Musical roots for anthem singer
A local sixth-grader says she comes from a musical family — and notes music is her passion.
Wapakoneta Middle School student Hope Johns recently had the opportunity to perform in front of hundreds of people, as she sung the National Anthem at the last two home Wapakoneta High School boys basketball games, prior to the last game of the season on Friday.
“I was nervous, but I knew I could do it though,” Hope said. “Without music I wouldn’t have a life. It’s what I do.”
Last year, Hope asked the Wapakoneta High School choir teacher, Todd Christopher, if she could sing the National Anthem at a boys basketball game, and he agreed. It did not work out last year, so this year she asked the new choir director, Tim Smith, and he set it up for her to sing.
Little did Hope know she would end up singing it not once, but twice in one season.
“I sang it again, because the new principal at the high school (Scott Minnig) called my mom and dad and told them he wanted to hear me sing, so I sang it again the next night,” the daughter of Amber and John Johns said.
She noted Minnig and her parents are friends, and he wanted to hear their daughter perform, since he missed the first performance.
“He told my parents, ‘Man you have one talented daughter,’” Hope said recalling what Minnig told her parents after her second performance.
Hope sang when the Wapakoneta Redskins hosted the St. Marys Roughriders and Liberty Benton Eagles at the Wapakoneta High School at the beginning of February.
When Hope was asked why she wanted to sing at the basketball games, her response was immediate.
“It’s just something I like to do,” Hope said. “I like to perform in front of people.”
The 11-year-old had other singing engagements, including singing at a recent Lock-In at the YMCA.
“I used to be so nervous, but now I can get out there and do it,” Hope said.
Hope is involved in choir and plays the trumpet in band. She also plays piano and used to play the guitar.
“Music is my passion,” Hope said. “My mom said I could hum before I could talk and my sister started singing before me and then I started singing.”
Hope began singing at the age of 8, and her sister Zoe, who is now 10-years-old, began singing at age 7.
She has two younger siblings Triniti, 7, and Aythen, 6, who are also into music.
“We like listening to Christian music in the car and all of us sound like a little choir,” Hope said with a laugh. “We are a very musical family.”
Hope said she is always listening to music in her spare time, including after school on the bus on her iPhone, in the car and at home.
“I like to sing country music, and I like Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan and Rascal Flatts,” Hope said. “I look up to them.”
She also enjoys watching television shows, such as American Idol, X Factor and The Voice.
Hope said she will be old enough next year to try out for one of the shows and said she will probably try out one day, but right now she said she is focused on one thing.
“I’m just trying to stay a kid as much as I can,” Hope said.
Hope is not sure what career path she will take in the future, or whether it will deal with music or not, but is not worried because she knows it will be the right one for her.
“It’s just what God has planned for me.”