click above image to view video



at the Peru Circus


Wild animal trainer Clyde Beatty would be mighty proud of his great-granddaughter, Shelley Ploss, whose electrifying vocal rendition of "The Star Spangled Banner" kicks off many performances of the Peru Amateur Circus.  Adding to the richness of the moment is the 65-piece Peru Circus Festival Band, playing a John Higgins arrangement of the musical treasure.  Like many Miami County youngsters, Shelley was trained to present various circus acts in her formative years.  


 In 2004 Shelley succeeded her mother, Sandy Ploss, in the spotlight to sing the awe-inspiring National Anthem.  Sandy Ploss is the executive secretary of Circus City Festival, Inc., which oversees the week-long series of circus performances, a two-hour circus parade and downtown midway attractions.


Here's some additional background, as provided by Sandy Ploss, whose mother, Joyce Ferguson, was Clyde Beatty's daughter. 


I started singing it ("The Star Spangled Banner") when I was a performer at age 16 and sang almost every show till 2004 when Shelley and I shared the duties. Shelley has performed in Side by Side, Swinging Ladders, 4-Lane Cradle, Web, Rolla Bolla, Trampoline, Tumbling and Teeterboard. She and I sang the anthem together for the final show in 2010.


Shelley has a Bachelor Degree from Butler University in Voice Performance.  While at Butler she sang the National Anthem for most of the Butler Menís Basketball games during her 4 years there. She has a Masterís Degree and a Performers Diploma in Opera performance and voice from Indiana University Jacobs School of Music where she studied with Metropolitan Opera Baritone and IU Distinguished Voice Professor Timothy Noble, who is also a Peru native. She had several lead roles while at IU and sang the anthem for 2 IU Menís Basketball games.  She taught as an adjunct professor of voice at Manchester College. She is presently living in New York where she is getting ready for the upcoming opera audition season. My husbandís name is Rick Ploss.


Video courtesy of Lane Talburt


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