You Should Know: Jackie Evancho

This 13-year-old with four albums, national tours and television and film appearances on her resume has a big future — and a big heart.




Photo by Anna Wolf
 

 

When Richland Township native Jackie Evancho competed in her first singing competition in 2008, she was 8 years old. Her parents, Michael and Lisa Evancho, hadn’t yet recognized her singular talent — a mature soprano voice capable of interpreting both show tunes and arias with the apparent ease of a Broadway star.

But Evancho’s performance in that first contest led to success in larger competitions and eventually a record deal. Since then, she has been the youngest artist to debut on Billboard’s Top 10, competed on “America’s Got Talent” and become the youngest-ever solo artist to produce a platinum album.

Evancho also has worked in modeling and film — in 2012, she played Robert Redford’s daughter in “The Company You Keep” after he heard her sing on television and asked her to audition. This year she will release her fifth album, which will include a song Evancho wrote. Most of all, she says she’s enjoying being a teenager and spending time with her many pets: four dogs, fish and a frog.
 

You’ve been on TV, performed for the president and toured all over the world. Is it hard to feel like a regular teenager? 
Actually no. I think that it doesn’t matter if I travel all over the place. I’ll always be a normal teenager on the inside. It always depends on how you act yourself, not what happens to you. That’s my view of it all.

Does it ever overwhelm you to have accomplished so much at such a young age? 
It never really does overwhelm me, but I am thankful for everything I have. I try not to let it overwhelm me because that’s when you start thinking highly of yourself and you start turning into a diva, and that’s the last thing I want to be.

Tell us about the foundations you work with. 
I’m an ambassador for the Humane Society, and we work to try to help seals and to stop [seal] clubbing. I love seals, and I think it’s really sad that not just seals but animals all over the place are becoming extinct because people just don’t care anymore. It’s something I’m really passionate about.

What has been the best part of your career so far? 
Just being able to share my gift with everyone. That’s really all I want, to be able to change the world with my voice.

Where does that impulse come from? 
My family always says I have a golden heart [laughs].

Do you think it’s important for people in the public eye to want to change the world? 
Of course. Those people who are in the limelight can afford to do stuff like this . . . They can get the word out and spread the cause.

How has your family [Jackie has two brothers and a sister] responded to your fame? 
My family still treats me like they did when I was 7 or 6. They still treat me like the normal Jackie, and they’re just really supportive and nice and I love them very much.

So you still have to do chores at home? 
Yeah, I do. I actually like chores sometimes. I always like to have my hands doing something.

A lot of people may be surprised to realize you have no formal training. 
I work really hard at my craft, and we check in with the world’s best coaches and doctors just to make sure my voice is in tiptop shape. Just because I don’t take lessons every week doesn’t mean I don’t work at it.

What else surprises people about you? 
I love archery, and I’m pretty good, even though I haven’t had any lessons.

What’s your favorite place you’ve visited? 
I loved going to Tokyo, Japan, but the No. 1 place will always be Pittsburgh.

What do you love about your hometown? 
A lot of places don’t have seasons — it’s always really cold all the time or really warm all the time. In Pittsburgh, you get cold in the winter, warmth in spring and summer and slightly chilly in the fall. You get the best of both worlds. And people here in western Pennsylvania are really nice, and they treat me like family and that’s something that I love.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years? 
I just see myself singing, and singing for a good reason and trying to help the world. 


Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

Goin' to the Chapel – Or Not?

Goin' to the Chapel – Or Not?

With so many options in and around the city, every couple can find the special space that feels just right — whether they’re looking for nature, rustic charm, fairytale romance, stained-glass beauty, treasured religious ritual or classic tradition.
Underground Pittsburgh: Explore our City of Tunnels

Underground Pittsburgh: Explore our City of Tunnels

Delve below the surface to explore the underground areas that serve as vital pathways to our region.
Kitchen Roots: Ruta, Solomonov and Ehland

Kitchen Roots: Ruta, Solomonov and Ehland

Chefs who grew up in Pittsburgh are shaping the culinary scene in other cities across the country — and gaining national recognition in the process.
Restaurant Review: Gaucho Parrilla Argentina is Smokin'

Restaurant Review: Gaucho Parrilla Argentina is Smokin'

The meat-centric restaurant in the Strip District is helping to redefine Pittsburgh's dining expectations.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

The 412

Steelers' DeAngelo Williams Scores as Daughters' Hair Stylist

Steelers' DeAngelo Williams Scores as Daughters' Hair Stylist

In a pair of TV ads, watch the Steelers' running back tackle styling the hair of his two adorable daughters.
Greenlight for Girls Encourages Hands-On STEM Learning

Greenlight for Girls Encourages Hands-On STEM Learning

The international organization partnered with local materials science company Covestro to encourage scientific curiosity for girls.
Heinz Releases a ‘Wiener Stampede’ on The Super Bowl

Heinz Releases a ‘Wiener Stampede’ on The Super Bowl

Dozens of dachshunds wearing hot dog costumes star in what may be the cutest commercial this year.
Grove City College Team ‘Takes the Cake!’ on Cake Wars

Grove City College Team ‘Takes the Cake!’ on Cake Wars

Two former freshman roommates created a cake that was part sculpture, part spectacle to win $10,000 on the popular Food Network series.

