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It seems like God gave Arika Craig a love of music when she was very young. Her taste in music is eclectic – she likes all kinds, and she wants to study and pursue a career in music.
She said that she has been singing since she was a kid.
“When I was a kid, I sang all the time, in preschool and then in honor choir chorus in elementary school from second grade to fifth grade, then in chorus from seventh to eighth grade, then in freshman year to now,” said the high school junior.
She does have other hobbies. “I love drawing, reading a lot,” but, she adds, “and I play in the band, the baritone saxophone. I started out on the clarinet, in the sixth grade, then went to baritone saxophone sophomore year, then to bari-saxophone this year.”
Her mother, Christy, said that she doesn’t sing, but “Somewhere down the line, on my grandfather’s side, we were related to ‘Tex’ Williams.' Williams was the country-western star who recorded the hit record, “Smoke, Smoke, Smoke, That Cigarette.”
Christy said, “When Arika was as a baby, she would not go to sleep, so we would walk her at night and play a Brian White CD over and over and over.”
Arika likes country, “but I also like jazz, classical, the composers, Frank Sinatra, and rock and roll … I like all music,” she said.
She wants to continue her education in music after she graduates from high school.
“I am debating between musical performance and musical theatre, but something to do with music like that.” She is currently undecided on a college.
She sings solos at First Baptist Church, has participated in Vandalia Idol twice and was awarded second place in her school’s talent show this year.
She has also performed with the All-State Honor Choir. She was in Peoria for three days and performed with the “big choir” in the big civic center, and has performed in other events.
Up Close and Personal
Her favorite subjects in school? Of course, band and chorus.
“But early-bird P.E. is fun. We get up at 6 in the morning and go to school about 7:15, and we are done about 7:45. The juniors and seniors who have class overloads may go for early-bird P.E.
She is teaching herself guitar and she plays by ear.
She also plays soccer. “I’m not too good at it, but I’m working on it,” she said.
Her favorite color is green, and her favorite food is angel food cake, especially her Grandma Lucy’s angel food cake.
She has a busy schedule this summer. with band camp, soccer camp and a youth mission trip.
Probably he biggest highlight so far occurred when she was on the recent high school band trip to Tennessee. “I did sing on the stage at the Ryman, and it was amazing,” she said.
“We went backstage and they were telling us the history of it. The theatre used to be a church and the pulpit was in the middle. They would put chairs around the pulpit.
“If you wanted to, you could sing a chorus and verse of a song. So, Jake Hathaway and I went down there. Jake sang a song, then I sang, ‘Tornado,’ by Little Big Town.
My legs were shaking when I got off, because I could see the people looking at me. I kept looking at the microphone, so I wouldn’t see them, she said.
“I did it because I figured I would never get to do it again.”
Whatever she chooses for her life’s work, she most likely will always be involved in music, in some form.