Stephanie Ortiz did not spend her last Monday of the 2016 calendar year in class at Oakdale High School. Instead ... the OHS senior found herself on a car ride with her parents to San Francisco for an opportunity she once only dreamed of.
Late last week, via e-mail Stephanie was notified that she had been chosen among a select group, as a finalist for the Foster Farms Bowl “Oh Say, Can You Sing?” Contest. The final audition for the chance to perform at Levi’s Stadium was hosted at the Nikko Hotel in San Francisco on Monday, where she performed before an esteemed panel of judges.
While Stephanie was not named the overall winner, she shared it was a great experience and she was grateful for the opportunity to perform for the judges.
“It’s an honor to have had this opportunity,” she said.
As a semi-regular at the Corral, singing the National Anthem before Mustang football games, the notion of submitting an entry was not the least bit intimidating for the singer. The OHS senior first learned of the opportunity earlier this school year and decided to submit an application as well as You Tube video of her performance through the Foster Farms website.
Stephanie has been singing since the age of five and joined the OHS choir her freshman year. She is also a member of the OHS Marching Band and has played an instrument since elementary school.
“We’re all musical based,” the senior said of her family and love of music. “That inspired me to keep singing and continue with music.”
While she may not have come away the overall winner, the opportunity served as confirmation to the senior and her family, that she possesses a gift worth exploring.
“I’m very excited about this,” Stephanie said, prior to her audition. “I have confidence and am really excited for myself. Seeing the emotion from people listening when I sing. I know that what I’m doing is making them happy. That’s what I love.”
Stephanie was also recently accepted to Sonoma State University, where she will continue with her love of music as a music major.