Next weekend, Lauren Thompson will share the Newton Fox Theatre stage with Motown Sounds of Touch, serving as the opening act for the concert.

Although the Hesston singer is only 12-years-old, she's more excited than nervous, her eyes lighting up whenever she talks about her passion for music.

"I'm really excited. This is my first time stepping out on my own," she said.

Lauren is a seventh grader at the Hesston middle school. Her father is Larry Thompson, known locally for his group Larry Thompson and the Big Buckle Band.

"It's been fun to watch her grow, and have such an interest in (music)," Larry said of his daughter. "It's fun, something we can do together."

Lauren said her father started teaching her songs at an early age, and she sang onstage for the first time at the age of 5.

Lauren jokes she was too young to feel nervous at the time.

"I didn't really understand — people's opinions didn't matter to me, so I wasn't scared," she said with a laugh. "Sometimes I get nervous now."

For Lauren, music is a way for her to express and work through her feelings.

In the past, she's performed at a variety of venues, including street dances, fundraisers, festivals and country barn dances. She also plays ukulele, guitar and piano.

Although country is the genre she most often performs, she's looking forward to singing in the Motown style for the upcoming Fox concert. Larry said the Motown group already has been good to work with, and they have been kind and supportive to Lauren.

"I think it will be a lot of fun," he said.

For now, music is Lauren's favorite hobby, but she someday hopes to pursue music as a career.

"I love how music can put smiles on people's faces," she said. "I think that music can help them decide to be happy."

Tickets still are available for the Motown concert at the Fox. The concert starts at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 9. Tickets are $60 and are on sale at or South Dillons.