Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Partyin' with the Stars

Special to the Hutto News

She got to party with the stars in Hollywood.
“I got to see Selena Gomez and Bella Thorne, and then I got to meet her,” said Jade Nash, an eighth-grader at Hutto Middle School, excitedly referring to Ally Hernandez, one of the singers in the all-girl group Fifth Harmony.
“She's my favorite,” Nash said. “I love her voice and her smile.”
The girl's grandmother, Leslie Alexander of Oxford, Conn., laughed while her granddaughter was talking.
“She knows everything about Ally and Fifth Harmony,” Alexander said. “She's been following them since X-Factor.”
Nash had just returned home to Hutto on Saturday, Nov. 15, after a five-day roadtrip to California, and she and her grandmother were telling Nash's mom, Soo-Jin, about their adventure.
It had just been two days since they walked the red carpet at the Mondrian hotel on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles.
She and her grandmother were guests at Latina Magazine's “30 Under 30” awards ceremony.
“And Jade had a backstage pass to visit with Fifth Harmony in their hotel room before everything started,” Alexander said.
In the midst of all the handshaking and picture shaking, Nash said she had the opportunity to sing in front of everyone.
“It was Camila (one of the Fifth Harmony girls) who said, 'Why don't you sing me something?' So I did 'Miss Movin' On,' which is one of their songs,” Nash said. “She said I was actually good, not what she was expecting.”
The singer described Nash's impromptu performance in a note she wrote to Nash in an autograph book.
“Never lose that voice,” writes Camila Cabello. “I'm looking forward to hearing you sing for the world.”
It was high praise for Nash because that's her dream.
“I want to be a performer like Camila and Ally,” Nash said.

Encouraging the dream

“It was no small financial undertaking to make this trip possible,” Alexander said. “We, all of us in the family, wanted to make it happen for Jade because that's the life she wants. We wanted to show her what fame looks like and considered it an investment in her future.”
The ticket to the “30 under 30” event and backstage pass were gifts from her uncle Ben Alexander of New York. He's the executive director of sales for Latina Magazine.
“I knew she was fan of Fifth Harmony, and when we (Latina Magazine) secured them for '30 Under 30,' I became uncle of the year and got her a pass to attend,” said Ben Alexander. “It was her birthday, graduation, Christmas and everything else present all rolled into one.”
He shared the expenses of travel and accommodations with Nash's grandparents (Leslie and Lenny Alexander of Connecticut) and parents (Will and Soo-Jin Nash of Hutto.)
“I was her chaperone,” Leslie Alexander said. “So I did all the driving and attended the event with her.”
There were some conditions, though, that Nash had to meet to earn the privileges her gift entailed.
“She had to make good grades and keep up her responsibilities at home,” Nash's grandmother said. “If she did that, then her uncle and grandparents would do the rest in making sure she got to '30 Under 30.'”
Nash upheld her end of the bargain.
“She's made All A's and B's and she's been keeping up with her chores,” said Soo-Jin Nash.
But that is nothing new.
“I always do that,” Nash said, smiling as she nudged her mom with her elbow.
Practicing the dream
Nash does not have much singing experience in the way of actual performances on a stage, but the schoolgirl has practiced her voice plenty.
She participates in open-mic contests when she summers with her grandparents in Connecticut, puts on small shows for family friends and participates in the choir at Hutto Middle School.
For about six months, Nash has also been taking private voice lessons from Irene Munoz of Hutto, a retired back-up singer for various Nashville bands.
“Vocally, she's there. She's got one of the broadest vocal ranges I've ever heard from someone her age,” Munoz said. “It's her stage confidence we've been working on, how to project her voice and be louder without being overbearing.”
So perhaps, after more training and work, the next time Nash walks the red carpet, it will be as a star.

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