Jackie Evancho wants to keep singing for presidents

Source http://www.post-gazette.com/ae/music/2017/02/09/Jackie-Evancho-is-tuning-out-the-haters-focusing-on-the-positive/stories/201702090186

Jackie Evancho wants to keep singing for presidents

February 9, 2017 11:43 AM

Jackie Evancho left Washington, D.C., last month with big ambitions.

“My new goal,” she said with a laugh, “is to sing for as many presidents as possible.”

So far, she has sung for two sitting presidents — Barack Obama and Donald Trump — along with the three former presidents (Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter and George W. Bush), who watched her do the national anthem at the inauguration on Jan. 20.

The 16-year-old singer from Pine was part of a small group of performers — along with Toby Keith, Lee Greenwood and 3 Doors Down — who agreed to take part in the inauguration festivities.

“I thought it was such a huge honor to perform for my country,” she said in an interview Wednesday. “It’s a big deal.”

She had a brief handshake with Mr. Trump, who had hired her to perform at a gala in Florida soon after she was a finalist on “America’s Got Talent” in 2010, and got to hobnob with other government officials.

“I actually had to sit for an hour or two hours before the [inauguration] began. So as people were piling in, I was already there and I got to shake hands with senators and everything. It was a great experience.”

She wasn’t concerned about how her classical-crossover fans would react to her appearance in Washington.

“My mentality wasn’t political when I went into it,” she said. “So that wasn’t crossing my mind.”

Also not crossing her mind is all the trolling and arguing that’s been erupting under her recent tweets.

“I completely ignore it,” she said. “I don’t understand why it happens, but I guess it’s just the way it’s going to be. People have more courage online, so I just ignore it.”

Jackie will perform at the Benedum Center on March 5 and release her new album, “Two Hearts,” on March 31.

More from the interview soon.

Scott Mervis: smervis@post-gazette.com; 412-263-2576. Twitter: @scottmervis_pg

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