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Lyndonville teen will audition with ‘The Voice’

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 24 December 2014 at 3:55 pm

Salma Huzair will also perform Saturday in Medina

Photo by Tom Rivers – Salma Huzair will travel to New York City to audition on Jan. 25 for “The Voice,” NBC’s vocal competition. She is pictured outside her family’s restaurant on Route 63 in Medina.

MEDINA – Salma Huzair has always enjoyed singing around her house, and in the Lyndonville school choir. People have told her she has a great voice.

But she started to really turn heads on Sept. 17. Her family owns the Old Mill Run Restaurant on Route 63 in Medina. Russ Peters was performing that day at the Old Mill. He took a break in his concert and during intermission karaoke singers had a chance at the microphone.

Salma sang “Skinny Love” by Birdy. John Wragg was in the crowd and he was wowed by Salma. Wragg has a recording studio in Middleport.

He welcomed Salma to the studio and they put some recordings of her on Facebook and YouTube. They sent links of those videos to “The Voice.” The television show welcomed her for an audition.

She will travel to New York City on Jan. 25 for the blind audition, when singers perform for four celebrity judges. The judges have their backs to the singers in the blind auditions. The judges decide if they want the singer on their team.

“I’m really excited but a little nervous,” Salma, a sophomore at Lyndonville, said on Tuesday at the Old Mill.

Salma Huzair works at the Old Mill Run Restaurant in the kitchen and as a waitress. Here she is making a Reuben sandwich.

She will perform in a concert on Saturday at the Medina Theatre. The 7:30 p.m. concert will be a fund-raiser for the trip to New York City, and also a chance to perform on stage for a live audience.

Wragg believes Salma could be a big star. She needs to build up her confidence, he said.

“Everyone knows how good she is except Salma,” Wragg said.

There is a suggested $3 donation to attend the concert and there will be raffles to help cover the travel and lodging costs for Salma. The band, The Blind Leading the Blind, will also perform from 8:30 to 11:30 p.m.

“We’re here to support the local talent,” said Nicole Bellnier, manager at Medina Theatre.

Salma’s mother Alana Ross will join her daughter in New York City. She said Salma has had perfect pitch since was a little girl.

“She has a very delicate sounding voice, but she can be powerful when she wants to be,” Ross said.

Salma Huzair is pictured with her father Bilal and her mother Alana.

Salma sang her first solo in the fifth grade at an elementary school concert. She has been picked for many all-county musical festivals.

A soprano, she enjoys singing pop music. She admitted she is a little shy. But she is pushing herself. She had a concert at the Old Mill Run Restaurant on Dec. 13 and engaged with the crowd.

“Since her concert here she has really blossomed,” her mother said.

Salma’s parents opened the Old Mill Run about two years ago. Their daughter has preferred to stay in the background, working in the kitchen. But lately, she has been waitressing, working more with the public.

“She has really stepped out,” her mother said.

Salma said she is grateful for the chance to try out for “The Voice.”

“I really enjoy singing,” she said. “It just takes me away.”

Salma Huzair makes a Reuben sandwich at the Old Mill Run. She also has been waitressing more recently, connecting with customers.