BY KARISSA MILLER
Students at Lake Norman Elementary School received a special visit Friday morning from Miss North Carolina Taylor Loyd, who sang an opera song and shared her journey with them.
She sang “Poison Aria” from Rome & Juliet and “Italian Street Song.”
“A long time ago I was a student at Lake Norman Elementary,” Loyd told the students.
In fourth grade, she decided to dress up like Maria Beale Fletcher, who was Miss America from North Carolina, for her living history project.
“What is really crazy is that I dressed up like her in fourth grade. Then when I grew up I got to compete at Miss America, which was really amazing,” she said.
She told students that she sang “Amour, ranime mon courage” during the Miss North Carolina pageant.
She also shared some of her experience competing for Miss America. She was one of the three talent competition winners and finished in the top 11 in last month’s pageant in Orlando, Fla.
“I guess you think my job is sort of like being a princess,” she said. “It’s more than just posing for pictures. Being Miss North Carolina means that I get to do a lot of amazing things. I get to meet a lot of amazing people just like you.”
She showed a slide show picture of her visiting a children’s hospital.
“I like to bring toys to the children at the hospital,” she said.
One reason she likes to visit hospitals is because she likes to sing there.
“Singing is my favorite things to do and it’s very important to me,” she said.
She said it made her feel better to sing when she was sad, and that it helped her brother when he was in the hospital after a bad accident.
After working hard on singing, she auditioned for the choir in fourth grade.
“I didn’t make it into the choir and I loved to sing. I didn’t really know why,” she recalled. “Have you ever tried to do something and it didn’t turn out the way you didn’t want it to? It can be very easy to give up.”
Loyd said that she learned that everybody has a talent and hers is singing opera. She said that the first time she ever heard an opera singer was at Lake Norman Elementary.
“I decided to keep trying and not give up. If I had just given up and decided to never sing again because I wasn’t the best at singing that one song I tried to sing then I would never have ended up being Miss North Carolina,” she said.
Loyd told students to never give up on pursuing your goals and dreams.
“You have to remember to believe in yourself — you never know what you can do if you don’t do it,” she said.
Following her presentation, Principal Nichole Tilley surprised Loyd and reunited her with some of her former teachers, many of whom still teach at the school.