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When themembers of the St. Ursula Academy concert choir trio found out they would be singing the "Star-Spangled Banner" at the SeaGate Convention Centre in downtown Toledo for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's recent campaign stop, they were elated.
“I was overwhelmed with excitement. I think I started crying when I found out, to be honest,” said St. Ursula senior Gabrielle Mancy, of Toledo. The event was especially important for Ms. Mancy who is involved with the school's Young Republicans Club.
Fellow singer, junior Allison Studtmann, of Perrysburg, was also excited to be part of the event.
“I was nervous and excited. When my mom told me, I was kind of shocked,” she said.
Sylvania resident Emily Win, a St. Ursula senior, said she was quite surprised.
“Our jaws dropped when we found out,” she said.
To prepare for the event, the three girls worked with St. Ursula choir teacher Wen Chin Liu.
“She helped me a lot. I'm usually not the person who goes out and sings in front of large groups of people. She helped me out to prepare for it,” Ms. Studtmann said.
Ms. Mancy said the trio also practiced for an entire block period – about an hour and a half, the day of the rally.
“We sang the whole entire way in the car,” she said.
And when they got on the stage and began to sing, the crowd started to follow along.
“It was really cool because everyone started singing with us,” Ms. Mancy said. “It was unbelievable to hear all of those voices come together.”
Ms. Win said while the group didn't have much time to practice and prepare, the trio did its best for that moment.
When asked if they got to meet the presidential candidate, Ms. Mancy proudly pulled out photos from her backpack.
“We just shook his hand,” Ms. Studtmann added. “That was huge for me.”
Ms. Mancy was also surprised that the were given seats in the VIP section, just two rows behind the presidential candidate for his Sept. 26 visit to Toledo.
The girls were invited to sing for the event after they were heard singing at the Toledo Frogtown Regatta. The trio was then recommended by a former rowing coach, Neil McElroy, who suggested the group to Jon Stainbrook, chairman of the Lucas County Republican Party
Contact Kelly McLendon at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-206-0356 or on Twitter at @MyTownSylvania.