"Oh I don't wanna grow up, wish I'd never grown up,
I could still be little.
Oh I don't wanna grow up, wish I'd never grown up,
It could still be simple."
Grand Falls-Windsor's Alicia Smith was unsure if she would make it through singing Taylor Swift's "Never Grow Up" without crying Wednesday night at the Gordon Pinsent Centre for the Arts.
The Smith family was among the 13 families who performed during the Central Newfoundland Kiwanis Music Festival's Family Night.
After singing Adele's "Someone Like You" with her father Jim on guitar and brother Matthew on percussion, she explained to the audience that the next song would be hard to get through.
"When the festival was over last year we started picking out (songs) for the next year, and since it was my last year and I really liked (Taylor Swift's) song, I just thought it was kind of fitting," Smith told the Advertiser following her performance.
The 18-year-old said her emotions were running high because this is her final year competing in the festival.
"I've been involved in the festival since I was really young, and other than family night, the age group only goes up to Grade 12," Smith said.
She said she began in the Kiwanis music festival when she was in Grade 2.
"I started with vocal, but I never actually ever got up and sang," she said. "I would go to the classes but I would always be too afraid to get up and actually do it until Grade 7, so I guess piano was my actual first (category)."
Smith said she has been singing for as long as she can remember, since her aunt, Jennifer Anstey, is a music teacher.
"When I was younger she would always be fiddling around at the piano and get me to sing, I realized that I could," Smith said.
Smith is taking voice lessons from Maxine Stanley, and in her final year competing in the music festival, she was involved in numerous classes.
"I did eight solos and then Maple Buds and choir," Smith said, adding the festival has benefitted her over the years.
"It brought me out of my shell and I have a new confidence that I never had when I was younger," Smith said.
Her favorite memory of the festival over the years is the first time she performed at family night, she said.
"Here (at Family Night), more so than all the other classes, first of all there are so many more people, and (it's) just more close, and it's not as scary," Smith said. "It's almost like family."