Sign Up for the 412 e-Newsletter

 

Our new, daily e-newsletter is curated by the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine and is designed to give you the very best Pittsburgh has to offer -- delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign me up!
* Email
 First Name
 Last Name
  * = Required Field
 
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

Goin' to the Chapel – Or Not?

Goin' to the Chapel – Or Not?

With so many options in and around the city, every couple can find the special space that feels just right — whether they’re looking for nature, rustic charm, fairytale romance, stained-glass beauty, treasured religious ritual or classic tradition.
Underground Pittsburgh: Explore our City of Tunnels

Underground Pittsburgh: Explore our City of Tunnels

Delve below the surface to explore the underground areas that serve as vital pathways to our region.
Kitchen Roots: Ruta, Solomonov and Ehland

Kitchen Roots: Ruta, Solomonov and Ehland

Chefs who grew up in Pittsburgh are shaping the culinary scene in other cities across the country — and gaining national recognition in the process.
Restaurant Review: Gaucho Parrilla Argentina is Smokin'

Restaurant Review: Gaucho Parrilla Argentina is Smokin'

The meat-centric restaurant in the Strip District is helping to redefine Pittsburgh's dining expectations.
Cranking Out Old School Valentines Sealed with a Quirk

Cranking Out Old School Valentines Sealed with a Quirk

In Lawrenceville, a love for letterpress leads to a business whose greeting cards reach audiences across the country.
Pittsburgh's Third Renaissance and Complaints from 2007

Pittsburgh's Third Renaissance and Complaints from 2007

This third Renaissance has allowed us to be spectators as Pittsburgh changed from a city suffering the damages wrought by the collapse of its steel industry to a vibrant, active place known for its academic, medical and technology sectors.

Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

On the Blogs


Steelers' DeAngelo Williams Scores as Daughters' Hair Stylist

Steelers' DeAngelo Williams Scores as Daughters' Hair Stylist

In a pair of TV ads, watch the Steelers' running back tackle styling the hair of his two adorable daughters.

Comments


Pittsburgh, only cooler
PittGirl: Yikes! Imagine This Instead of a Fountain at the Point

PittGirl: Yikes! Imagine This Instead of a Fountain at the Point

City leaders considered many options for Pittsburgh's confluence including something that looked like it was designed by the Jetsons, or an absolutely bonkers, batpoop insane idea by the one and only Frank Lloyd Wright.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
Wigle Whiskey Ripe for Expansion with Threadbare

Wigle Whiskey Ripe for Expansion with Threadbare

The Strip District distillers will launch a hard cider business this fall.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
7 Best Restaurants for College Students in Pittsburgh

7 Best Restaurants for College Students in Pittsburgh

Easy access from universities, wallet-friendly prices and really good food make these our favorite choices for the university set.

Comments


Head to 'Quick and Shameless' For an Unpredictable (and Essential) Night of Pittsburgh Comedy

Head to 'Quick and Shameless' For an Unpredictable (and Essential) Night of Pittsburgh Comedy

The LGBTQ-friendly variety show offers one of the city's most unusual (and often unforgettable) lineups of comedic talent.

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
It's Simple This Time, Super Bowl 50 Won't Even be Close

It's Simple This Time, Super Bowl 50 Won't Even be Close

The Panthers are going to get to the Broncos eventually. When that happens, Peyton Manning is going to be forced to throw it. And once that happens, it’s going to get ugly.

Comments


Style. Design. Goods. Hide your credit card.
Delicate Pieces for the Harsh Winter

Delicate Pieces for the Harsh Winter

Lighten up your look with a cheerful necklace.

Comments


Sean Collier's Popcorn for Dinner

The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
George Clooney, Jane Austen, Nicholas Sparks and Some Zombies Walk Into a Multiplex

George Clooney, Jane Austen, Nicholas Sparks and Some Zombies Walk Into a Multiplex

Our reviews of "Hail, Caesar!," "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies" and "The Choice."

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
Sugar and Spice: Cookie Table Contest Winners

Sugar and Spice: Cookie Table Contest Winners

Pittsburgh has it all: a beautiful skyline, breathtaking bridges and the most gorgeous cookie tables we’ve ever seen.

Comments


The latest tips and trends to refresh your home.
Pillow Talk: Pittsburgh's Skyline Inspires New Design Line

Pillow Talk: Pittsburgh's Skyline Inspires New Design Line

Check out the new pillow collection from local interior designer Zach Mitchell. Plus, get the scoop on The Pittsburgh Christmas Carol Tour.

Comments


The hottest topics in higher education
Mock Crime Scene to be Held at Waynesburg University

Mock Crime Scene to be Held at Waynesburg University

The event is for high school students who are interested in criminal justice, law enforcement and forensic science.

Comments