BRIDGEWATER, NJ- The Somerset Patriots have announced the winners of their National Anthem Auditions held at Bridgewater Commons March 7.
The event was originally designed to select ten performers, but due to the talented crop of performers, the Somerset Patriots selected 13 finalists this year.
The selected singers are Myrna Lloyd (Somerville), Justin Luckenbaugh (Piscataway), Kayla Fiore & Katie Echols (Scotch Plains, Fanwood), Tanisha Khabe (Florence), Gina Maria Jones (Hackettstown), Grace Amodeo (Dunellen), Brennan Scott (Denville), Susan Lanto (Somerville), Amanda Abbruzze (Hillsborough), Josh Zagare (Bridgewater), and Nicole Anderson (Hillsborough).
This year, two very talented musicians also made the cut with saxophonist Ian Richard G. Dalida (Somerville) and guitarist Taylor Daniels (Hillsborough) being selected.
Around 100 people auditioned with a minute-and-a-half of the song of their choice before the judges and mall crowd. Singers were judged on vocal talent, stage presence, and their ability to perform before a large crowd.
For the eighth year in a row, the event was a fundraiser and each contestant donated a minimum of $10 to Operation Shoebox New Jersey, an all-volunteer organization dedicated to collecting donated supplies to ship care packages to U.S. troops based overseas.
Magic 98.3 FM and WCTC 1450 AM’s Racquel Williams served as the emcee of the event. The judges were Somerset Patriots Director of Marketing Hal Hansen, long-time National Anthem singer for the team Tess Giardina, and past audition winner Paul Voorhees.
The National Anthem Auditions took place at Center Court on the lower level of the mall. This was the 17th year the Patriots hosted National Anthem auditions.
“We want to thank all of our participants that tried out this year. We had tremendous performers that made it very difficult for the judges to choose,” said Somerset Patriots Vice President of Public Relations Marc Russinoff. “The 13 finalists should be very proud they were selected among one of the most diverse and difficult groups yet. We can’t wait to give these great performers a chance to perform at the ballpark.”