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Sophomore to Sing Amgen Anthem

Sara Niemietz part of Sunday's Stage 7 opening ceremonies.

Posted: February 23, 2008 3:43 a.m.
Updated: April 25, 2008 5:02 a.m.

Santa Clarita officials selected Saugus High School sophomore Sara Niemietz to sing the national anthem at the beginning of Sunday's Amgen race. Tour of California events begin today in Santa Clarita.

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The Saugus High School student selected to sing the national anthem at the start of Stage 7 of the Amgen Tour on Sunday hopes that the experience will be another step toward her goal of becoming a performer.

"My ultimate goal is to be a singer and an actress," said Sara Niemietz, 15. "That's what I love to do."

This will not be Sara's first time to perform in public, or to sing "The Star Spangled Banner." The teen has performed the anthem at sporting events, including Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres games, and also at the opening of the Santa Clarita Special Olympics Spirit Games.

"It's a challenging song, but I've sung it so many times that I know it pretty well," Sara said. "I love the national anthem. It's very patriotic, and it's a really nice song."

Sara said she has known she wanted to be a performer since she was 4 years old, when singer B.J. Thomas saw her singing along in the audience at one of his concerts and brought her up on stage.

"That was my first experience singing in front of a crowd, and I've loved it ever since," she said.

Sara's acting credits include playing young Carol Burnett in the Broadway play "Hollywood Arms," and playing Polly in the feature film "Akeelah and the Bee." She recorded her first CD, "Live at the Cat Club" when she was 10, and has managed to record another CD, "Without a Net," while attending Saugus High and maintaining an "A" average.

Sara's parents moved the family from Illinois to California a few years ago so that Sara could pursue her singing and acting dreams.

"They've been really supportive - my mom gave up her job to become my manager," Sara said. "They love to hear me sing."

Sara said her school has also been supportive of her singing aspirations, and it was her Saugus choir teacher that told her about the city's contest to find a singer for Amgen.

"The school has been really supportive, too," she said. "All my friends are coming to Amgen to hear me sing."

Get a copy of Niemietz' latest CD via her MySpace page at www.myspace.com/saraniemietz.

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