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Somerset Patriots Announce National Anthem Audition Winners

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BRIDGEWATER, NJ- The Somerset Patriots have announced the winners of their National Anthem Auditions held at Bridgewater Commons March 11, and a Martinsville resident is among the winners.

The selected singers are: Travis Morgan (Carteret), Paul Voorhees (Iselin), Robert Vernon (Martinsville), Jay Winston (Franklin Park), Juliet Hommes (Branchburg), Jeff Allen (Morristown), Christy Giamella (South Bound Brook), Dana Kluczyk (Rockaway), Lexie Nerger (Manville), and Amanda Nagy (Edison).

Morgan and Voorhees wowed the judges and mall patrons with their performances of Josh Groban’s “You Raise Me Up” approximately two hours apart from each other.

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“It was a great experience. I enjoyed the electricity of all the people around me and watching from the three tiers above us,” said Voorhees. “I thought the song was a very inspirational one that I’ve sung before. It’s a great honor to be selected from this great group of singers, especially since my family has been going to Patriots games since the ballpark opened.”

Vernon hit a patriotic note with his rendition of “You’re A Grand Old Flag.”

“I did a search on-line knowing the team would be looking for singers and there it was,” said Vernon. “I decided to pick the song because it was patriotic and uplifting. I’m not a pop singer. I’m much more old school and I thought it would be a nice song to showcase a great level of patriotism.”

Singers 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 sixth year in a row, the event was designed as 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.

WCTC 1450 AM’s Hall of Fame broadcaster Bert Baron served as the emcee of the event. The judges were John Lisk of Magic 98.3 FM, Somerset Patriots Vice President of Public Relations Marc Russinoff, and long-time Patriots PA announcer Paul Spychala.

The National Anthem Auditions took place at Center Court on the lower level of the mall.  This was the 14th year the Patriots hosted National Anthem auditions.

“We want to thank all of our participants that tried out this year. We once again had some very talented singers that made the decision very difficult to narrow it done to just a handful. We found some very strong talent from the New Jersey market. We can’t wait to give these great performers a chance to perform at the ballpark,” said Russinoff. 

Tickets to the 2017 Somerset Patriots Season presented by Ford, which includes the team’s 20th Anniversary, are on sale now. TD Bank Ballpark will be the host of the 2017 Atlantic League All-Star Game presented by RWJBarnabas Health and Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey on Wednesday, July 12th. For more information, stop by the ballpark, call (908) 252-0700, or visit www.somersetpatriots.com.

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