O say can you sing?
The New York Mets hosted the first round of their 2014 Anthem Search on Thursday to find the person who will sing the national anthem at opening day next year.
More than 150 contestants auditioned for the position, giving 60 seconds of their best vocals to a panel of judges.
“It’s the Mets version of American Idol,” said Gary Apple, an SNY broadcaster and judge of the competition. “I think it’s great for the Mets and baseball.”
This year’s Anthem Search is the first time the winner will be allowed to sing on opening day. Past winners choose dates throughout the season to sing.
Many talented singers saw the opportunity as a way to bolster their future singing goals.
“It would be an honor to sing in front of many people and represent the Mets and it would be really challenging and add to my experience in singing,” said 13-year-old Victoria Labban, a resident of Richmond Hill, who has sang at the Apollo Theater in Harlem.
Mets officials said contestants will be called soon after the auditions and be informed if they have made the cut.
The judges gave singers encouragement, but were also tough, because they said performing the anthem in front thousands of fans requires someone who wouldn’t choke up, forget any words, and of course sing well.
“There were definitely some people who should have gone to work and not come here today,” said Skeery Jones, a judge and radio personality for Z100.
In the second round Mets staff will determine a single winner, who will sing in 2014 opening day on March 31, when the Mets host the Washington Nationals.