• Rutland native to sing national anthem at Fenway
    April 18,2013
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    Albert J. Marro / Staff Photo

    Albert J. Marro / Staff Photo Olivia Gwen Gawet has been chosen to sing the National Anthem on Vermont Day at Fenway Park on Sunday for a game between the Boston Red Sox and the Kansas City Royals.
    Rutland-based soloist Olivia Gawet said the events that shocked Boston earlier this week changed the feeling behind her upcoming performance at Fenway Park.

    The 29-year-old said it is a huge honor to be selected by the Boston Red Sox to perform during Vermont Day on Sunday, but since Monday “it feels different.”

    “It's hard to put into words,” said Gawet during an interview Thursday morning. “Just seeing the senseless violence and at the same time the outpouring of love from strangers. It makes me very proud to be going to sing and honor the nation. (Boston) is really the home of the brave.”

    “We've seen that on Monday and we've seen it before,” she added tearing up. “It means so much more. I know it's going to be difficult on Sunday.”

    She takes center stage at the historic ball park at 1:30 p.m. It will be her second trip to Fenway.

    “The first time I went was with my grandparents. I was six or seven,” Gawet said. “My grandmother was a huge Red Sox fan. … I have been thinking about her a lot.”

    The performance almost did not happen. The invitation came through an email from Dan Lyons, the manager of entertainment for the baseball organization, and Gawet thought it was a joke at first.

    “It came April 1,” she said. “It being April Fools Day – needless to say I was a little skeptical.”
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