Got a big song to sing? Maria Wirries says bring it on

HERALD STAFF REPORTDecember 4, 2012 

SARASOTA -- Maria Wirries started turning heads in 2009, when she was only 11 years old.

The Myakka City girl stood on a stage at Lakewood Ranch during the celebration of arts called "Ovation" and blew the doors off with her singing.

"Maria has a huge voice, like four times her size," Leona Braun of The Manatee Players told the Herald in 2009. "Our artistic director, Rick Kerby, discovered her at a talent show. She is taking tap lessons from Rick. She does it all. We'll hear from her in the future."

She's only gotten better with age.

Monday, now all of 15, she sang the "Star Spangled Banner: and "God Bless the USA" at the groundbreaking for Patriot Plaza, the covered amphitheater that will be built and gifted to Sarasota National Cemetery by the Patterson Foundation.

She did it with grace, poise and that great, big voice, much to the pleasure of veterans, a U.S. congressman, and plenty of local officials.

Maria has said every time she takes the stage to perform, she gets a little nearer to Broadway.

In case you're wondering what Maria sang at Ovation in 2009, here's the set list:

"Born to Entertain," from "Ruthless;" "Here I Am," from "Dirty, Rotten Scoundrels;" "I Enjoy Being a Girl," from "Flower Drum Song;" "Impossible Dream," from "Man of La Mancha;" "Spoonful of Sugar," from "Mary Poppins;" "The Sound of Music," from "Sound of Music;" and "New York, New York."

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