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Fairplay has star-spangled singer

April 10, 2002|BY KIMBERLY YAKOWSKI

kimy@herald-mail.com

When LeAnne Stoneberger takes the field at Oriole Park at Camden Yards tonight to sing the national anthem, she may have to struggle to keep her emotions in check, she said.

Stoneberger, of Fairplay, said she's patriotic, and it would be easy to let the moving song take over, threatening her perfect pitch.

"They (audience) might not be able to tell but I will," she said.

Stoneberger, 28, sent the Orioles an audition tape last year and was chosen to sing at tonight's home game against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, she said.

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"I thought I could do it, and I love baseball," she said.

She is scheduled to perform "The Star-Spangled Banner" at 7:05 p.m.

Stoneberger, a soprano, said she's sung the national anthem at majorette competitions and has learned to do "vocal warm-ups" so that she can hit the high notes.

"It takes breath control," she said.

The crowd at the Orioles game will be the largest she's ever performed before, but her training as a member of a Hagerstown Community College theater group has helped her deal with stage fright, she said.

"I'm not worried about forgetting the words," she said.

Stoneberger will sing the song without accompaniment.

"When you sing a cappella, you're in control of yourself and you don't have to worry about technical difficulties with recorded music," she said.

Stoneberger works in the layaway department at Wal-Mart in Hagerstown but aspires to be a professional singer. The daughter of a musician, Stoneberger said she has been singing since she was a child, both at home and with her church choir.

She said she's taken voice lessons for the past six years at Hagerstown Community College.

"You can really get your message across through music and singing. Music makes me happy and gives me a good feeling," she said.

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