Although Turlock High School sophomore Felisha Dias has already stolen the spotlights of smaller stages and athletic arenas throughout the region with her stellar rendition of the national anthem, she now has her sights set on a much bigger venue: Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara.
Dias was recently selected as a finalist for the Foster Farms Bowl “Oh Say, Can You Sing?” contest, which will determine who will perform the national anthem during the 2015 Bowl Game between the UCLA Bruins and Nebraska Cornhuskers.
“To be a finalist in this competition is really great,” said Dias. “I’ve never sung for that many people and I feel like it would be a great experience. The national anthem is definitely a hard song to sing and when you sing it well it makes you feel really good about yourself.”
Dias will be in San Francisco today for the next round of competition, which is a live audition in front of a panel of judges: Gary Cavalli, executive director of the Foster Farms Bowl; Ronnie Lott, NFL Hall of Famer and four-time Super Bowl champion; Mike Pereira, FOX Sports analyst and representatives from Foster Farms. The winner will be selected based on voice quality, pitch and stage presence.
“To be able to sing the national anthem would be a great experience,” said Dias. “I definitely think singing it in front of that many people would allow me to experience something different than what I’ve already experienced and just prepare me for other things that may come along.”
Other competitors for the “Oh Say, Can You Sing?” contest include Maria Carillo High School Jazz Choir from Sonoma, Tara Subrahmanyan from Cupertino, Gavin Heraldo from Milpitas, Milpitas High School Glee Club – Encore!, Taylor Coleman from Modesto, Grace Cutting from Sonoma, Soukhya Inamdar from Fremont, Kirsten Lambinicio from Benicia, and Arianna Jade Bunac from Daly City.
“We were really impressed with the caliber of talented youth in the Bay Area and Central Valley who entered the contest,” said Ira Brill, director of communications for Foster Farms. “It was challenging to narrow it down to just 10 finalists, but we’re looking forward to the live auditions to see who will perform at the game.”
The Foster Farms Bowl is also committed to fighting hunger in the San Francisco Bay Area. With every Foster Farms Bowl ticket purchased, Foster Farms will help provide a meal to those in need through local hunger relief organizations.
The winner will sing the national anthem at the 2015 Foster Farms Bowl before kickoff at 6:15 p.m. on Dec. 26. The game will be played at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara and air live on ESPN. Tickets are available for purchase at sfbowl.org.