At age 10, Hannah Verdi found herself in front of an audience at a karaoke club in California. She was scared.
Hannah’s cousin, who knew she liked to sing, had urged her to try karaoke. Once Hannah got the courage to sing Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” that night, people began handing her tips. “People were holding up one- and five-dollar bills—I made $150 that night,” she recalled. “So I went back every Friday and Saturday night! I became known as ‘the girl who sings Adele’.”
Hannah, now a junior at Coeur d’Alene High School, continues to refine her vocal talents as a member of chamber choir. She’s discovered another passion—drama—and it turns out she’s pretty good at that, too.
Freshman year, Hannah tried out for the Competitive Drama Team, for which students perform pieces in various categories like humorous, serious, or musical ensemble. That year, Hannah was cast in Hairspray with one other student, and the next year, she placed first in the state in the Solo Humorous category—performing a peer-written monologue about a librarian—and second in Musical Ensemble Theater.
Hannah has since placed first several other times, including another Solo Humorous and a Solo Musical, for which she sang “Burn” from the Broadway Musical Hamilton.
“It was a risk to sing ‘Burn’ because Hamilton is so new and so popular right now,” Hannah explains. “It’s easy to think ‘You’ll never be able to do it better than Broadway did it’—but I did it, anyway.”