Young Zinnia Moon on Rise in Local Music World

Aug 01, 2018
Supplied Photo Zinnia Moon

Zinnia Moon, 12, of Little Egg Harbor has shared her musical stylings with Long Beach Island audiences for the duration of the summer. The young phenom will perform every Monday at the Surf City farmer’s market and every Wednesday at Woodies Drive-In on Fifth Street in Ship Bottom. According to Moon, her set has a “coffeehouse feel,” including popular hits, classics and her own original music – enough variety to appeal to a variety of audiences and tastes every week.

The self-taught musician began singing at the age of 4. Her early interest in music led her to theater camps and school shows, where she showed immediate promise. In third grade, Moon joined Manahawkin’s community theater group Our Gang Players. Originally founded in 1977, Our Gang boasts an impressive roster of alumni who have since gone on to perform on Broadway and in various professional theater circuits. As a member of the company, Moon has performed in such shows as “Carousel” and “Beauty and the Beast”; in the latter, she played the leading role of Belle. Moon described her time as Belle as “an awesome experience” where she “felt like a princess receiving the royal treatment.” Children and adults alike were drawn to the actress, eagerly awaiting her presence after every show. Outside of Our Gang, Moon also performed alongside high schoolers, many five years her senior, in the Pinelands Regional High School’s winter production of “White Christmas.”

Adept on both the ukulele and piano, Moon has cultivated her own sound. Occasionally performing alongside her sister Sahara, 20, she has taken her signature sound to the LBI Arts Festival, the Makers Festival, and even to Lake Hopatcong, N.J. Whereas most young musicians would find themselves stuck in the shadow of a talented older sibling like Sahara, Zinnia has opted to use her sister as a resource to learn new things. Over the past two years, the duo have heard their voices “advance and get better over time.”

Moon dreams of eventually performing “on a big stage in front of tons of people, in New York or California.” However, most important, the young star hopes her music will speak to its listeners. She has written songs based on personal difficulties. These she hopes will one day resonate with others facing adversity and provide a reprieve.

Moon’s mother, Denise, has been a constant source of support for her daughters in their performing careers, although she likes to give the pair “autonomy to choose what they do.” Community support has also played a major role in the continuation of Moon’s musical endeavors. While observing her daughter’s performances, Denise has “seen how people respond to the music. They stand and stare and listen; sometimes they even come up to her after.”

Despite her young age, Moon has dedicated herself to writing and performing music for others to enjoy. With an impressive resume filled with community theater and event performances, the wunderkind has begun to develop a recognizable name for herself in and around Ocean County. She hopes those who stop by a show will simply “enjoy the sound of music” and come back for more.

— Morgan Turner

Comments (0)
If you wish to comment, please login.