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VIDEO: A 10-year-old Fort Frances girl collaborates with Broadway stars (2 Photos)

Cassandra Star Armstrong recorded a music-video with some high-profile artists.

FORT FRANCES, Ont. — Cassandra Star Armstrong is developing quite a reputation for her performing talents, at the tender age of 10.

The Fort Frances girl won the appreciation and admiration of her community earlier this year when she began singing and reading stories online to help people deal with the stress brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Cassandra has received positive feedback directly from popular children's authors such as Robert Munsch about her readings.

Her most recent performance, however, took things to another level.

Cassandra collaborated with Broadway stars and top New York City musicians to record a music video Give Love.

The song has received airplay on U.S. radio stations.

The music and lyrics were written by award-winning author and singer/songwriter Carolyn Sloan.

She and the Armstrong family initially made contact after Cassandra delivered a reading of Sloan's interactive picture book Welcome to the Symphony.

"She had dramatized the book...I was tickled by watching such an accomplished performance, and wrote to her mom to say thank you," Sloan explained to TBNewswatch.

Later, when she learned the girl is also an aspiring singer, Sloan asked if she would participate in the recording of Give Love.

"We didn't really know how big that was going to turn out to be," said Cassandra's mother, Nikki Armstrong, adding that her daughter was "star-struck" when she learned who else would be involved.

The co-collaborators included Dan Micciche, music director and conductor of the Broadway musical Wicked, Broadway performers Kara Lindsay and Kathryn Allison, and Emmy-award winning pianist Robbie Kondor.

Sloan wrote the song for a children's choir in 2015, but this is the first time it has been professionally recorded.

"Cassandra has really helped to realize the joy of sharing my music with the world," she said. "People really need to feel okay now. There has been so much hardship this year with the pandemic, racial strife, and people losing their jobs, that hope is something we are all craving."

In an interview with TBNewswatch, Cassandra said she loves entertaining people and making people happy, and hopes someday to make it to Broadway herself.

But if that doesn't work out, the St. Mary School Grade 5 student said she'd be happy to be a teacher of young children.

Her mother Nikki said her aspiration for Cassandra is that she follows her heart, which currently means pursuing music, dancing, acting and performing.

"She's always been a kindhearted girl with an old soul who loves connecting with all people," Armstrong said.

The COVID-19 pandemic will delay the family's acceptance of an invitation to travel to New York.

However, discussions are underway about Cassandra participating in future projects with Sloan, including an online child/parent learning initiative expected to launch later this year.

"I am so happy I met Carolyn and that we are connected now,"  Cassandra said. "She is the sweetest lady and I know we will always be friends."

She added that all the people singing with her in Give Love made her feel important and comfortable, leaving her thinking she must be "the luckiest kid in the world."

Gary Rinne

About the Author: Gary Rinne

Born and raised in Thunder Bay, Gary started part-time at Tbnewswatch in 2016 after retiring from the CBC
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