Locals audition to sing national anthems for IceCaps games
Members of the Shallaway Boys Ensemble — (from left) Eli Quinn, Aidan Whittle and Conor Whittle — perform at Saturday’s auditions at Mile One Centre in St. John’s for a chance to sing national anthems at IceCaps games. — Photo by Andrew Robinson/The Telegram
Elizabeth Petersen smiled at the judges as she readied herself to sing “O Canada,” hoping her rendition might convince them she has what it takes to perform the same song in front of thousands.
“I was nervous,” admitted the young girl while sitting next to her mom at Mile One Centre Saturday afternoon.
“I was a little bit shaky, but I thought it was pretty good to be in front of the judges and to see if I could sing in front of people at hockey games.”
Elizabeth was the first of dozens Saturday afternoon who sang Canada’s national anthem and “The Star-Spangled Banner” as part of an audition process to perform those same songs at a St. John’s IceCaps hockey game.
By the time auditions started at 2 p.m., the lineup of singers and parents stretched up a flight of stairs next to Gate 2 at the arena.
Some performed as soloists, while others handled the anthems as a group. The judges jokingly called the Shallaway Boys Ensemble, a trio of young boys, Three Directions — a play on the name of the popular boy-band group One Direction. Judging Saturday’s auditions were 99.1 Hits FM morning show host Randy Snow, NTV’s Toni-Marie Wiseman and Janet Cull from Spirit of Newfoundland.
There were no Simon Cowell-esque spoilsports amongst the judge, who warmly welcomed every participant as they reached the large stage at Mile One Centre with bright lights beaming from above. The judges were forgiving if singers needed to restart one of the anthems.
Elizabeth enjoys singing and thought she could give the audition a try after her mom noticed the event on Facebook. She started practising on Tuesday and was already comfortable with the bilingual version of “O Canada,” having sung it before many times at school. Getting ready to perform “The Star-Spangled Banner” presented more of a challenge.
“I didn’t know it at all,” she said.
Elizabeth’s mother, Lori Petersen, thought her daughter did a wonderful job on Saturday.
“Anyone who can stand up in front of anyone and do stuff like that has lots of courage. I wouldn’t be able to do it.”
The IceCaps will play 38 games at Mile One Centre this season. For the first time in the team’s three-year history, the IceCaps will open the regular season at home, taking on the Providence Bruins on Oct. 4.