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27/06/2014 21:00
Volleyball player turned singer mesmerizes audience at European Volleyball Gala
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Vienna, Austria, June 27, 2014. Among the stars who graced the stage set up at the Hofburg Palace on Friday night, many people in attendance as well as those following the event on TV or on the web were mesmerized by the charm and voice of Norisha Campbell, who apart from co-hosting the show together with Michael Berger of ORF, performed live three songs from her repertoire accompanied by guitarist Klaus-Christian Glückert.

Click here for a picture gallery of the 2014 European Volleyball Gala

US American Norisha Campbell, a former player of Switzerland’s Volleyball powerhouse Volero ZÜRICH, raised to fame well beyond the Volleyball family after starring on the 2013 season of the talent show “The Voice of Germany”. Her performance at the Hofburg Palace followed on a previous appearance dating to last February where she had set the tone for the players of her former team from Zurich in their Playoffs 6 home fixture versus the eventual winners of the 2014 CEV DenizBank Volleyball Champions League, Russia’s Dinamo KAZAN. “I performed on a stage set up right next to the Volleyball court and I also walked through the court for another show act; it was a very emotional moment for me, going back to my former team after spending three exciting months on the show,” she recounts. “I can only say that by the time I was progressing through the various stages of the competition I received a lot of support from other Volleyball players, especially from those I had played with in the US national team and from other friends back home. It really felt like the whole Volleyball family was behind me.”

Norisha, a graduate of Florida State University – Tallahassee, has lived in Germany for the past 12 years after moving to Europe to embark on a professional Volleyball career. A devote Christian, Campbell was eventually driven to perform on “The Voice of Germany” by a series of coincidences: “I have been worshipping and performing at church for quite some years and once a couple attending services there came up and said I shall give it a try because God has given me a beautiful voice, a gift that I shall share with all others. I also remember that once my mom had come from the US to visit me; I was just cleaning my place and singing at the same time, as I always do, and she also encouraged me to focus on singing rather than on any other second job that I was looking for at that time. After I made the casting, the so-called blind audition followed, but really the whole thing went on quite naturally. I wasn’t and I am not greed for fame or victory, I just wanted to do what I like, which is singing, and this way I can also express myself and my love for God.”  

A story that shows some similarities with that of a singing nun who just won the Italian version of that same talent show. “I believe we do share the same vision and understanding of the whole thing we have been going through: I have seen people whose life seemed to end, and quite dramatically, after they fell out of the competition. As for me, I simply enjoyed that experience, knowing that I have a gift, and that my performances are a way to announce God’s message of love for everyone. I do feel very blessed,” continues the middle-blocker who last season played in Germany with Rote Raben VILSBIBURG, winning the national cup and settling for second place in the Bundesliga.  

“We scouted Norisha’s talent by the time we were told that she had performed for that home match of Volero,” CEV President André Meyer says. “We immediately realised that the performance of such graceful and talented Volleyball player turned singer would have been a real surprise for our audience here in Vienna as well as for all those who follow the Gala on TV or on the web. I believe that she left her mark on our show tonight, thereby advertising our sport in a somehow different, but still very effective way.”

Campbell, who is now 33, played for Team USA and also in the professional leagues of Germany and Switzerland. While wearing the jersey of Volero, the former middle-blocker won the 2007/2008 edition of the Swiss national league and that same season she reached the Playoffs 6 of the CEV Volleyball Champions League losing there to Italy’s Asystel NOVARA. Last year Campbell touched many hearts and impressed the jury of the talent show “The Voice of Germany” – which airs on SAT1 and ProSieben – as she also did on the imperial stage of the 2014 European Volleyball Gala co-hosted by CEV and the Austrian Volleyball Federation.

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