DeKALB DeKalb native Grace Verbic, daughter of 6th Ward Alderman Mike Verbic, sang the national anthem at the White Sox game Thursday, and said she hopes she didn’t sound as nervous as she felt.
“I was super, super incredibly nervous,” Grace Verbic, 19, said Friday. “As the audience started to pour in, the nerves started to build up. The closer I got to singing, I was like ‘I’m actually getting really nervous now.’ But everyone’s human, and we all make mistakes. My parents reminded me that.”
Her parents Mike Verbic and Jennifer Verbic arrived at Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago about 9 a.m. for Thursday’s 1:10 p.m. game against the New York Mets. While the White Sox lost, 4-0, Mike said he couldn’t be prouder of his daughter.
“It was terrific, a really great experience for Grace,” he said. “She performed magnificently. Jennifer and I are very proud of Grace, and she’s really matured not only as a performer but as a young lady.”
Doing a sound check and getting ready to sing was a process, Grace said.
“At the sound check, they took me through the field into this hallway underneath the stadium,” she said. “It was really great. There is a little bit of an echo, so they definitely tried to make it the most comfortable as possible.”
Grace is entering her sophomore year at DePaul University in Chicago, is majoring in vocal performance and hopes to have a career in opera. She said her love of the genre came about unexpectedly.
“I’ve loved most music from a young age listening to my dad’s records, rock ’n’ roll to pop songs and whatnot,” she said. “Growing up listening and loving music. I was in a capella in high school, but something about opera just kind of drew me in because it was something about the sound was so pure to me. And it just kind of touches your heart differently, in a good way.”
A colleague of Mike Verbic’s at Northern Illinois University also works part-time for the White Sox organization, and knew of Grace’s love for singing. He encouraged her to send in an audition tape.
Source: The Daily Chronicle