Big break for young Vt. vocalist - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Big break for young Vt. vocalist

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COLCHESTER, Vt. -

He's a down-to-earth kid with a beautiful voice.

"I just sing all the time. I sing wherever I can, whenever I can," said Justin Murray, 12. "I have always done it and it just feels really natural to me, I enjoy it so much."

It's a gift Justin's mom picked up on when he was baby.

"It was around the Fourth of July and he was in a car seat, he was maybe 18 months old, and he was conducting to a march, a Sousa March in his car seat," Michele Tofel Murray said.

Now, the U-32 student has been picked to share his talents with the Vermont Symphony Orchestra. The soprano will take the stage with the VSO this weekend.

"I am singing 'Chichester of Psalms' by Leonard Bernstein," Justin said.

It's nearly a six-minute piece the seventh-grader from Calais says came with a major challenge.

"The Hebrew definitely because it is so different to me as an English speaker," he said. "There are lots of different sounds and things you need to do with your voice."

But his voice coach, Arthur Zorn, knew he could do it.

"It is like the composer wrote the music for him," Zorn said.

And the fact that he only had a few weeks to learn the piece was not a problem.

"Justin is a natural and his intellect allows him to listen to music, to take direction and it just becomes part of him very quickly. So I have spent maybe more time traveling to rehearsals because of his natural abilities," Zorn said.

You can bet when the curtain goes up, Justin's mom will be nervous.

"Of course I get nervous, but I am also so happy to watch him sing. It brings joy to my heart and it makes me smile, because I know it is something he loves to do," she said.

But as for Justin, if he has last-minute jitters he certainly isn't letting on.

"It is just a great opportunity," he said. "I get to be around so many people, who are amazing musicians."

He's just happy to be part of the show.

"Well, I just hope I get it done and I hope that people enjoy it, because that's what it is about," Justin said.

A great attitude from a gifted kid who was born to perform.

Justin's dad said he does not get nervous watching his son perform. He said watching Justin sing is the best part of his day.

Saturday's show at the Flynn in Burlington is sold out; there are still tickets available to the Sunday performance in Rutland. Click here for ticket information.

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