Iris Herrera puts some serious pipes on display
Basketball is one of my favorite wintertime activities.
No, not playing. My last basketball experience was decades ago in my 40’s playing pickup ball in a local gym, an exercise in futility that led to a next day challenge of getting my socks on without help.
I’m speaking of local high school basketball and being able to cover it for N3 sports.
After writing up Friday’s Newaygo game I was compelled to add this:
And by the way, on a side note, anyone who is a fan of hearing a stirring rendition of our National Anthem needs to attend a Newaygo home game. Lion basketballer Iris Herrera stepped up in uniform to open the evening by belting out a truly memorable and inspirational Star Spangled Banner. Her take on the anthem caused many in attendance to turn and see where this compelling voice was coming from.
We were impressed.
Very impressed, as were the fans in attendance who responded with some appreciative applause.
And then she took her spot with the rest of her Lion teammates.
However, instead of an add-on to the story on the game we decided to pursue this a bit further and pose a few questions to this talented young songstress.
When did you start singing the anthem before games? How did this start?
I ‘ve done it a couple times in the past but this basketball season was the first time I have done it consistently. If it weren’t for the athletic director (Michael Allison) reaching out I probably would have never started.
Are you in choir or other music programs at school? Play an instrument?
I am sadly not in choir or music programs; however, I am in the process of learning how to play guitar!
Have you ever had voice lessons?
I actually have not had any legit voice lessons! I have a few musical family friends who give me tips and breathing exercises, but other than that no professional lessons.
Have you (or rather do you) perform in other venues or settings?
I have performed in local restaurants/ bars, at a few events and I also had the pleasure to go to LA this October and audition for American Idol!
How did you get started singing? Is music a family thing or did you discover it on your own?
I’ve always been drawn to music ever since I was a kid. My mom says that I used to sing my sentences! If I needed to remember things I would create little songs to help me, and I was always creating beats and rhythms in my head. Once I got into middle school, and after countless of my own shower concerts (laughter), is when I finally got comfortable to perform in front of large groups.
I’m going to assume you branch out from just doing anthems so…what music do you most like singing?
I love to sing any genre of music honestly! I think my favorite genre to perform, and the genre that pulls the most heart strings, is folk/ indie rock.
Who have been your mentors and what singers do you admire?
I would say that Chadwick Walenga, a family friend, and Gabe Schillman, a local artist, have been my “mentors.” My favorite artists are The Lumineers, Mt. Joy, Nirvana, Paramore, Alice In Chains, and the list goes on!
In terms of that, what's the first song on your playlist?
The first song to make it on my playlist was Ophelia by the Lumineers.
You put a lot of emotion into your singing. Can you share with us what singing means to you? How it feels and what you want people to know when you’re singing?
Singing to me is a euphoric experience. It’s really hard for me to describe exactly how I feel when I sing. Sometimes sad, sometimes happy, sometimes angry, and sometimes I just feel content! It’s an escape from reality and a true serotonin booster! When I sing my heart feels truly whole and in it’s right place. It’s the way I can truly express who I am! Time and space don’t mean anything to me when I am in front of a mic. I also just love the way it makes others feel. Watching people react to my music just brings so much joy to my heart! People tell me all the time that I put a lot of emotions into my singing and most of the time I don’t even mean to! It’s just whatever I’m feeling in the moment Is projected into my singing!
Thank you Ms. Herrera and please, keep singing.
We look forward to seeing you open a few more games with your inspirational take on the SSB.
As well as watching you do battle on the court with your fellow Lions.
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