EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Two Springfield sisters, Kylie and Eila Francis, opened Saturday night at The Meadowlands in grand style.
The oldest - Kylie, 21 - and the youngest - Eila, 12 - performed the Canadian and United States National Anthems respectively prior to the 13-race harness racing card, highlighted by the Crawford Farms Meadowlands Pace, at The Meadowlands Racetrack in East Rutherford.
Having never performed in that setting or a crowd that size, both sisters offered beautiful renditions of both and by the applause they received after, was a great start to the evening’s activities.
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“I was beyond excited and honored when I found out I was given this opportunity,” said the older Kylie, who celebrated her twenty-first birthday on Sunday. “I had to learn the Canadian anthem quickly, being that I was not entirely familiar with the song.”
Kylie has performed on many stages across the state throughout the years. Some of her favorite past roles have included Betty Rizzo in Grease and Janet Van De Graaf in The Drowsy Chaperone. She hopes to train, perform, and pursue other professional opportunities in the future, as she continues classes at Union County College.
“We both have been in a community theater production together, but never have we done something like this,” said the youngest Eila, who attends Florence M. Gaudineer school.
Eila has performed in Off-Broadway and many local community theater productions. Her favorite past roles include Fan in A Christmas Carol and Iris in Children’s Letters to God. She has also done voiceover work, appeared in commercials and television shows.
Now that a large venue has been checked off each of their lists, where would both sisters like to perform if given the opportunity?
“I would love to sing the anthem at a Mets game,” said Kylie, whose father Rich would have to grin and bear it, as he is a devout New York Yankees fan.
“We love singing together and it would be fun to sing at other sporting events,” said Eila. “My dad would love if we sang before a New York Rangers game.”
If you plan on attending these events in the future, get there early because the Francis sisters might be there to start your evening on a high note.