always reflect, but I usually try to not think too much about it. The last thing I want is to be a diva.”

Grateful girl

She has plenty of people to thank for her success, and the thanks start at home.

“All I can say is, I’m really thankful to my parents for really great genes and God for giving me my gifts, because I am very thankful and I am super excited for the way things are going for me,” Evancho said. “I’m extremely thankful for the talent that I have.”

The setlist for Saturday’s concert has not been planned in detail.

“I might be singing some Christmas songs to get everyone in the spirit, but I’m not exactly sure,” Evancho said. “We’ll see how that goes. I like to play my concerts by ear.”

Might be a good bet to count on some holiday songs. The Christmas countdown has begun, and the season of holly and ivy is her favorite. “Everyone’s all excited, happy to be together and the food is really good,” Evancho said.

While life may be grand right now, not everything is perfect. Teenagers always have worries, and Evancho is still in the club.

Tries to be normal

“I do think like a normal girl,” she said. “I worry about my tests and my grades, I worry about my boyfriend and friends and everything like that.”

Evancho makes special arrangements at school, taking work with her when she’s on the road and handing it in when she’s back home. Sometimes, she said, kids at her school do not see her as a regular teen. They might be intimidated, and can be a little cold to her.

The music business can have its own hassles. Social media is one of them.

“As much as I love social media, I also hate it,” Evancho said. “And that’s become so big in the industry. I haven’t mastered it yet so I’m still working on it.”

She loves taking notes in school, paying attention, learning things and marking them down. That could mean a future career in journalism, but Evancho believes her path is clear. With a new record album, “Two Hearts” due early in 2017, she believes many years of song and stage are ahead.

“I want this to be my life,” Evancho said. “I want to be performing for as long as I can, for as long as the world will let me. I definitely feel this is what I’m supposed to do.”

Reach Gazette reporter Jeff Wilkin at 395-3124 or at [email protected] or @jeffwilkin1 on Twitter. His blog is at www.dailygazette.com/weblogs/wilkin.

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