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National anthem contest seeks youth singers
national anthem contest pic
Last year's winners of the Oh Say, Can You Sing? competition, the Maria Carrillo High School Jazz Choir of Santa Rosa, perform at the 2015 Foster Farms Bowl at Levis Stadium in Santa Clara. - photo by Photo Contributed

Youth singers of the Central Valley looking for their chance to shine will have an opportunity to serenade a crowd of 70,000 people thanks to a contest held by the Foster Farms Bowl to perform the national anthem before this year’s bowl game at Levi’s Stadium.

For the second year, the Foster Farms Bowl is hosting the “Oh Say, Can You Sing?” competition in an effort to find talented local youth to sing at the game, which will be held on Dec. 28 in Santa Clara. The contest is open to soloists and groups aged 18 and under who reside in the San Francisco Bay Area or the Central Valley.

“The ‘Oh Say, Can You Sing?’ contest is a great opportunity to highlight local young talent and get people excited for this year’s Foster Farms Bowl,” said Ira Brill, director of communications at Foster Farms. “Last year’s winner, a group of 10 singers from Maria Carrillo High School Jazz Choir of Santa Rosa, California, impressed the crowd with their rendition of the anthem. We look forward to this year’s entries.”

Last year, the competition saw nearly 50 local acts submit entries. As part of Foster Farm’s commitment to relieving hunger, for each entry received, the organization will donate 100 meals to a local food bank. The winner of the competition will also get to choose a local food bank to receive a donation of 1,000 meals in their name.

In order to enter, singers must post a 30 to 45 second video singing the national anthem on YouTube, with a title of “I Want to Sing at the Foster Farms Bowl.” The entire song does not need to be sung. Contestants must also complete the entry form on by midnight on Nov. 30.

All video entries will be reviewed by a panel of judges designated by Foster Farms and judged on criteria such as voice quality and tone, intonation, tune, pitch, projection and overall presentation and strength of the submission.

From the video entries, 10 finalists will be invited to a live audition in either Santa Clara or San Francisco where a panel of judges will select the winner. The live auditions will allow the panel to determine the contestant’s stage presence and ensure that audition videos were not manipulated or heavily edited, and contestants will be judged on the same criteria as was used for their video entry.

In addition to having the honor of singing the national anthem at the Foster Farms Bowl and choosing a local food bank to receive a donation, the winner of the “Oh Say, Can You Sing?” contest will also be provided with tickets to the game for themselves and four guests, a parking pass and credentials.

The 2016 Foster Farms Bowl will feature teams from the Pac-12 and Big Ten conferences. The game will be televised live on Fox with a 5:30 p.m. PT kickoff. Foster Farms will donate one meal to local hunger relief organizations for every Foster Farms Bowl ticket purchased. For more information about the game and tickets, visit