BRANDON — Kirk Alderman, a fifth-generation Floridian, remembers quite well the day he realized his son, Seth, a 15-year-old student at Burnett Middle School, could sing.
“He was 6 years old and we had on a television show that featured the opera singer Ronan Tynan,” said Alderman, whose fourth great-grandfather is the namesake of Alderman’s Ford Regional Park in Lithia. “The next day my son said, ‘I can sing like the opera guy.’ Then operatic sounds came out of his voice and I was blown away.”
So, too, were the attendees April 26 at the First Baptist Church of Brandon, for the 37th annual Greater Brandon Area Community Picnic, which brings together for a yearly luncheon people young and old with deep and generational roots in the Greater Brandon community.
Seth Alderman was the luncheon’s featured entertainment, and for his set he sang songs reflective of his current interest in music, which he described as music with a jazz influence sung by “the old crooners” — including “Rat Pack” singers Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr. Not surprisingly, then, Alderman considers singer Michael Buble, who specializes in big band, swing, jazz and soul, as “one of my main idols.”
Seth Alderman said he learned he could sing at age 6. Then, “at age 7, I finally decided that’s what I wanted to do with my life,” he added. “I wanted to become a singer.”
His immediate goal is to raise enough money to pay for a summer trip to New York City and a visit to the Juilliard School of music, where he hopes to secure both acceptance and attendance, with financial aid, in the future.
At the Brandon luncheon, he sold CDs of his music to help raise those funds.
“I love his music,” said Helen Mulrennan Young, 91, in line to buy a CD. “I think he’s going to be something else.”
“I can’t believe he’s just 15 years old,” added Barbara Hiller Wolfe. “He’s a really great talent. Really great.”
Alderman is content now to perform at gigs close and far from home, at events, conventions, sports stadiums and park shows.
Singing “opens up your soul,” he said. “I guess the right word for it would be, ‘pure.’ It’s not like I’m trying to do what everybody else is doing. I’m not being a follower. I’m taking the lead in my life, doing what I dream of.”