As the clock ticked toward seven o'clock, nine singers ages 5 through 10 were sitting quietly backstage on the enormous stage of the Dodge City Civic Center, waiting for their turn to sing.

    Well -- not sitting really. And not exactly quietly either. But ready to sing.


As the clock ticked toward seven o'clock, nine singers ages 5 through 10 were sitting quietly backstage on the enormous stage of the Dodge City Civic Center, waiting for their turn to sing.
    Well -- not sitting really. And not exactly quietly either. But ready to sing.
    One by one they were called on stage to sing.
    Madison Elliott sang "Love Story" by Taylor Swift. She barely remembers winning a preliminary Summer Sing competition singing "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" six years ago when she was 3. Technical problems prevented the lyrics to Elliott's song from appearing on the monitor in front of her.
    "I practiced day and night all week -- I had all those words up here in my head but somehow they escaped out of my ear," she said.
    Leah Stern sang "This One's for the Girls," and said "I just wanted to go out there and have fun."
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Reach Don Steele at (620) 408-9910 or e-mail him at don.steele@dodgeglobe.com