EPOP: Exciting People of Pelham-Ava Pursel


Prashaan Malwana, Editorials Editor

 The idea of singing on stage in front of a massive audience is both a fear and a dream to many, yet very few can turn their fantasy into a reality. Someone who has undoubtedly achieved this feat is PMHS junior Ava Pursel, who sang The Star-Spangled Banner at Red Bull Arena in New Jersey prior to the Red Bulls vs. Philadelphia Union match on September 3. Despite thousands in attendance, Pursel’s performance excelled, capturing her extensive talents as a singer and actress. 

Pursel sang the national anthem to open the game because of an exceptional audition over two years ago. Regardless, Pursel was still chosen and performed in front of one of the largest audiences she’s ever amassed. In an interview, she spoke about what the opportunity meant to her. 

“Before I went up to sing, I was just pure nerves,” Pursel said. “People think that those who perform on stage or to stadiums don’t get nervous, but I assure you we do. I just tried to trust in myself and trust in what I was able to do and accomplish, and I knew everything would be okay!”

Embracing a passion for performing, Pursel has auditioned for numerous musicals and commercials from a young age, and she started singing around nine years old. Pursel has constructed an impressive resume by citing experiences in several theaters, shows, and advertisements. One of her favorite projects is a commercial for Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s publishing company. There, she was able to wear hair dye, play drums, and meet people from entirely different backgrounds.

When asked about advice for aspiring singers and actors who are unsure of how to start, Pursel said,  “Overall, believe in your craft and the uniqueness of your voice and what you’re able to do. Although it may seem difficult at times, like a constant competition, remember that it takes great amounts of confidence and courage to be able to perform and that’s special.” 

In the future, Ava plans to pursue a career in musical theater.