Sequim student dreams of singing career

Missoula Children's Theatre likes what Sequim students offer.

In March, the Sequim Gazette reported that Trey Baldwin, a Sequim High School student, was selected for Missoula's Next Step program.

Another Sequim High student, Jayme Birdsall, 15, was selected, too.

"It was just a highlight of who I am," Birdsall said about being selected.

"I sing all the time and everywhere I go."

Birdsall and Baldwin will study at the summer program June 22-Aug. 7 in Missoula, Mont. Students will learn skills from professional actors, writers, dancers and singers.

"This camp could answer some of my questions about who I am and give me some direction," Birdsall said.

The directors selected Birdsall after her singing performance in the Missoula production of "Robin Hood."

This year, Birdsall performed in Sequim High School's first Swing Choir. As a freshman, she was chosen for the advanced Select Choir but she chose swing this year because she wanted to try something different.

Birdsall leads the Eastern Hills Youth Group Worship Band and takes piano composition lessons from Jeremy Cays.

"Composing is where my heart is," Birdsall said.

Birdsall wrote the lyrics to "Vitamin C" for Sequim High School's talent show where she sang and was accompanied by Brendin Beckett on guitar.

She said attending Next Step will help prepare her to "fly the coop" when she's done with high school.

Her eyes are set on college at California State University at Long Beach, where her mom, Robin Ferré, attended.

In the immediate future, Birdsall is looking forward to Next Step's voice training and musical experience as a whole.

"I'm a little nervous about dancing though," Birdsall said jokingly.

"I'm mainly hopping around."

To raise money for the program, Birdsall called local retirement communities to book performances during her school lunch breaks.

She has or will sing at four retirement communities before leaving.

So far, she is happy with the reception.

"I don't want to sound vain, but I feel so loved after doing it," she said.

"I love performing. It's in my blood."

Cost is her main obstacle now.

Next Step costs $8,000 and she received a $4,000 scholarship from the school.

She has raised $2,000 on her own from singing and fundraising.

Birdsall leaves a few days prior to the June 22 camp start date, but she is hoping to raise more money before and after she attends.

The camp will accept the money while she's there, too.

Those interested in inviting Birdsall to perform can call Robin Ferré at 681-4970. Tax-deductible checks can be made out to "Missoula Children's Theatre" and cash donations can be left with

Ferré at her business, Lighthouse Latte & Gourmet Food at 615 E. Washington St., Sequim.

Matthew Nash can be reached at mnash@sequim

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