|Talk about bringing down the
But that's just what 6-year-old Liamani Segura did on a recent Thursday
night when she sang "The Star Spangled Banner" to a crowd of about
1,300 at the St. Catherine's High School basketball game to
thunderous applause and a crowd of swarming well-wishers that caught
the normally shy little girl a little off guard.
It was a near flawless performance, complete with vocal inflection
and poise. And all without a voice lesson or any participation in an
organized musical activity, her parents said.
In fact, it was just her second performance before a live audience
outside the family home. The first was also a performance of the
national anthem on Feb. 13 at the variety show at St. Joseph's
School, 1525 Erie St., where Liamani is a kindergartner.
Her parents, Anthony and Joanna Segura of Racine, said that a parent
at St. Joseph's with a son at St. Catherine's sent a video clip of
Liamani's performance to St. Catherine's Athletic Director Corey
Scheel. That put the wheels in motion for her next performance.
Singing just comes naturally for Liamani, who started singing around
the house when she would sing along with her favorite movie, "The
Wizard of Oz." She didn't know all the words, said Joanna Segura,
32, a registered nurse, but would repeat favorite choruses.
"I like singing. I started singing when I was 3," Liamani told The
Journal Times (http://bit.ly/1zlCvQc ).
Neither of her parents have much experience with musical
performance, but music is a big part of the Segura household, said
Anthony Segura, 33, a disabled Army veteran.
"We're always listening to music. We have a big speaker in our
living room and we have surround sound. We just have so much fun, we
just dance together. My wife and I dance and we try to teach them
how to dance to salsa and merengue music," Anthony Segura said.
"Music is a big part of our life. It's huge. There isn't a day that
goes by that we don't listen to music."
The music performances in the house include Liamani singing into her
dad's flashlight as if it were a microphone and 2-year-old brother,
Anthony, singing along in toddler dialect. Big sister Anaya is the
jock of the family, Anthony Segura said, and has enjoyed success on
the soccer field, with school spelling bees and a recent Knights of
Columbus poster contest. Anaya is proud of her sister's recent
success, her dad said.
"We're proud; we've been blessed," Anthony Segura said of his and
Liamani has taught herself, a lot of it from watching musical videos
on YouTube. A big favorite right now is the song "The Story" from a
musical episode of the long-running TV show "Grey's Anatomy."
Anthony Segura said Liamani has perfected the performance so well
she even has the facial expressions and vocal inflections of the
song's performer, actress Sara Ramirez. Anthony Segura says he has
to laugh hearing his daughter sing a song that recounts the life
struggles of Ramirez's TV character, Dr. Callie Torres.
"We watch Whitney Houston on the videos," Liamani added.
While the Seguras are proud of their daughter's musical
accomplishments, they say there does come a time when they have to
ask their daughter to pipe down a bit.
"It gets to a point where 'Enough is enough; go do homework or read
a book or watch TV or something,'" Joanna Segura said.