An 11-year-old girl is one step closer to her dream of becoming a singer after she was included in the top 15 of a singing competition dubbed Discovery Philippines in Los Angeles, California on May 27.
Waynehart Claire Geonzon said she is thrilled to be the youngest and the only child finalist in the US competition. If she wins, she will represent the Philippines in Europe next year.
“I am here in the US to visit my family, and at the same time, I will be competing in a singing competition here. I want to be a Broadway performer when I grow up and also be a dentist,” said Claire in an online interview.
Many may not know it, but Claire is being coached in singing by Broadway star Lea Salonga.
“I started singing when I was six years old. My kindergarten teacher asked me to sing during graduation. I have no music experience, but it turned out I was amongst the best in our group when it comes to singing. The same year I joined the Voice Kids, and I was amongst the top 8 finalists. I was the youngest and a non-reader that time.
“After ‘The Voice,’ I got a scholarship from one of the best schools in OB Montessori with the help of coach Lea Salonga, the Broadway Diva and her mom Abu Ligaya,” she said.
Born on Aug. 22, 2010, Claire will be in Grade 8 this coming school year at OB Montessori Greenhills.
“I am busy with school, rehearsing, and playing online games in between studies and singing,” Claire said. “I love to read books, draw, and play musical instruments like the piano, guitar, ukulele, and violin. I love swimming and playing online games. I also love to write.”
Aside from coach Lea, her musical influences are Michael Jackson, Lea Michele, Phillipa Soo, Kristin Chenoweth, and Barbra Streisand.
Claire has also encouraged children to dream big and study hard.
“I love singing, and it’s part of my life now. I advise kids like me to dream and not stop believing in themselves. Practice always, work hard, pray hard and always be a good person to everyone and to obey your parents,” she said.
Claire also said that she hopes to become a dentist like Dr. Claudette Gallo of City Best Dental Clinic in Sta. Mesa, Manila. Since she was 6, Claire has been a patient of Dr. Gallo, who takes care of her pearly white teeth.