By Steve Robinson | December 3, 2017 - 10:36 pm
Posted in Category: The Normalite

Steve RobinsonTo Pavani Nukala, life is expressed through song. Anyone who attended the Illinois High School Association State Volleyball Tournament at Redbird Arena last month got to hear the Normal Community High School senior sing the National Anthem twice on Championship day.

“I started singing 12 years ago,” Pavani said. The songs she first sang probably wouldn’t be found topping American charts though. “I started singing North Indian classical music, something I started learning in 7th grade.”

From there, Pavani said, “I started learning choral music. And more recently, I’ve been in a pop group at school.” If you didn’t know kids at NCHS had formed a pop group, don’t feel bad. Neither did I. The group’s name is Key Of She. Being an all-female group, they sing primarily female-oriented tunes, Pavani said. Key Of She travels to area churches to perform, she added. In addition, Key Of She also tours nursing homes during the holidays bringing lyrical cheer to residents and staff, Pavani said.

To be allowed to sing the National Anthem at State Volleyball, Pavani, whose father and mother are Prasad and Lakshmi Nukala, said she auditioned last year for a district level choir overseen by Illinois Music Educators Association (ILMEA). Pavani was ranked first among sopranos who tested for the opportunity to sing the anthem when she went before the judges, and getting her past that moved her on to an all-State competition. From there, she was selected to perform. Her instructor through this process was NCHS Music teacher Ben Luginbuhl.

“Doing this was a big deal for me since I was selected at district level,” Pavani said. “I then worked hard for it at the State level.”

Pavani said she hasn’t made a decision about which college she will attend yet, but said she does have a career goal in mind. She wants to be a pediatrician. “Singing for me has been a kind of a stress reliever,” Pavani said. “Once I go to Pre-Med or Med School, I can use music as a stress reliever.” Pavani said she also believes she can use music to calm her patients when the time comes.

Matt Troha, assistant executive director for Volleyball at IHSA, said after IHSA gets the list of IMEA’s top singers, “IHSA tries to make the singers work out for our events based on geography and try to get some of the top kids to sing at State events.”

With a few State Championship events in town every year, working it out so that local kids like Pavani can perform before local crowds like she did at Redbird Arena last month works out to everyone’s benefit.

Here’s hoping this young lady can achieve her dreams to help treat sick kids while she continues to carry a song in her heart.

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