Katie Ann Mayhew, center stage
Katie Ann Mayhew of West Tisbury returned home Saturday afternoon to a celebrity's welcome after singing with the Boston Pops at their gala July Fourth concert at the Hatch Shell Friday night. The 16-year-old Martha's Vineyard Regional High School sophomore won the first-ever Boston Pops High School Sing-Off at the finals on July 1 at Boston's Symphony Hall. She also performed with the orchestra at its holiday preview concert on July 3.
Although she had performed before some 500,000 revelers the night before when she brought the cheering crowd to its feet with her rendition of Stephen Sondheim's "Being Alive," Katie Ann turned shy when she saw the group waiting at the Vineyard Haven ferry dock.
Photo by Ralph Stewart
Proud grandmother Shirley Mayhew was first to greet Katie Ann with a hug as she walked down the ramp to the sound of sirens from a West Tisbury fire truck and police cruiser.
"And she's not even a sports team," said Shirley happily, referring to the tradition of greeting winning high school athletes with fire and police sirens.
"It was just so much fun," said Katie Ann about her holiday performance. "I thought I would be nervous but I wasn't. I just went out there and I was so excited."
Being on stage before a huge live crowd and a television audience of millions felt great, she said. "The only thing I was worried about was tripping on my dress...and I didn't."
Katie Ann joined her family for the fireworks later, topping off the magical holiday at a festive after party at the Copley Plaza with her many new Boston Pops friends.