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Little kid, big voice

by JOSH McDONALD
Staff Writer | November 7, 2023 1:06 AM

PINEHURST –– There is nothing like a live rendition of the Star-Spangled Banner. It’s even more memorable when it’s performed by a 6-year-old.

Now, the young Christopher Sverdsten is headed for Las Vegas where he will perform at the National Finals Rodeo. 

Christopher is a student at Pinehurst Elementary School who loves to sing. His dad, Chris Sverdsten, is a singer in the popular local band, Sverwood, and it appears the apple didn’t fall far from the tree. 

Christopher recently won a voter-based contest and will open the sixth day of competition at the rodeo with his version of the national anthem. The boy is one of 10 people chosen to perform the song at the event. 

It was almost a year ago that Christopher stood before hundreds of people at Kellogg High School and belted the anthem out to open the George Wild Wrestling Tournament.

Since that first performance, he has sung at the Idaho State Wrestling Tournament, the Kellogg All-Class Reunion, the grand opening of Tractor Supply Co. in Kellogg, the Pinehurst Days Burnouts, the ArenaCross races at the Kootenai County Fairgrounds, Stateline Speedway, and just about every Sverwood gig he’s allowed to be part of, age permitting.

With a musically inclined father and a very supportive mom, it’s no surprise that young Christopher has a passion for performing. 

“It just amazes us how confident he is in the spotlight,” his dad said. “No hesitation, minimal nerves, and just so genuinely happy to get to do what he is doing. He loves to perform, and we’re all lucky enough to be a part of it.”

Christopher's song repertoire goes beyond the anthem. He and his dad sing quite a few songs together.

He’s not limited to just the patriotic tunes. He likes to dabble in some classic rock as well. 

“I like to sing 'Simple Man' with my dad,” Christopher said. “Singing makes me happy. It’s a lot of fun.” 

The family has received an outpouring of support from their Silver Valley neighbors, some going as far as hosting fundraisers for Christopher so his trip comes with as little cost to him and his family as possible. 

“The support we have been given already has been absolutely amazing,” Christopher's mom, Kristina, said. 

Christopher will sing the national anthem at the National Finals Rodeo on Dec. 12.

The Hilltop restaurant in Kingston will host a spaghetti dinner fundraiser for Christopher from 5 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 15. Dinner is $20.