NH girl ready to stun at NH Motor Speedway

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July 13, 2012, 6:26 pm
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(NECN: Lauren Collins) - Meredith, NH eighth grader Emma Joanis is just getting warmed up.

On Sunday, she'll be singing the national anthem in front of 100,000 race fans and a national TV audience at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

"I was invited to come to the Speedway Star competition, and it was really, really fund and I had never been to the Speedway before," said Emma.

Emma beat out competitors much older than she is in that competition to win the pre-race slot. The musical theater veteran has had a lot of practice with the national anthem. She started at Windham, NH Little League games. And while Sunday's performance will have her biggest audience yet, it's by no means her first time in the spotlight.

She has sung for the Boston Red Sox, the Boston Bruins and the Boston Celtics.

"It's exciting. She's given us really that we wouldn't have other wise had. We're really thankful for that," said Wendy Joanis, Emma's mother.

The Star-Spangled banner is often a tricky piece for even professional singers, but this gregarious 13-year-old girl is comfortable with it.

"I really get into character and I really think about the words and the meaning of the song, just like with the national anthem, and I'm really proud to sing the national anthem," said Emma.

Which is why New Hampshire Motor Speedway General Manager Jerry Gappens is confident she'll be a hit come Sunday afternoon.

"I think she's gonna have fans right in the palm of her hand," said Gappens.

With a stunning voice, it's no wonder Emma has dreams of the Great White Way, but a level head keeps her focused on one performance at a time.

Tags: new hampshire, NASCAR, Lauren Collins, Meredith, national anthem, singer, New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Emma Joanis
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