CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - This Wednesday is a big day at the Great American Ball Park. Not only is it FOX19's Weather Day, but also a big chance for FOX19's Stefano DiPietrantonio to step-up to the mic and belt out our National Anthem.
Stef had a chance to practice on the field Monday and said it is "true" what people have said about the mic's delay.
"Trying to sing, stay on-pace and more importantly, stay 'on-pitch,'" DiPietrantonio said. "When your voice comes bouncing back at you about 4 seconds later."
Stefano said he has sung in a lot of big venues when he was on the road full-time as a musician, but that Great American Ball Park is a real challenge, and hopes not to strike out.
It was a beautiful day for a few vocal practice swings
"It's not everyday you get to sing the National Anthem," DiPietrantonio said. "Especially at Great American Ball Park. I'm really nervous, let's go inside and see what they've got waiting for me."
They gave him a Reds jersey to wear and some final instructions before he stepped-up to the mic for the real test.
"This could be ugly," he said, lamenting having eaten a turkey sandwich before trying to sing.
Because of the size of the stadium, there is a major-league delay with the mic. So he gave it a go a few times.
Suddenly, there was applause from an upper deck. It was the Patriot singers from...
"Jefferson County Tennessee," a woman yelled back. "It's close to Gatlinburg."
Stefano invited them to practice with him.
"And the rockets red glare," The singers picked it up mid-song. "The bombs bursting in air." They jumped right in without missing a beat and in-harmony. Even on that big high note on the word, "free-eeeeeeeeeeeeeee."
"You were up in the stands to the right right there, yes we were, and what'd it sound like up there?," DiPietrantonio asked.
"Wonderful," said Brenda Wollfenbarger. "Absolutely fabulous!"
"It didn't send you running out of the ballpark?", DiPietrantonio asked.
"No," she giggled, "no."
"What does that echo sound like up there?" DiPietrantonio asked.
"It sounds pretty marvelous." said Caleb James. "I was giving you harmony."
Co-Captain Stephanie Baldwin said their tour guide made a call for them.
"They always have a first runner up in case, somebody famous, a star, somebody important doesn't show up or they do back out," said Baldwin. "So we got our tour guide to make some calls and we just happened to be on the top of the list because nobody else had signed up for it."
And they did a great job Stef said, helping him sound like he knew what he was doing.
"And the home of the brave..."
Stef said it is an honor to get to sing the National Anthem for The Reds.
Reds Weather Day is Wednesday. Steve Horstmeyer, Pat Barry and Frank Marzullo will all be there talking weather with local students and with some interactive presentations, and of course, Stefano D. will sing. Gates open at 9am.