Trying out for a chance at baseball glory
SOUTH BEND, Mar 10, 2013 (South Bend Tribune - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
It was an "American Idol "competition of sorts in South Bend.
Except all of the singers sang the same song, belting it out in an empty, snowy baseball stadium.
Staff for the South Bend Silver Hawks held auditions at Coveleski Stadium Saturday, seeking new voices to sing the "Star-Spangled Banner" before games this season.
The Silver Hawks kick off the 2013 season with a night game on April 4.
A steady flow of hopeful singers flooded into the stadium Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon, forming a line that snaked outside.
Silver Hawks President Joe Hart said he heard 43 renditions of the national anthem by mid morning, and expected to listen to a total of at least 80 people by noon.
Singers as young as 6 or 7, joined several septuagenarians at the tryouts, Hart said.
A little blonde girl from Buchanan, Lucy Arbanas, 10, came out smiling after singing for the judges.
She said she was only a little nervous, but mostly, her main issue was the cold.
The singers stood on an open air balcony, singing to a stadium with a coating of snow.
Lucy said she knew she could do it because singing in front of a crowd isn't anything new.
"I've been in a lot of plays lately," she said matter-of-factly.
Shortly after Lucy's audition, 52-year-old Mishawaka resident Jim Sommer took the podium.
He sings at church, and has sung at the stadium before games in the past.
"It's a lot of fun," Sommer said. "The whole atmosphere is really enjoyable."
Despite perhaps some nerves about the singing audition, the atmosphere was good-humored as singers filtered in.
Some people just come to challenge themselves and see if they can do it, Hart said.
One young girl stepped up with the microphone but then backed away out of nervousness.
After a few other singers took their turns though, she resolutely took back the microphone and finished the song.
Hart said the staff is looking for about 35 to 40 people who can sing before a game in the upcoming season, and he said he is pleased with the talent that came out Saturday.
"I've done some of these in the past where it's bad," he said.
Staff writer Madeline Buckley: email@example.com 574-235-6337
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