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

Top Ten Things to Do in Pittsburgh in May

Top Ten Things to Do in Pittsburgh in May

The month's best bets in The 'Burgh.
Best Doctors in Pittsburgh 2016

Best Doctors in Pittsburgh 2016

The list of the regions's 687 leading physicians across 80 specialities.
Making The Rounds: What It Means to be a Doctor in Pittsburgh

Making The Rounds: What It Means to be a Doctor in Pittsburgh

In a city known for world-class care, a life dedicated to health is rewarding, challenging, and innovative at every level — from med school to the board room.
Why Pittsburgh Police Chief Cameron McLay is Cornered

Why Pittsburgh Police Chief Cameron McLay is Cornered

Can McLay reshape the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police in his polite, communication-heavy, community-friendly, racially sensitive, 21st-century image?
Edit ModuleShow Tags

The 412

Is PUC Going Overboard With Its Punishment of Uber

Is PUC Going Overboard With Its Punishment of Uber

Governor Tom Wolf, Mayor Bill Peduto, and Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald say the PUC went too far when it fined the ride-sharing company $11.3 million.
The Story Behind This Epic Picture of Lightning Over Pittsburgh

The Story Behind This Epic Picture of Lightning Over Pittsburgh

Most people crawl deeper under the covers during a nighttime thunderstorm, photographer Dave DiCello does just the opposite.
Not Surprising: 'Burgh Among the Best for New College Grads

Not Surprising: 'Burgh Among the Best for New College Grads

According to a financial advising site, Pittsburgh is both affordable and a good place to find a job for those fresh out of college.
Harold Hayes' Biggest Retirement Fear, It's Not What You Think

Harold Hayes' Biggest Retirement Fear, It's Not What You Think

Hayes leaves KDKA TV after nearly 37 years with his legacy as one of the city's most respected, fair and accurate reporters – and his priceless sense of humor – firmly intact.

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

Top Ten Things to Do in Pittsburgh in May

Top Ten Things to Do in Pittsburgh in May

The month's best bets in The 'Burgh.
Best Doctors in Pittsburgh 2016

Best Doctors in Pittsburgh 2016

The list of the regions's 687 leading physicians across 80 specialities.
Making The Rounds: What It Means to be a Doctor in Pittsburgh

Making The Rounds: What It Means to be a Doctor in Pittsburgh

In a city known for world-class care, a life dedicated to health is rewarding, challenging, and innovative at every level — from med school to the board room.
Why Pittsburgh Police Chief Cameron McLay is Cornered

Why Pittsburgh Police Chief Cameron McLay is Cornered

Can McLay reshape the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police in his polite, communication-heavy, community-friendly, racially sensitive, 21st-century image?
The Eaglets Have Landed

The Eaglets Have Landed

The bald eagles nesting in Hays once again have given birth to a new generation. We take you into the nest to see how quickly the two chicks are growing.
Review: Justin Severino Knocks It Out of the Park With Morcilla

Review: Justin Severino Knocks It Out of the Park With Morcilla

Severino's follow-up to Cure is already winning national accolades.
Edit Module

Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

On the Blogs


Is PUC Going Overboard With Its Punishment of Uber

Is PUC Going Overboard With Its Punishment of Uber

Governor Tom Wolf, Mayor Bill Peduto, and Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald say the PUC went too far when it fined the ride-sharing company $11.3 million.

Comments


Pittsburgh, only cooler
PittGirl: How You Should Grade A Squishy Tongue

PittGirl: How You Should Grade A Squishy Tongue

Kennywood Park opens soon and new this season is the return of the famed whale at the entrance of Noah’s Ark. In the name of science, PittGirl paid an early visit to test the squishiness quotient of the whale's all-important tongue.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
Umami Izakaya (Finally) Open in Lawrenceville

Umami Izakaya (Finally) Open in Lawrenceville

The much-anticipated Japanese pub from Tamari's Roger Li and Round Corner Cantina's Derek Burnell will serve food and drink deep into the night.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
The Best 6 Places to Get a Cup of Tea in Pittsburgh

The Best 6 Places to Get a Cup of Tea in Pittsburgh

The quiet rise of Pittsburgh's tea scene gives us a few favorite gems.

Comments


Digital Jukeboxes are Evil, Bar-Ruining Monsters

Digital Jukeboxes are Evil, Bar-Ruining Monsters

The case against TouchTunes, the streaming music loudspeaker that can't stop screwing up the vibe at local bars.

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
A By-The-Numbers Draft Has Its Advantages For Steelers This Time

A By-The-Numbers Draft Has Its Advantages For Steelers This Time

For the Steelers, this is a draft that’s long on need but short on intrigue.

Comments


Style. Design. Goods. Hide your credit card.
Off to the Races

Off to the Races

Want to shade yourself in style at Derby Day and the PNC Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy Spring Hat Luncheon? Look no further.

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.
Your Mother Deserves Better than This Awful Mother's Day Movie

Your Mother Deserves Better than This Awful Mother's Day Movie

Reviews of "Mother's Day," "Keanu," "Green Room" and local film news and notes.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
Finding Sunshine on a Rainy Wedding Day in Pittsburgh

Finding Sunshine on a Rainy Wedding Day in Pittsburgh

You don’t always need blue skies and sunshine to have a beautiful and memorable wedding. One couple shares their advice on making the most of a rainy wedding day and what to do when the forecast is less than ideal.

Comments


The latest tips and trends to refresh your home.
A Far From Ordinary House Tour in Wilkinsburg This Weekend

A Far From Ordinary House Tour in Wilkinsburg This Weekend

The Wilkinsburg Community Development Corporation hosts a one-of-a-kind house tour on May 7.

Comments


The hottest topics in higher education
STEM Event for Girls Planned at La Roche College

STEM Event for Girls Planned at La Roche College

The Tech Savvy program from the American Association of University Women aims to interest middle school girls in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math.

Comments