By Sheena Barnett/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – What does a 14-year-old girl from Belden have in common with Judy Garland, Nina Simone, Duke Ellington, The Beatles, Tina Turner and Pink Floyd?
As of next Monday, Mary Elizabeth King will join a long list of artists who have performed at Carnegie Hall.
King, an eighth grader at Tupelo Middle School, became involved with Camp Broadway in New York City two summers ago. Through that week-long camp, she’s been given opportunities to audition for bigger performances since: first at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade last November, and on Monday at Carnegie Hall. King and some of her Camp Broadway alum will perform at the New York Pops 29th Birthday Gala on Monday at the famed building.
“I’m honored that I was chosen to sing at such a known place,” she said. “Mary Elizabeth King, from Tupelo, Miss. – it’s like, whoa.”
After attending Camp Broadway two summers ago, the camp sent out auditions for extra performances. She auditioned for the chance to perform at Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and won the spot, where she danced as a hamster on a float featuring Zhu Zhu Pets.
“We were behind Cee Lo Green and in front of Scotty McCreery,” she said. Green is a hip-hop artist and judge on “The Voice,” and McCreery is the latest “American Idol” champ.
Then came the opportunity for New York Pops birthday gala, and again she auditioned, and again she made it.
King and her fellow performers will be in rehearsals for eight hours today and Sunday before the show on Monday.
“We’ll sing for a few hours, then we’ll dance, then we’ll dance and sing, dance and sing, dance and sing,” she said.
She’ll also eat dinner at Carnegie Hall just before the show.
In her downtime, she hopes to tour more of the Big Apple. She has tickets for “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying,” starring Nick Jonas.
Her love for singing and dancing led her to join TMS’s showchoir Splash, and she just performed at the choir’s “Sweet & Spicy” spring show.
From Splash to the Thanksgiving Day Parade to Carnegie Hall, King hopes all of her experience on stage leads to a career in showbiz.
Her ultimate dream?
“My name in lights,” she said with a dreamy sigh. “My dream is to be Glinda in ‘Wicked.’”