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Bird Island student sings national anthem without a hitch at President Obama visit

BIRD ISLAND -- Eleven year-old McKaia Ryberg handled her brush with fame without missing a note and it may only be the start.

A video featuring the sixth grader from St. Mary's Elementary in Bird Island singing the national anthem for President Barak Obama's visit Saturday to Minneapolis has been posted on You Tube. Its potential audience could rival that present at the University of Minnesota for the president's campaign stop.

"She was so not nervous I could not believe it,'' said her mother, Sandy Ryberg, of her daughter's performance in Minneapolis.

The family received VIP treatment. Prior to her performance, Ryberg and her family spent about two hours in a room with guests for the event including U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken and former vice president Walter Mondale. Ryberg said the dignitaries went out of their way to encourage her daughter and keep her from becoming nervous.

The young student had the opportunity to shake President Obama's hand and was right up front and close to the president and entourage for much of the time.

"It was a very special deal for her,'' said her mother.

Her performance can be viewed at URL: McKaia Ryberg singing national anthem or in the window below:

Tom Cherveny

Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.

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