AVOCA — Singing in front of a crowd is nothing new for Alicia Lynn Savinelli, but she never imagined she’d sing for a crowd of more than 10,000 people.
The Avoca resident made her voice heard when she sang the national anthem at a recent campaign rally at the Mohegan Sun Arena where President Donald Trump pledged his support for U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta who is running against incumbent Bob Casey for a U.S. Senate seat.
“My first thought was that they could pick anybody and they picked me,” the 26-year-old Savinelli. “I was kind of shocked and really excited and I felt really, really good.”
Savinelli is the lead vocalist for the band Inside-Out that frequently performs at McGrath’s Pub & Eatery in Dalton. Owner Jimmy McGrath recommended her to his friend Tom Weber who has connections with the Barletta camp.
She got a call from a gentleman named Dave Weber, who works with Barletta, about singing the anthem.
“Jimmy called him and said ‘You need to check this girl out,’” Savinelli recalled. “He said I had a really good voice and that, if he didn’t have anyone to sing the anthem, I was his best bet.”
When the time came to sing, Savinelli admitted there were butterflies, especially since the leader of the country was in attendance.
Rather than focusing on the large crowd, she looked at the American flag and let her vocals work their magic.
“I was kind of zoned out,” Savinelli said “There was a huge flag to my right so, instead of looking into the crowd, I stared at the flag, did my thing and it worked out well. I knew there were cameras in front of me so instead of looking at the camera and crowd, I looked at the flag.”
The only disappointment of the night was she didn’t meet Trump, something she was told she would have the opportunity to do but plans did not fall accordingly.
Savinelli did say she heard the president was asking about her.
“Word got out that he heard me sing and wanted to know who I was,” she said. “So, it’s neat that he asked about me.”
Savinelli said her Facebook page has been seeing more traffic and people have been complimentary of her singing skills.
“I’ve had hundreds and thousands of views of my videos and all of the likes, comments and shares, but I’ve gotten no negative response,” she said. “I’ve gotten maybe three, and they weren’t even towards me. Yes, I love my president no matter who he or she is, and I read every single comment. There was not one single negative comment about me or the president.”
Other than the compliments, Savinelli said life has continued as normal and her band is getting ready to start performing again.
They’re slated to perform at 8 p.m. Sept. 22 Gin’s Tavern in Factoryville.
Savinelli hopes this isn’t the last time she sings for Trump.
“I’d love to sing when he comes back when he runs for 2020,” she said.
Reach Jimmy Fisher at 570-704-3972 or on Twitter @SD_JimmyFisher