This year was the 10th anniversary of the US Open Anthem auditions, where a nationwide search was held for young talent to perform at the world’s highest-attended sporting event. For 2017, 12 performers were selected to perform at the US Open’s night sessions and at Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day.
One of the 12 coveted performing spots was awarded to 13-year-old Elijah Morman of Lumberton, NJ. An honor student at Lumberton Middle School, he’s also a soloist for his church and a member of the Philadelphia Boys Choir.
On Sept. 8, he will perform “America the Beautiful” at one of the night sessions for the US Open.
“I feel extremely welcomed and appreciated for my singing voice,” says Morman. Especially since this is my second time performing at this specific event. The crowd makes everything I've practiced for worthwhile.”
The young talent is also a big fan of Lin-Manuel Miranda, the mastermind behind the hit Broadway show “Hamilton.”
“Who I look up to musically is Lin-Manuel Miranda, creator and composer of music in a handful of movies and musicals,” Morman reveals. “Mr. Miranda has shown me that inspiration is present everywhere. I keep this in mind whenever I try to get creative in songwriting or other activities.”
He also finds inspiration from the gospel world and Youtube.
“My biggest musical influences are two singers: Tai Habersham, a gospel singer and Jade Novah, a Youtube singer. Both got to pretty high places because of their fantastic voices, and I've always wanted to serenade and bless people with my own voice,” Morman notes.
So what does Morman want to be when he grows up? Unsurprisingly, his heart is set on the arts.
“I've always wanted to be an actor or singer/songwriter because I find a common passion in both things and they inspire me to do more of each in my life.”
Many other stars have performed at the US Open over the years, including a young Taylor Swift.
For more information, visit: usopen.org.