Sage Hill singer's next stop: Carnegie Hall

NEWPORT BEACH — Victoria Griffin, 15, has pretty much been singing since birth, or at least since before she could talk, her mother said.

Catherine Griffin used to sing lullabies to newborn Victoria and her daughter would make odd little noises back.

"I realized she was trying to sing," Catherine Griffin said. "She was humming and cooing, trying to sing. Literally, from the moment she could articulate anything, she was singing."

These days Victoria has progressed from singing in her bassinet to performing where Tchaikovsky made his American debut.

Victoria was chosen as a nationwide finalist to perform in the American High School Honors Performance Series' honor choir Saturday evening at Carnegie Hall.

The Sage Hill School sophomore on Wednesday will join her fellow finalists in New York City for five days of rehearsals under world-renowned choral conductor Eph Ehly, Broadway shows and a spot on "The Early Show" on CBS, culminating in Saturday's performance.

"It's definitely going to be an experience I'll never forget," Victoria said Monday afternoon. "For me, it's not going to be just another thing on my résumé."

Victoria will perform as a soprano and is auditioning when she gets to New York for a solo rendition of "God Bless America."

She started vocal training in middle school and is now training classically. She is also a member of her school's Treble Choir and Encore Choir.

Her voice has a versatility beyond her years, said voice coach Marnie Stebner, who used to work with Victoria.

Stebner was the one who nominated Victoria and helped her put her demo together for the performance series audition.

Victoria can sing rock like Paramore, country like Carrie Underwood, or belt out R&B, alternative Christian rock, or something from the musical "Wicked," Stebner said.

The teenager inherited her musical talents from her father, who is also a great singer, Catherine Griffin said.

But her mom also has a singing voice and Victoria's grandfather played 15 instruments.

Victoria wants to pursue music in college. She was torn between studying English and music for a while, but music has won out for now.

"I always notice that I always want to be singing," she said. "I always want to be working on music."

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