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‘America’s Got Talent’ sensation to team up with Dayton musicians this weekend

Teen sensation and Pittsburgh native Jackie Evancho, who rose to stardom in 2010 as a contestant on NBC’s “America’s Got Talent,” performs with the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra Friday, April 27 and Saturday, April 28 at the Schuster Center.

In less than a decade, Evancho, 18, has made seven chart-topping albums and DVDs, headlined three PBS television specials, appeared in Robert Redford’s film “The Company We Keep,” and has toured the world singing for Presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump in addition to other world leaders and her many fans. In addition, her first major-label recording, “O Holy Night,” made her the top-selling debut artist of 2010. With sales of more than a quarter of a million copies in its first week, “O Holy Night” was certified a platinum record, and she became youngest performer ever to go platinum in the U.S. Her SuperPops concert, under the leadership of DPO Artistic Director and Conductor Neal Gittleman, is slated to include classical, pop and Broadway tunes.

In advance of her appearance, Evancho reflected on her career and the concert.

Jackie Evancho, who went from YouTube sensation to NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” to chart-topping singer, joins the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra for a pair of SuperPops Series concerts at the Schuster Center in Dayton on Friday and Saturday, April 27 and 28. CONTRIBUTED (Contributing Writer)

Q: When you look back on your time on ‘America’s Got Talent’ when you were just 10 years old, what stands out the most?

A: I actually think about the backstage moments rather than the show moments. I remember everyone cheering each other on. Everybody was really like a family.

Q: You’ve been invited to sing for many dignitaries and luminaries. What have been some of your proudest or most exciting singing engagements thus far?

A: I would have to say singing for the Japanese royal family in their parlor room which was really cool. I also enjoyed singing for President Obama at the Christmas tree lighting ceremony. It was my first presidential experience and really cool, too.

Q: You are still evolving as an artist and your future continues to be bright. What kind of artist are you still striving to become?

A: I just want to touch as many people as I can and use my gift in ways that can benefit the world. I know that sounds cheesy but I actually want to make a change. With the spotlight on me at certain times, I want to use it to my advantage. And I want to do more than just sing. I want to be an author, a fashion designer and other things. I’m glad I’m young because there is still time to see what else I can do.

Q: Are you glad your career began at a young age?

A: Absolutely. It gives me a chance to discover myself while also doing trial and error to see what the public reaction is whether good or bad and whether or not I choose to take a certain route or not. I consider it a big advantage.

Q: What should audiences anticipate from your Dayton Philharmonic concert?

A: There will be many different genres represented. I’ll be singing favorite pieces in my entire repertoire from when I was 10 until now. There will be a lot of songs, especially fan favorites, I think many people will enjoy.

Jackie Evancho, 10, of Pittsburgh, sings at the National Christmas Tree lighting ceremony with President Barack Obama and his family at the Ellipse across from the White House in Washington, Thursday, Dec. 9, 2010. (Associated Press)

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