By Ben Lawson
For Vicki Sise of Seymour, singing is not just a pastime, or a pleasure, it’s a privilege.
That’s why, when she competed this Wednesday as a finalist in the New York Mets National Anthem Search, she felt it was an honor to be chosen to go, whether she wins or loses.
“It eats at you,” she said. “You want to sing so badly.”
Sise has always been a singer, despite no formal training. The daughter of a minister, she was introduced to the art at a young age.
“It’s one of those things where, at the age of four, he sets you on the stage and says sing,” she remembered. “So you sing.”
It was working for Delta Airlines that presented the opportunity to participate in the Anthem search, thanks to their sponsorship of the Mets. She said doing so allowed her to cross one more line from her personal “Bucket List.” The previous item had been skydiving; the next, flying an airplane.
Sise flew to New York for the first round of the competition last week at Citi Field, and walked into a huge room filled with hundreds of other contestants.
Nevertheless, she wasn’t nervous. One of her nephews works in the music industry and assured her that some may be better, but it all depends on what the judges want. “You can’t take it personally,” he told her.
Many of the contestants choose to sing the National Anthem, though that wasn’t required. At the last moment, she chose to sing “Crazy” by Patsy Cline, one of Sise’s favorite songs.
She felt confident afterward. “When I left I kind of held my breath,” she said. “I thought, if I do it, I do it and if I don’t, then I don’t.”
She was surprised to discover an email waiting at her hotel later that same night, announcing her advancement to the final five.
Sise flew back to New York this Wednesday. She was more nervous this time, having to sing the Anthem on the field as if in a real game. However, starting her third year singing the Anthem for the Tennessee Smokies, she felt prepared.
Regardless of the outcome, Sise looks forward to the experience.
“There’s nothing more thrilling than to stand up in front of people,” she said. “It’s not the fact that their eyes are on you, it’s the fact that you feel like you can give them pleasure.”
Seymour Singer to Finals
By Ben Lawson