Nine-year-old Alta Sweet to sing National Anthem at Rio Tinto Stadium
July 29, 2011
On Aug. 6, Park City resident Alta Sweet Tabar will sing the National Anthem at Rio Tinto Stadium in front of 15,000 Real Salt Lake soccer fans.
The nine-year-old Jeremy Ranch Elementary student, said she’s not a bit nervous.
"I’m not afraid of big crowds," the enthusiastic Tabar said during an interview with The Park Record. "The bigger the better."
Tabar is what the entertainment types call a "Triple Threat." She can sing, dance and act.
She took first place in the Hip Hop division of the 2008-09 New York City Dance Alliance Hip Hop competition and won a dance camp scholarship. She also took home first place in the children’s division of the 2010 Utah Artists Expo Singer Preliminaries.
Also, on Aug. 15, Tabar will head to New York to audition for the role of Nala in the "Lion King."
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Tabar’s first professional performance was at the Nancy Tessman Auditorium in the Salt Lake City Library four years ago.
"I sang ‘Warm and Fuzzy’ and had my own pianist and background singers," said Tabar, who cited Selena Gomez of the Disney Channel’s "Wizards of Waverly Place" as one of her main idols. "I always love to sing, dance, act and cheer, and I thought it was fun when I performed."
Her love for performing helped her win the National Anthem auditions a few weeks ago.
"There were a lot of good people there, but I felt confident," she said. "It was fun and I felt honored that I got to sing the National Anthem and got to try out for the spot."
One of Tabar’s vocal teachers, Mindy Pack, president of Impack Productions, wasn’t surprised Tabar got the Real gig.
"Miss Alta is probably one of the most funky, positive, cute, talented little girls that I have had the honor to work with in quite a while," said Pack, who has been teaching Tabar for nearly three years. "I knew when she was going for the Real auditions, that she would have a shot because she’s young, and people have to smile when they see her and then when she starts singing, that’s that.
"She really wants to be a performer, and that isn’t driven by her parents, which is so refreshing," Pack said. "I can tell the difference. Miss Alta truly wants to be a great singer, great performer and to entertain everyone."
Tabar’s other voice coach, Dean Kaelin, who is known for his work with "American Idol" contestants David Archuleta and Carmen Rasmusen, said he usually doesn’t work with singers younger than 10, but made an exception after hearing Tabar sing.
"She came in and was very advanced, disciplined and focused for her age," he said. "She’s has a lot of confidence and energy and her personality comes across in her singing."
Those attributes are 90 percent of the battle, Kaelin said.
"The rest is technical issues and stuff like that, so my job was to fine-tune her singing," he explained. "The last thing you want to think about when you’re up on stage is whether or not you can hit the notes, because you can’t sell the tune."
The National Anthem is an especially difficult song because of its arrangement and lyrics, Kaelin said.
"It has an octave-and-a-half range and most of the high notes are words with wide vowels, which are very hard to sing," he said. "The high notes need to soar and be wonderful. Also, the song climbs up a scale, so it gives your brain time to think, ‘Oh, my gosh, here come the hard notes. If you can sing those notes, you can let the personality come through."
Tabar said her coaches’ distinct personalities gave her a well-rounded training that helped her in the audition.
"Mindy is sweet, fun and always has her groove on, and Dean is an awesome pianist and really helps me with my low notes and high notes," she said. "I’m excited to sing for everyone."