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MacArthur third grader sings National Anthem at Chihuahua's game

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EL PASO INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT -- Singing in front of a crowd is sure to bring out the nerves of anyone but not so much for MacArthur PK-8 third grader Sophia Madrid.

 Sophia’s calm and collected rendition of the National Anthem in front of a crowded Southwest University Park on June 27 showed a confident singer with talent beyond her years.

“In the beginning, I was very nervous,” Sophia said, who started singing at age 3. “Once I got into the song, I became excited and expressed that in the song. When I sing, I feel like I’m being me and that it's my happy place.”

Behind the scenes encouraging Sophia is her family of musicians. Sophia’s mother Nohemi Madrid said that Sophia needs little encouragement. Her passion and dedication for singing is unwavering. 

“Sophia has always shown a natural talent for singing,” Nohemi Madrid said. “My husband and I are both musicians in our worship team at church. So, the whole time I was pregnant with her she heard the music and took to singing quickly after she was born.”

Sophia, who began singing at age 3, started taking vocal lessons at Sound Stage 9 in 2019 to learn new singing techniques and piano. 

“She is at a point where she out sings us,” Nohemi Madrid said. “My husband and I were practicing one day, and she joined us and there was a moment when she hit a certain note and she just surprised us. It's an awesome family bonding experience to be able to make music together.”

MacArthur teacher Sylvia Gonzalez reflected on her experiences with Sophia in the classroom and how her vibrant personality impacts the lives of many.

“For any child the sky's the limit. It just depends on their perseverance,” Gonzalez said. “I literally cried when I heard her sing the national anthem, I was just floored by her singing. Sophia is an extremely hard worker, very dedicated and tenacious about her work ethic. Her confidence and kindness make her so special.”

Her love of song is fresh in her heart with no plans to slow down. She’s excited about what her future holds, preparing a plan to use her powerful voice to write songs and produce music videos. 

“I would like to become a church leader like my parents,” Sophia said. “Or a famous singer and spread the word about God through my singing. I need to practice more, take notes from people around me and just keep singing.”

By Mia Cadena