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Claire Alderfer loves singing in her school and community choir, but the 11-year-old will have a much larger audience when she performs the national anthem before the start of the Sept. 28 Mill Race Marathon.
The Parkside Elementary School sixth-grader is thrilled to be picked for the honor when she will join Gov. Mike Pence, Mayor Kristen Brown and other officials at the start line before thousands of runners and spectators.
“I’m a little nervous, but it’s very exciting,” said Claire, daughter of Brian and Fionna Alderfer of Columbus.
She learned last week that she was chosen and that she will provide an a cappella version of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” which she immediately began practicing with Parkside music teacher Kathy Dell.
“She has a very expressive voice,” Dell said of Claire, who sings mostly soprano in the Parkside and Columbus Indiana Children’s choirs.
“She’s very versatile and has a natural vibrato. The best way to describe her is she is a very mature singer for her age.”
Dell, who was asked to select a young soloist to sing the national anthem, also was impressed with Claire’s poise, confidence and discipline — all things Dell thought would be important for a student to embrace the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Claire also is active in other school activities, including playing flute in the band and being part of the Spell Bowl, Math Bowl, Lego and Destination Imagination teams.
She enjoys theater, performing as Marta in the summer Mill Race Players production of “Sound of Music,” and loves spending her free time reading, having finished all of the Harry Potter series books.
She has two sisters, Helen, 8, and Elizabeth, 5.
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