By Dakota Antelman, Managing Editor
WESTBOROUGH – When the Worcester Red Sox threw open the doors of their sprawling downtown stadium this month for their first game without COVID-19 restrictions, Westborough’s Victoria Silva, 13, took the high profile pregame role of singing the national anthem.
After belting out a notoriously difficult vocal performance before 6,000 fans, Silva said she relished the opportunity.
“It was really fun,” she recently told the Community Advocate.
Opportunity comes thanks to singing lessons
Silva lives in Westborough and is just wrapping up her seventh grade year at Gibbons Middle School in town.
She’s danced her whole life, but only started singing lessons last year through the Westborough-based Patrice Peris Voice Studios.
Studio owner Patrice Peris personally helps coach Silva and recently worked her connections to get Silva gigs not only with the Worcester Red Sox, but at Fitton Field, also in Worcester, singing the national anthem for the Worcester Bravehearts summer college baseball team.
Silva got her first shot singing in a stadium setting through that Bravehearts opportunity. She quickly followed with her performance across town at Polar Park.
“I was really nervous at first,” she said. “[Polar Park] was just so much bigger.”
“It was crazy there,” her mother, Kelli, agreed. “It’s not a small building.”
Stadiums represent challenging venue for vocal performance
Silva had to navigate the unique challenges of singing the national anthem in a stadium. Slow, loud and full of belted notes, the Star Spangled Banner often filters through speakers to create what can be a formidable echo, otherwise known as “stadium delay.”
At Fitton Field, Silva contented with this by wearing earplugs to simply block out the feedback.
At Polar Park, though, she and her mother said such mitigation wasn’t necessary. The soundsystem was thundering, they both said, but there was no echo.
Family enjoys baseball game
As applause quieted following Silva’s performance, a team of Worcester Red Sox “ambassadors” ushered the entire family off the field with the opportunity to head into the stands to watch the game.
Silva’s grandmother loves baseball, she notes. She and her mother are much bigger football and hockey fans. Even so, they said they enjoyed their experience sticking around in what has been heralded as a state-of-the-art new stadium.
“We sat down for a little bit after and watched [the game] and it was really fun,” Kelli Silva said.
Future holds promise of future opportunities
Victoria Silva wants to keep singing. Entering eighth grade, she’s eyeing high school opportunities and considering attending a performing arts school.
In the meantime, she’s looking forward to getting back behind the mic and on the field. Specifically, she’s got her sights set on Fenway Park and Gillette Stadium.
“That’s our next goal,” her mother said.