Nine year old Clara Mae sings to help children in needJun 08, 2021 12:36PM ● By Linda Steele
Clara Mae sings in various music videos. (Photo courtesy Emily Robbins)
By Linda Steele | [email protected]
Clara Mae is a nine-year-old girl, who is gifted with a beautiful voice. Clara Mae was three years old when she started singing the National Anthem at Rad Canyon BMX races.
“I started humming when I was born.” Clara Mae said.
By age five, Clara was singing in childrens choirs. At age seven she sang for the Real Monarchs, the Western Stampede, Chamber West Awards Gala at the Maverik Center, USA BMX Nationals, and other local events. Clara loves the stage, and she recently performed as Young Elsa, in Frozen Jr. at the Sandy Arts Guild.
Clara is a member of Rise Up Childrens’ Choir who sang before the pandemic with American Idol’s Taylor Hicks to help raise money for a mother battling ALS. This experience as well as watching her older brother raise money for Quarters for Christmas were some of the experiences that inspired Clara to use her YouTube channel for good. She wanted to bring more joy to the world with songs like “Almost There,” “Kind of Kings,” “Come Thou Fount,” etc., and raise awareness for great causes with songs like “Thankful” and other songs.
Clara wanted to do something with her music to make a difference, she connected with Nurturing Nations organization started by Utah native Laura Belk. Belk built a school in Ghana to serve rescued children who are at risk of being trafficked. These children have special needs and are seen as a curse by their family who often abandon them. Nurturing Nations is run by volunteers, with 100% of the donations going directly to help the children. Clara attended their fundraising event and used photos and video from their event to add to her own music video.
“I met Percy from Ghana who helps rescue the children and I got to write letters to them. I was excited to find a girl named Sandra for my family to help rescue, and I wanted other people to know how they could help.” Clara said.
Sara Arkell, an accomplished Utah musician known as The Piano Gal, along with a generous volunteer film crew, were gracious enough to partner with Clara in making a music video singing “Thankful” by Josh Groban.
The words of the song, “It’s up to us to be the change is a powerful reminder that together we can make a difference,” Clara’s Mother said.
“I want to help as many people with my videos, and I’m grateful for the Piano Gal and everyone who helped,” Clara said.
Mrs. Jordan Valley Launa Christensen saw Clara’s video, she knew she wanted to help. Clara attended Launa’s musically-driven school called Little Learner’s Academy in West Jordan for three years and loved it. They both share a love for learning and music and set up a donation station at the school to raise funds for Nurturing Nations.
A few months ago during the holidays, Clara and her friend Ian Turner used their music video of “When Christmas Comes to Town” to share a heart-warming story of giving and to raise money for KSL’s Quarters for Christmas. Clara raised $1,600 and True North Wealth in Utah generously donated an additional $1,000. “Quarters for Christmas are amazing, they help children get clothes for winter like coats, hats and gloves,” Clara said. She enjoyed sharing this story on KSL television and news radio and hopes the video will continue to raise money for these children in need.
One of Clara’s most rewarding performances was during the pandemic. She sang the popular song “Tomorrow” for her schoolteacher and online for Summit Vista a retirement community near West Jordan. They loved her and went back to watch her Facebook video over 1,200 times. Clara spent hours singing over and over again with technical glitches to get this video to them because she knew how important it was for them to have something positive in their lives.
Clara has goals set for her singing years ahead. She already has her next song planned for Summit Vista, and she is excited to sing for them in person very soon. West Jordan Stampede, Salt Lake Bees, and some other local events have asked Clara to sing the national anthem again this year. Clara will sing at the Chamber West Awards Gala again. In April 2021 Clara was presented with the Youth Good Deed Award from the American Legion for her service in the community.
Clara Mae’s “Thankful” video can be found with the QR code found within this story by searching “Clara Mae Thankful” on YouTube. To donate to Nurturing Nations, visit www.Nurturingnations.org or text GIVE to (917) 924-68ll.