If you combine Christina Aguilera's voice and Mandy Moore's personality, you'll get the person Brittany Coughlin wants to become.
"I like Christina Aguilera's voice, and I think Mandy Moore's personality is just awesome," said Brittany, a 14-year-old Evans High School freshman.
Brittany wants to be on her way to stardom, having performed in various local performances, lending both her vocal and dance talents for numerous celebrations. She has performed at Fort Gordon, before the Augusta GreenJackets and Augusta Lynx games, at Patriots Park and at other local baseball and sporting events. Earlier this year, she was invited to perform at the July Fourth Riverwalk celebration.
"I've wanted to be a famous singer ever since I was 2 years old," she said. "I've been singing publicly for about two years now."
One of Brittany's biggest performances has been in Russell Joel Brown's From Mozart to Motown production. She performed in both the From Mozart to Motown 2 show in 2003 and the world premiere of From Mozart to Motown Christmas that same year.
Brittany Coughlin, a freshman at Evans High School, sings the national anthem at many events and is a member of the dance team, Beta Club and Science Club.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
She participated in Friday night's From Mozart to Motown 3. She also will participate in this year's From Mozart to Motown Christmas show.
"I was so struck by her stage presence and vocal talents that I broke with tradition and hired her even though she was only in the eighth grade at the time," Brown said of his first encounter with Brittany. "Before that time, I had only hired high school students for the show."
Brittany, the daughter of Diane Coughlin of Martinez and Michael Coughlin of New Jersey, said she has enjoyed From Mozart to Motown throughout the past few years. It is the excitement of each show that brings her back time and again to rehearse for subsequent performances.
"I like the singing, but also the African (style), which was introduced to me last year," said Brittany, who made All-State Chorus in 2003 and will try out again in a few months.
"She works so hard in rehearsal and will try anything that you present her with," Brown said. "Her standout quality, I believe, is her willingness to keep pushing through being tired and beyond choreography that is unfamiliar."
Learning choreography is nothing new to Brittany, just as learning lyrics has its challenges. As a member of the Evans High dance team and a student at Center Stage Dance Academy, Brittany has traveled to several competitions, putting her dance moves to the test.
Brittany, who will sing and dance at Arts in the Heart of Augusta on Sept. 19, is raising funds to go to New York and Carnegie Hall with the school chorus in the spring.
"I just love to sing," Brittany said. "I've always said that I got (my talent) from both my parents because they both sing."
Brown said Brittany is likely to meet any challenge that comes her way with ease and confidence.
"With the support of her family and her innate industry and perseverance, she'll be able to tackle anything she chooses," he said.
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