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Young Singer Pursues Stadium High Notes

July 16, 1998|DEBRA CANO

Wisconsin fifth-grader Jamie Lynn Bence moved a little closer Wednesday night to her goal of being the first and the youngest person to sing the national anthem at every major league baseball park in North America.

Jamie sang "The Star-Spangled Banner" at Edison Field before the start of the Angel game against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. It was stadium No. 24 for Jamie, who last season belted out the anthem at 17 ballparks. She has six performances to go to meet her goal of 30 stadiums.

Why is the young singer pursuing her "Tour USA" at ballparks? "I love to sing," she said, "and this gives me the opportunity to do it."

Jamie said she doesn't get the jitters because "it's too much fun to get nervous. I just go up there and do what I love to do."

The girl said she has yet to goof up singing the difficult song, which she learned two years ago and first performed on a polo field. Jamie has also performed at professional hockey, basketball and soccer games. "I know the song really well," she said.

Jamie, who lives in Hartland, Wis., with parents Rich and Dawn Bence, started voice lessons at age 5. She performs in charity events and theater productions and wants to record music.

And what does Jamie want to be when she grows up? "A singer."

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