There is a song in 17-year-old Sarah Swahlon’s heart, and she is going to sing it.

The Carlisle High School senior has been performing for nearly as long as she can remember.

Even as a young child Swahlon said she would sing at home. She said music was always her favorite special in elementary school, and in fourth grade she was officially drawn to the stage as part of the elementary school musical.

“I’ve always loved music,” Swahlon said. “Even when I was young, I can remember my parents asking me what I want to be when I grow up, and I’d say ‘a singer.’”

Swahlon said her career goals have a changed a bit. She still wants a career in music, but she said she hopes to attend Westminster Choir College to one day become a music teacher.

She said she wants to inspire other people the way her teachers inspired her.

“I’ve just always loved (music),” she said. “Every single year I find myself falling more and more in love with it.”

On top of pulling a 4.044 GPA while taking numerous honors courses and being active in school musical groups and productions, Swahlon has an internship that takes her into local elementary schools to teach youngsters music.

“I think I’m most proud of having the internship that I have,” she said. “Because I’m a music person and because I completely engulf myself in that world, it’s really important to me that I can teach kids music and help them be inspired like my teachers have inspired me.”

Swahlon is the daughter of Tracy and Robert Swahlon of Carlisle. She credited her parents with helping her get out of her comfort zone while supporting her musical endeavors.

“My parents are the most supportive people I have ever met in my life,” she said. “There is not one thing in my life that they have not been supportive of. They push me out of my comfort zone. Music is one of those things where you have to be out of your comfort zone. Whether you’re performing, learning or teaching, you’re out of your comfort zone.

“They’ve really shaped me to be comfortable with that and to be comfortable with who I am and not feel like I need to be anyone else,” she added. “They’ve taught me to put my all into something.”

Outside of music, Swahlon is a member of the National Honor Society and National Society of High School Scholars, volunteers at Project SHARE and is a student adviser for the school’s Mini-THON.

“I know if I don’t have the grades I can’t be involved,” she said. “That’s important to me. I’d rather have a busy life than have a life where I sit at home.”

Swahlon will also have one of the main roles in the upcoming school production of “Big Fish.”

She said her dream role, however, is Belle from “Beauty and the Beast.”

As an active performer and officer for the school’s Coffeehouse, Swahlon said she hopes to perform a song from that show later this school year.

“I feel like I can find myself in her,” she said. “I feel like that allows me to really understand the song and lyrics and the music and everything and get very in character.”

Email Joshua Vaughn at jvaughn@cumberlink.com. Follow him on Twitter at @Sentinel_Vaughn.

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