Bradenton singers audition to sing anthem for Pirates, Marauders

jdeleon@bradenton.comFebruary 2, 2014 

BRADENTON -- Oh say Bradenton, can you sing?

Well, those who thought that they could came out to McKechinie Field on Saturday for a chance to sing the national anthem for Pittsburgh Pirates spring training or at Bradenton Marauders games this season.

John Colket, 64, hoped he made the cut.

"I tried out last year," Colket said. "They told me I wasn't ready for prime time at the Marauders."

The audition was fun and provided an adrenaline rush, he said. He left feeling optimistic, despite the competition.

"Well, we'll see, there is a lot of good singers here."

The auditions brought out some professionals, one in particular who has a history with the team.

"I sang for the Pirates in Pittsburgh for 24 years," Diana Walters said. "I sang twice here at the old stadium."

The soprano, who sings professionally and gives voice lessons, recently relocated to the area and would love the opportunity to sing for her beloved team again.

"I just love the Pirates," Walters said. "We already have tickets for some of the games, so we are go

ing to be here regardless."

Saturday's auditions were held for three hours Saturday and attracted more than 60 performers. Judges were looking to fill seven spots for spring training and then later will choose performers for the Maraiders' regular season.

Those selected will be notified by mail or e-mail, official said.

Petra Greenidge, 22, was waiting for her chance to audition.

"I'm excited, I've never sung here before," Greenidge said. "I actually graduated last year with a musical degree, and I'm also pre-med."

In pursuit of her passion, she has taken time off school to attempt a singing career.

"I think this would be a great opportunity," Greenidge said.

At her side for support was her mother, Pamela Greenidge.

"I feel wonderful for her, seeing she is about to start a career," she said.

Some of Bradenton's younger talents also came out for a shot at signing "The Star-Spangled Banner." Madelynn Ojeda, celebrating her 14th birthday, was waiting for her audition.

"It's my first time, I just want to get more experience," Ojeda said.

With her voice teacher, who was also auditioning, and her mother both pushing her she chose to audition and said she had no fear about singing in front of a large audience.

"I'm just proud of her every time she gets up and tries her best," mom Tami Ojeda said.

Jessica De Leon, Herald reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7049. You can follow her on Twitter @JDeLeon1012.

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