The Kiwanis Club of Santa Fe doesn’t just torch the giant puppet Zozobra in early September to burn away our glooms. The club also supports local talent by auditioning singers to perform the national anthem at the September event, the Fourth of July, and New Year’s Eve. Zozobra Event Chair Ray Sandoval says, “The talent quotient was very high and the judges were hard-pressed to make a decision!” After an exhaustive search, the club announced the talented singers they selected. Let’s meet them!
Santa Fe-area native Christina Olivias will be performing our national anthem at the September 2, 2022, Burning of Zozobra. She has been singing since she was young and says, “Over the years, I have been asked to sing the national anthem for many local sports teams including the Española Valley Sundevils, Capital Jaguars, and the Northern New Mexico Children’s Football League sporting events. I especially love singing to open up my son’s games for the Pojoaque Valley Elks, where I currently am employed as the payroll and benefits specialist.” She adds, “Every time I sing the national anthem, it reminds me of the sacrifices my grandfather and so many others made and continue to make so we can gather in freedom.”
Amanda Morris will be performing the national anthem at the annual New Year’s Eve event on the Santa Fe Plaza. She moved to Santa Fe in 1993 and after having relocated often as part of a military family, she feels fortunate to have found a permanent home in Santa Fe. Amanda has worked in hospitality, entertainment, and now real estate. She sang at the local La Casa Sena Cantina for almost 20 years, belting out Broadway show tunes, along with some opera and jazz. Amanda also sang professionally as a lead singer with The Pink Flamingos, a corporate party company, and traveled from coast to coast performing for audiences from 200 to 20,000 people. Catch her rendition of the national anthem on December 31, 2022, at the Santa Fe Plaza!
This article was posted by Cheryl Fallstead
Taya BennetThe youngest singer selected is 13-year-old Tanya Bennet, who will perform at next year’s Fourth of July celebration on the Santa Fe Plaza. Taya loves singing and her ambition is to become an accomplished singer. She also loves playing with her dogs, playing video games, and enjoys a good scary movie.
About the Burning of Will Shuster’s Zozobra
This year will be the 98th presentation of the Burning of Will Shuster’s Zozobra, Santa Fe’s unique cultural celebration. Members of the Kiwanis Club of Santa Fe volunteer thousands of hours every year in preparation to make Zozobra a fun, family-friendly event, but they always need help. Despite the pandemic necessitating a limited audience and affecting ticket sales, the net proceeds of Zozobra 2021 allowed Kiwanis to donate $25,000 to nonprofits that aid Santa Fe’s underserved youth. Zozobra has also helped save 4,000 lives through project ELIMINATE, the Kiwanis global campaign that partners with UNICEF to eliminate maternal/neonatal tetanus from the earth.