Thursday night presented Dan Olivas, a 2011 graduate of CSU Stanislaus and Ceres resident, with his “15 minutes of fame.”
Actually, one minute, 16 seconds.
The baritone singing member of the Air National Guard Band of the West Coast, stepped onto the field of AT&T Park in San Francisco and belted out “God Bless America” during the seventh-inning stretch of game 2 of the 2012 World Series. Sharply dressed in his Air Force blues, Staff Sergeant Olivas delivered a flawless acapella rendition of the patriotic song popularized by Kate Smith. The performance was televised around the world. His parents, Adrian and Eva Olivas of Ceres, watched from their TV set in Ceres.
Olivas, 30, was happy with his performance, summing it up as “not bad.”
“I liked the result of it,” said Olivas, a 2000 graduate of Ceres High School and member of the California National Guard. “Once I stepped onto the field and stepped up to the mike I was in performance mode and was really focused. At the beginning the sound didn’t go out. The sound at the ballfield was great. There was hardly any lag. I could hear myself.”
Olivas watched the game between the Giants and Detroit Tigers from the first inning to the last out but was also keeping his eye on the passing of the innings. He was signaled to come down and sang at around 7:30 p.m. He rode back to Ceres with friends and got home before midnight. The full-time California State University, Stanislaus IT technician said he planned to “lay low for a while, not call attention to myself.”
Prior to Thursday, the largest crowd Olivas ever performed in front of was the 35,000 gathered for a San Jose Giants game. He also performed before the American Le Mans race series at Laguna Seca.
“I’ve been singing ever since I can remember,” said Olivas, who majored in vocal performance at CSUS and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in music education.
Olivas attributes his once in a lifetime opportunity to friend and fan Julie Demaria who sent the offices of the Golden State Warriors and the Giants a recording of Olivas to audition him for public performances. The Giants’ offer for Olivas to sing before the World Series crowd came suddenly, just two days out. He jumped at the chance.
“It was an opportunity. It’s good public relations for the Air Force and the band that I’m in, which helps support troop morale,” he said.
Olivas attended schools in Modesto, where he was born, before moving to Ceres 15 years ago. He attended Caswell Elementary School and Mae Hensley Junior High School before going to CHS.