11-Year-Old to Sing National Anthem on Opening Night

Olivia Loeffler Won Dayton Daily News/Dragons Contest

April 8, 2013 7:29 AM ET

Dayton, OH - Olivia Loeffler, an 11-year-old from Loveland, has been selected as the winner of the Dayton Daily News/Dayton Dragons national anthem contest.  She will sing in front of a sell-out crowd at Fifth Third Field on opening night, April 11th.

Olivia was selected from a group of more than 300 who auditioned to perform the National Anthem at Dragons games this season.  She is a fifth-grader at McCormick Elementary School in the Milford school district. 

"I was just hoping I would be picked for one of the 70 games", says Olivia.  "When the team called, I was afraid they were going to say sorry, maybe next year, but when they told us I was picked for opening night, it was the cherry on top."

Olivia has performed in several shows at the Children's Theatre of Mason since the age of six.  She performed as "Annie" in the Children's Performing Arts of Miamisburg.  She has auditioned for the Broadway performance of Annie (selected as a finalist) and Matilda (semi-finalist).  She is the daughter of Marc and Pam Loeffler.

"We first noticed a special talent when she was about three years old," says Pam Loeffler.  "She would sing songs from Beauty and the Beast and Little Mermaid in the bathtub and be right on key, and at one point, we said 'oh my gosh, she is really good at this' and it progressed from there."  

The Dragons conduct national anthem try-outs in March of every year in front of a live audience at the Dayton Mall and the Mall at Fairfield Commons.  The Dayton Daily News has served as the sponsor for all 14 years of auditions.  Each year, all 300 available time slots to perform over the two-day audition process have been filled through a pre-registration process, and additional performers have also auditioned on a stand-by basis, bringing the annual number of performers to around 350.  Auditions are judged by a panel of community leaders including representatives from the Dayton Daily News.  

The Dragons are set to open their 14th season on the road at West Michigan on April 4.  Opening night at Fifth Third Field is set for Thursday, April 11th against the Great Lakes Loons at 7:05 p.m.   Call (937) 228-2287 for more information.

More Information:  The Dayton Dragons are the Midwest League affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds and play a 70-game home schedule at beautiful Fifth Third Field in downtown Dayton, easily accessible from Interstate 75. Individuals and groups seeking information about Dayton Dragons group tickets, lawn tickets, the season ticket wait list, sponsorship opportunities or booking a Dragons speaker are encouraged to contact the Dragons by calling at (937) 228-2287, emailing at dragons@daytondragons.com, or on the web at daytondragons.com.

View More