Thirteen-year-old Emily Orlowski has been singing since she was a small child, her mother says
At just 13 years old, Burlington Township Middle School eighth grader Emily Orlowski has become the only student from New Jersey selected to be a featured soloist at the 2016 Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade.
One of Orlowski’s teachers, Roxanne Ferguson, recommended she audition for the event. She also helped Orlowski make and submit her audition video. To audition, Orlowski submitted a 60-second video of her singing the song “Out Here On My Own.”
Orlowski loved going to Broadway shows when she was younger. When she was 10 years old, she started doing voice lessons. When she reached middle school, Orlowski got involved with the theater program.
This December, the middle school is doing a performance of “Legally Blonde,” and Orlowski has been cast as Elle Woods. The young singer also recently performed as Young Violet in the play “Violet” put on by the Burlington County Footlighters, as well as Princess Caroline in the play “Hans Christian Andersen Jr.” put on by iTheatrics in New York.
At the parade, Orlowski will be featured as part of a “Grease” medley in which she’ll sing classic songs from the movie such as “Grease Lightning.” Orlowski was one of seven soloists chosen to perform. In addition to singing, she also has to learn choreography and will be decked out in 1950s attire. To prepare for the event, Orlowski has been working with her vocal teacher and chorus teacher.
Orlowski found out she was chosen to perform at the parade while she was at school.
“It was really exciting because I was at rehearsal for the day and there were only a few people there for rehearsal, but my teacher was screaming and gave me a hug,” Orlowski said. “It was really cool.”
Outside of singing, Orlowski is also involved in student council, Girl Scouts and plays soccer. When she moves to high school, Orlowski wants to get involved with the theater program there as well. Burlington Township High School has a rather special theatre program, as it features all original work as opposed to traditional plays. If she sticks with the program until she is a senior, Orlowski will have the opportunity to write and direct her own play that will be performed.
Singing is more than just a hobby for Orlowski. She hopes to someday pursue a career that involves singing and would love to be on Broadway.
Other plays Orlowski has been involved in include “The Little Mermaid,” “Shrek,” “Little Women Jr,” “OZ,” “Snow Queen,” “Beauty and the Beast Jr.” and “High School Musical Jr.” Orlowski was also a finalist for the Hal Leonard Vocal Competition and won first place at Music in the Parks with her choir.
Orlowski was a solo vocalist at “Songs of the Silver Screen,” a cabaret held by A Class Act, an award-winning acting studio for kids and teens in New York City.
Orlowski was also involved in the 2014 and 2015 Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day parades in a choir ensemble.
“I’m really proud of her. She works really hard,” Emily’s mother Melissa said. “She really is serious about it.”