Singer Sarah Frances Johnston now performing at Green Valley Ranch Resort and Red Rock Resort


At 22, Sarah Frances Johnston has found her calling as a singer.

"It is what I believe God has called me to do," Johnston said. "So for the rest of my life, I'll sing."

She is slated to sing Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays at T-Bones Chophouse at Red Rock Resort and Fridays and Saturdays at Hank's Fine Steaks at Green Valley Ranch Resort.

Johnston was born in New Zealand and started her career as an actress and a model. When she was 15, her father decided to move the family to Samoa so they could learn more about their culture.

One night, Johnston decided to sing a song with her dad's band.

"I decided to get up and sing," Johnston said, "and everything just went from there."

Impressed with her voice, Johnston's dad bought music equipment so she could start performing.

Even while she was in high school, Johnston was performing seven nights a week.

"I actually missed school sometimes because I was performing so much," Johnston said.

Johnston was convinced that she wanted to sing and perform for the rest of her life, traveling the world.

In 2008, she moved to Las Vegas, hoping to start a singing career.

"This is the entertainment capital of the world," Johnston said.

For the next couple of years, Johnston sang at private parties and events, including New Year's at Ravella Lake Las Vegas.

Johnston's manager, Bryn David, contacted Station Casinos this year about booking her to perform.

"We scheduled an audition," David said, "and the rest is history."

The audition led to a contract, and Johnston started July 13.

The first time Johnston walked into T-Bones Chophouse, she said she thought it was too nice of a place that would ever have her sing.

David said what sets Johnston apart from other singers is her maturity.

"She is very classy and mature for her age," David said. "She has a tremendous work ethic."

Johnston said she likes performing at both places because they have different crowds.

"(Hank's) is more of an intimate crowd," Johnston said.

T-Bones, she said, has a lot more business and out-of-town professionals while Hank's has more locals.

Johnston plays a four-hour set. She added that if the crowd is in the right mood, she might play longer.

"I try not to take many breaks," Johnston said. "Sometimes I'll play straight through, depending on the crowd."

Johnston does covers of various genres, including jazz, country and alternative.

"Jazz is my favorite," Johnston said. "But I'll mix it up for the crowds."

Johnston said she also will throw in a few '90s covers for fans.

"It is all about the crowd," Johnston said. "I love seeing their reactions."

Johnston performs songs from musicians who inspired her, from Norah Jones and Celine Dion to Billie Holiday and Michael Buble. She said she has about 150 songs to choose from and tries to add new ones to keep current.

Even though Johnston likes performing at the venues, she said she hopes to have a recording deal this year.

"She is going to be famous one day," David said.

Johnston said she continues to push to make her dreams come true.

"You got to keep working at your dream," Johnston said. "The only way you're going to achieve it is if you keep believing in yourself. Can't let anyone stop you."

Contact Henderson/Anthem View reporter Michael Lyle at mlyle@viewnews.com or 387-5201.

 

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