The winner of this year’s KDFC Star Spangled Sing-Off is Antoinette Bush, from Oakland, who will be singing the national anthem before tonight’s Opera at the Ballpark performance of Don Giovanni. The tape she submitted to be selected was recorded by a friend in an elevator where she works, but tonight she’ll have a bit more room: the San Francisco Opera will be simulcast to AT&T Park’s Diamond Vision for an audience of roughly 30,000 spectators.
There’s more information about the special event at the San Francisco Opera website.
“We were in the elevator at my job, and she said all right, do it! And we did! I contacted the guard and I said, ‘look, can you turn the elevator off for like five minutes?’ He goes, ‘what are you going to do?’ so I told him, he said ‘Can I listen?’ I said ‘No!’ But he turned it off, and then we did it and sent it in!” Antoinette Bush studied voice at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where at age 15 she had a chance to meet a musical idol and role-model. “One night, my teacher, Lenore Hosack, she kind of took me under her wing, and we went to the opera and we saw [Leontyne Price] in concert, and she introduced me to her. And of course… I couldn’t even talk.” Her teacher suggested she sing something. “So I sang a little bit for her, and she looked at me and said, “Yeah… mm… hmm. And then she looked at my teacher, Mrs. Hosack and said, ‘Sounds just like me.’ And ever since then, I was 15, And ever since then. It’s been part of me.” Bush has maintained music as a part of her life and identity in the years since. “Singing is so personal to me. It’s in my entire body, and I relish being able, and I’m so blessed and grateful that I’m able to still have my cords after all this time… It just lets you know that it’s never too late, you’re never too old, and if you love something, you can accomplish it.”