Only a few weeks ago, NIST student Vanessa Hemmingsen (Year 9) opened an envelope at the NIST campus while surrounded by cameras and grinning friends, to find that she would be competing in The Voice Kids, one of the premiere singing competitions in the world. Her life since has been an exciting—and tiring—whirlwind of activity.
Vanessa has been a well-recognized face in many NIST events over the years, and has built her confidence and honed her skills through performances at the school and elsewhere. She has also been enrolled in singing and dancing lessons for several years at GMM Grammy, which had even offered her a contract several years before. Wanting her to focus on her love of music for its own sake, her parents–Bruce and Jentana–encouraged her to turn it down. When The Voice Kids recently approached GMM Grammy looking for fresh talent, however, they felt that she was ready to take on the challenge of a larger competition.
Following three intense auditions, Vanessa found herself alone on a stage, facing the backs of four tall chairs. Only a few seconds after the first words of The Eagles’ Desperado, the first of the four turned, and by the end of the song, all the judges were facing her with wide smiles. Vanessa’s success continued as she captured one of the two final spots on her team and advanced to the final round. Though she ultimately did not make it into the final three in the last show of the series, Vanessa still feels that she has gained a great deal from the experience.
Bruce and Jentana have long supported her in her passion, saying “To have ability in music is a quality and a skill that remains with you throughout your life.” She began performing at a very young age, and credits the support of her family and friends at NIST for her success. Despite her dedication, however, Vanessa says that this opportunity was less about fame than a simple love of music: “Just enjoy what you’re doing and follow your passion. You’ll be happier.”
Congratulations, Vanessa! The NIST community wishes you all the best as you continue pursuing your dreams!