Tori Forbess used to both local gigs and larger venues

A Frenship High School freshman balances cheerleading, being a straight-A student, her love of math, and performing for such large audiences as those at a Sacramento Kings game.

Tori Forbess, 14, will perform as a special guest at the Richie McDonald: Up Close and Personal concert on July 22.

Tori has performed at Lady Raider games during halftime since she was 8 years old. A year ago, she sang the national anthem at a televised Sacramento Kings game with fellow Lubbock resident Tatum Lowe.

Tori said she started taking lessons at age 8 at the recommendation of one of her mother’s friends.

“I loved it and have been doing it every since,” she said. “I sing all genres, actually, depending on the occasion.

“My favorite is probably pop or R&B, like blues.”

Nowadays, she said people call randomly throughout the year to request her appearance.

Tori said she does a lot of local gigs, sometimes even getting paid.

In the case of the NBA game, she said, “It’s more like a privilege. They pay for your trip down there.”

Her parents have tried to keep her music career from getting too big.

“We really tried to kind of wait until I was older. I mean, I’m 14 now,” she said. “We didn’t want my childhood to be taken away by it.”
But in some ways, she doesn’t know anything other than performing.

“It’s just really exciting to get to do this stuff, especially with bigger name people,” Tori said, referring to McDonald.

Tori said her parents really help her to manage her singing and where she will perform.

“I really rely on them for a bunch of that stuff,” she said.

Tori is not just a singer, but also a songwriter.

“I have written, like, 12 original songs,” she said.

Right now, Tori is recording some songs and having a demo CD produced.

“They’re pretty much all genres. They kind of bounce back and forth, depending on what mood I’m in,” Tori said.

Although Tori said she would like to have a career in music, she is preparing for the possibility her future will be in another area. She is in the top 3 percent of her class and hopes to someday attend Texas A&M.

“I’m really trying to find something that I enjoy doing with all that school,” Tori said. In particular, she really likes math, having already completed her first algebra course this year and starting AP geometry next year.

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