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High Schooler Wins Yodeling Competition

June 12, 2006

COTTLEVILLE, Mo. (AP) _ Don’t try to tell Catherine Bowler yodeling isn’t cool. Around Francis Howell Central High School in St. Charles County, the 14-year-old who just completed her freshman year was already a celebrity _ she won the school’s talent competition earlier this year.

``It’s been really flattering,″ she told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Even those who don’t know her name, she said, still are apt to say ``Hey! It’s the yodeler.″ One student asked her to yodel for his cell phone ring tone. She obliged.

Now, Bowler is getting national recognition. She recently won the Patsy Montana Yodeling Competition in Pineville, Mo., a three-day competition drawing yodelers from across the country.

Catherine began yodeling a few years ago. During a family trip, the Bowlers heard yodelers perform and Catherine’s mother, Mary, asked if she thought she could do it.

It turned out she had the talent, so the Bowlers found a tape on the Internet called, ``So You Want to Learn How to Yodel?″

The first step, Catherine said, was to lock all the doors and windows. Why?

``Because it sounds really bad,″ Catherine said.

But slowly, Catherine learned how to switch between her ``chest voice″ and her ``head voice″ to produce the unmistakable yodeling sound.

She first entered the Patsy Montana competition three years ago. The event is named for the late recording star whose ``I Want to Be a Cowboy’s Sweetheart″ hit the Top 10 of Billboard’s Pop Chart.

Catherine said her parents _ Mary and Bryan _ have been very supportive, and her brother Victor, 8, is starting to yodel a bit.

So is a record in the works?

``I’d love to do that, but it’s really expensive,″ Catherine said.

___

Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, www.stltoday.com.

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