HAMBURG — Doug Allen is known throughout Western New York for his job singing the national anthem at the Buffalo Sabres games. What many people do not know is that his daughter, Genesis, is following his musical footsteps.
“She has always been singing,” said Genesis Allen’s mother, April. “There were times when she was young where I would go check on her and she was singing in her sleep. It was the weirdest thing.”
Allen, a 16-year-old junior at Frontier High School, grew up seeing her father sing at church services. When she was in fourth grade, he asked her to sing at a service on Christmas Eve.
“I was nervous about it. I never thought of myself as a good singer,” Genesis Allen recalled.
To her surprise, people came up to her after the service telling her she had a gift and to not let it go to waste.
She took their advice and continued singing.
“My dad pushes me to do better at whatever it is I’m doing,” Allen said. “I want to be a good example of what he can do.”
Currently, Allen sings once a month with the youth worship team at Fellowship Wesleyan Church in West Seneca.
She also sings in her school’s festival choir; participates in the school musical and West Seneca Youth Theatre.
Her most exciting performance to date, she said, has yet to come. Until July 24, Allen will be traveling to France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Belgium with American Musicians Abroad.
“My choir director at school this year was invited to be one of the orchestra and choral directors of the trip,” Allen said. “She got to pick a couple students to go on the trip and invited me.”
Other than going to Canada once, Allen has never traveled outside of the country. She recalled that she was excited to ask for permission, and her parents were thrilled to hear the news and agreed to let her go on the trip.
“I really wanted her to go,” April Allen said. “I’m extremely excited for her to have the opportunity to do this. It will look awesome on college resumes.”
But this exciting opportunity came at a hefty price. To raise money, Genesis Allen got a job at Tim Hortons, put on fundraising concerts, collected pop bottles, baby-sat and sold candy bars.
“I’ve worked really hard since September and found time to fund-raise while balancing school and work,” Allen said. “I’m proud of myself.”
Her parents are very proud, as well. “When you set your mind to something, you can certainly do it,” her mother said.
This year’s American Musicians Abroad group consists of about 100 students from all across the United States, 25 of which are from WNY.
While overseas, they will be singing a variety of patriotic songs, cathedral music and choral arrangements, including an a cappella version of U2’s song “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.”
Besides wanting to see the Eiffel Tower, Allen is looking forward to visiting the Von Trapp Estate and the home of Mozart while in Austria.
“I’m grateful for the opportunity,” Allen said.
“People mature with experiences,” April Allen said. “What she’ll see and experience is beyond the amount of money we’re spending.”