OCT 27, 2015
Four Outstanding Performers Selected by Fans to Sing the National Anthem at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo
After a three-month promotion, four performers have been selected by fans to sing the national anthem at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas. The Wrangler NFR will kick off on Thursday, Dec. 3 and run through Saturday, Dec. 12.
The Wrangler NFR National Anthem Contest launched on Aug. 1. There were three categories for aspiring performers to choose from: rodeo committees, open, and youth. From there, an initial fan vote narrowed the list to the Top 10 and a panel of judges narrowed the list to the top 3 in each respective category.
From Sept. 24 through Oct. 6, fans voted on their selection of choice in each category. A fourth Wild Card category, which awarded the performer that received the most votes outside of the winner in each category, was added to provide one additional opportunity to perform.
Sierra Black, representing the open category; Nikki Scheer, representing the rodeo committees (Aksarben Stock Show & Rodeo); Emma Walker, representing the youth category; and Morgan Kirby, the Wild Card winner, will perform before a capacity crowd at the Thomas & Mack Center.
Since Black was six years old she has been taking vocal lessons. Now, at the age of 22, she travels back and forth to Nashville to work on her songwriting and recording. She has opened for acts like Little Big Town, Joe Nichols, and was hand picked to sing a duet with Keith Urban at the Route 91 Harvest Festival just this past month. While growing up and going to rodeo events, her biggest dream has been to sing the National Anthem at the Wrangler NFR. With her upcoming CD scheduled to be finished in 2016, she hopes to see fans on the road someday soon.
A native of Arlington, Neb., Scheer has been performing the National Anthem at events since high school. Her favorite event in which to perform has always been the sport of rodeo, including the Aksarben Stock Show & Rodeo in Omaha. Her family has been involved in rodeo for years, and it has been a dream of this talented singer to perform at the Wrangler NFR. A recent graduate from Northeast Community College in Norfolk, Neb. with degrees in agribusiness and animal science, Scheer is seeking a career in agriculture.
Eleven-year-old Emma Walker from Brawley, Calif., can’t remember a time when she didn’t sing. Walker, along with her highly musical family, enjoys performing with the Imperial Valley Master Chorale, the Brawley Cowboy Poetry contest and a myriad of other local venues. She considers it a high honor that she has been asked to perform our country’s National Anthem at the Brawley Call Rodeo in recent years. Hailing from a multi-generational farming family, Walker is an aspiring pianist, enthusiastic 4-H’er, and first-rate fifth-grade student.
Kirby, 16, hails from Glen Rose, Tex. and is a sophomore at Glen Rose High School. She began singing publicly at the age of seven and has continued to pursue opportunities. Kirby routinely sings at church, school and community-related events. A few of her most memorable performances include singing at a NASCAR race at Texas Motor Speedway, Johnnie High Country Music Review, Glen Rose PRCA Rodeos, and numerous collegiate sporting events at Texas A&M University. In her spare time, she serves as her high school mascot and is an active participant in theatre and choir. An active member of the First United Methodist Church Youth Group, Kirby hopes to attend Texas A&M University after High School and plans to continue singing and performing whenever possible.
The full list of anthem performers includes:
Thursday, Dec. 3 – Mark Wills
Friday, Dec. 4 – Nikki Scheer
Saturday, Dec. 5 – Gloriana (also performing in the MGM Grand Gold Buckle Zone)
Sunday, Dec. 6 – Becca Kotte (also performing in Rock of Ages at The Venetian)
Monday, Dec. 7 – Emma Walker
Tuesday, Dec. 8 – Terry Fator (also performing at The Mirage)
Wednesday, Dec. 9 – Nellis Military Personnel
Thursday, Dec. 10 – Morgan Kirby
Friday, Dec. 11 – Sierra Black
Saturday, Dec. 12 – Victoria Matlock (also performing in Million Dollar Quartet at Harrah’s Las Vegas)
Sold out for 290 consecutive performances at the Thomas & Mack Center, the Wrangler NFR attracts the top 15 contestants in bareback riding, steer wrestling, team roping, saddle bronc riding, tie-down roping, barrel racing, and bull riding. Under the new contract with the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association that runs through 2024, the purse in 2015 will jump to $10 million. Qualification is based on the 2015 PRCA World Standings.
For more information on the Wrangler NFR, please visit www.NFRexperience.com or through social media at /LasVegasNFR and use #WranglerNFR.
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