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Area Vocalists Tune Up for Cherry Blossom Festival

Three winners of the “Sing Into Spring” vocal competition have secured coveted spots to perform a song together in the National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade presented by Events DC on Saturday, April 8.

The D.C.-area vocalists will join a lineup of celebrities and marching bands from around the country in the annual production. And they are as diverse as the grand helium balloons and floats they will march alongside:

KHA

KHA is a pop soul singer and songwriter who was born and raised in the DC area. She has a vast vocal range and a soulful tone. She sings with a voice that is often described as being smooth yet powerful.

“I’ve been wanting to be part of the Cherry Blossom Festival,” she said. “I’ve wanted to participate in this long-standing tradition in my hometown for a while.”

Though this is her first year performing in the parade, she was slated to perform during last year’s events as part of the Firework Festival, but it was canceled because of cold weather.

She has performed as a guest vocalist at a number of area venues including the White House, the Kennedy Center with Stevie Wonder, the Lincoln Memorial, and the Warner Theatre. She was also a featured soloist on the steps of the U.S. Capitol for the 53rd presidential inauguration ceremony. KHA has also performed in various cities across North America and Asia throughout her travels as well as in Europe where she lived for several years.

KHA will perform a live cover song at the West End Stage following the parade.

ShaMain

ShaMain
ShaMain (Courtesy photo)

ShaMain has performed as part of Cherry Blossom Festival activities on two other occasions, but this will be her first year in the parade.

Born in Georgetown, Guyana, she came to the United States at the age of 3 and settled in the D.C. area. Her sounds span genres including R&B, pop and even dancehall reggae, influenced by her Caribbean roots.

“This is such a big opportunity for me,” ShaMain said.

Music has always been a part of her life. She began studying the violin since age 5 and continued through high school, but later found her calling as a vocalist.

She says practice is key in preparation for her Cherry Blossom Festival performances.

“Practice makes better,” she said.

Following the parade, she will perform an original song from her 2016 project, “The Evolution of Me.”

Roquois

Roquois
Roquois (Courtesy photo)

Roquois is an indie singer and songwriter with an endless love affair with music. Her sound is an electric infusion of rock, hip-hop, doo-wop and R&B, all in a petite pop package. Her writing reflects her personal experiences and the world around her. Hopes, dreams and the good and bad parts of life are all echoed in her music

“I’m going to bring a fun, bubbly vibe to the Cherry Blossom Parade and Festival,” Roquois said, adding that she will blend in with the soft springtime theme of the festival.

She says participating in the festival has always been a dream her hers and she is happy to finally be able to check the item off her music bucket list.

She is most excited about the exposure the festival will give her.

“[The festival] has such a huge fan base and it gives me the opportunity to perform for a group of people who wouldn’t normally listen to my music,” Roquois said.

In addition to performing at the parade, she will also perform the national anthem and an original song during the festival.

The National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade will take place along Constitution Avenue NW, Saturday, April 8 from 10 a.m. to noon. It is free and open to the public. Group tickets and prime grandstand seats, located on Constitution Avenue between 15th and 17th streets, can be purchased online at nationalcherryblossomfestival.org.

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Tatyana Hopkins has always wanted to make the world a better place. Growing up she knew she wanted to be a journalist. To her there were too many issues in the world to pick a career that would force her to just tackle one. The recent Howard University graduate is thankful to have a job and enjoys the thrill she gets from chasing the story, meeting new people and adding new bits of obscure information to her knowledge base. Dubbed with the nickname “Fun Fact” by her friends, Tatyana seems to be full of seemingly “random and useless” facts. Meanwhile, the rising rents in D.C. have driven her to wonder about the length of the adverse possession statute of limitations (15 years?). Despite disliking public speaking, she remembers being scolded for talking in class or for holding up strangers in drawn-out conversations. Her need to understand the world and its various inhabitants frequently lands her in conversations on topics often deemed taboo: politics, religion and money. Tatyana avoided sports in high school she because the thought of a crowd watching her play freaked her out, but found herself studying Arabic, traveling to Egypt and eating a pigeon. She uses social media to scope out meaningful and interesting stories and has been calling attention to fake news on the Internet for years.

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