Sherbrooke girl getting a shot at the big league with rendition of 'O Canada'
A 12-year-old Sherbrooke girl is getting major league attention for her rendition of the National Anthem at sporting events across the United States.
Jennifer Bellerose got her start singing ‘O Canada’ at children’s hockey games but she has since gone out to the ballpark to belt out the anthem at a Detroit Tigers game. On Monday she’s set to perform both ‘O Canada’ and ‘The Star Spangled Banner’ at a Tampa Bay Rays game.
“Me and my dad were always watching sports on TV and when the National Anthems were playing me and my dad were always hand on the heart, and we’re listening to every second of this,” she said.
Jean-Francois Bellerose said he’s loved the anthems going back to childhood.
“That’s respect for the country,” he said.
One day, Bellerose asked his daughter if she’d want to sing the National Anthem and received a resounding yes. They sent off a demo of Jennifer’s singing and made some calls. That led to gigs singing at children’s games, which soon led to the Sherbrooke Phoenix major junior hockey team and Quebec Capitales baseball team.
Then, in one week, came calls from the pros.
“All in the same week we had the response from the Alouettes, a few days after the Tampa Bay Rays and after that I saw my cell phone said Detroit and I said ‘Oh no, not really,’” said Jennifer’s mother Valerie Beaudoin.
Even in Detroit, where Jennifer made another appearance during the seventh inning stretch to sing ‘God Bless America’ to thousands of people, she said she can keep her nerves in check.
“I just think in my head ‘It’s all going to be alright, you’re going to be alright, everything’s going to be good. When you go out and you sing, you’re going to be proud,’” she said.
Valerie and Jean-Francois said they’ll support Jennifer’s singing as long as she wants.
“We’re trying to do our best to make her realize those dreams,” said Beaudoin. “IF she doesn’t want to then she’s going to stop.”
For her part, Jennifer said her time in the big leagues isn’t going to her head.
“I wish I could continue. If it works I would be relaly happy but if it doesn’t work, that’s not that bad,” she said. “I’m going to find something else.”