DOWNTOWN — Through her inspiring love for her father, Sophie Smyth, a 10-year-old fifth grader from Santa Monica, has won the Award of Excellence certificate from the National PTA-sponsored Reflections Program.

She competed against 65,000 other entries from students throughout California for the award, which was for a song she originally wrote for her father’s birthday.

Her vocal and piano performance of the song “You Lift Me Up,” was selected last Saturday as the top entry for the intermediate division of the original music category. Additionally, her song will represent California’s best in a national competition.

“I think I have a pretty good chance. My mom says it was wonderful so, there’s a possibility I could win,” Sophie said.

Like any proud parent, Vikki Smyth believes her daughter will come out on top.

“The song is a universal love song between a little girl and her daddy. It should be an anthem for love. It’s a remarkable song,” she said.

The competition was established in 1969, and occurs every year, providing students with an opportunity to express themselves creatively and to receive positive recognition for their original works.

When Sophie first heard of the competition and the theme, “Beauty is,” she thought of the song she had written for her father’s birthday. The song itself did not take a lot of time for Sophie to put together, which Vicki attributes to the intensity of the love she was feeling for her father, Robert Smyth.

“This one came so fast to her — that part was kind of scary,” Smyth said.

Sophie said she worked on the song over three days with her singing coach.

The lyrics of “You Lift Me Up” entail the feelings of a thoughtful, loving young daughter, with lines such as, “You plant the seeds to make my life grow. Show me the way when I don’t know. You light me up.”

When her father first heard the song he began tearing up. Now she has touched several others with her affection for him, and she plans to stay focused on her singing amongst the many other activities she is involved in, which include tennis, soccer and playing the violin.

She has been singing and playing the piano for a couple of years, with steady vocal and piano lessons on and off. Her focus is on her voice and song writing, which seems to come most naturally to her.

“My mom says I’ve been singing before I could talk,” Sophie said.

She also said that she is always singing, whether it be in the kitchen or the shower, or in front of an audience. She is very interested in music, she said, and does intend to pursue it.

Smyth added that her school, Franklin Elementary, has been greatly influential in Sophie’s skills. She said that Sophie plays the violin there and enjoys participating in the plays which each class performs every year.

Sophie added that many of the violin songs she has learned through the school have inspired her to write other songs.

“They’re so supportive. We hope we don’t lose with the budget cutbacks the fabulous music program,” Smyth said.

Smyth added that her and her husband have also been trying as hard as possible to provide both Sophie and her younger sister Stella with the best opportunities they can.

“Our job as parents is to give them the most tools to be as independent as they possibly can, that way they can fly on their own,” Smyth said.

On the net

Sophie’s Song:

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