Hey, sometimes you run across things while looking at stuff that's totally unrelated. For example, while checking out the Pirates' Opening Day on Monday, we saw that Sarah Marince will sing "God Bless America" during the festivities.
Marince has been on Old Mon's radar for the past couple of years, ever since the Moon native released her first CD, "Somebody Like You," at the Lincoln Park Performing Arts Center in Midland, Beaver County. She migrated to the charter school after coming up through the Moon and Our Lady of the Sacred Heart school systems.
That was in January of 2008; a month later, she made the move to Nashville, where the majority of her CD tracks were recorded. Songwriters/producers Joe West & Dave Pahanish of Gasoline Productions, who originally hailed from Pittsburgh, took care of the Tennessee end; Rick Witkowksi produced the Pittsburgh tracks.
"Just Look At Me," her first single, was in heavy rotation on Froggy 98. She has another song out now, "Big Time," that Froggy and WDSY are pushing.
And she just released her second indy CD, "You're My Summertime," in January. Her tunes are available at CD Baby, iTunes, Rhapsody, Napster, and a couple of local retail outlets.
Marince is currently being shopped to the labels, according to her parents, Gary (a radio engineer) and Mary Kay, who is her manager and booking agent. Her grandpap was the now departed Tom O'Donoghue, who owned the old Etna landmark, the Blarney Stone.
Marince is doing her part to take center stage. She's gigged at Austin's South by Southwest, the Jamboree in the Hills (Morristown, OH) and the old Dollar Bank Jamboree at Point State Park.
She's shared the stage with Lonestar, Trisha Yearwood, Phil Vassar, Gretchen Wilson, Taylor Swift, Jake Owen, Gary Allen, Trace Adkins, Mark Wills, Travis Tritt, The Oak Ridge Boys, Rachel Fuller, Kelly Pickler and even Pete Townsend. Just in February, Marince opening for Kenny Rogers at the Pepsi Cola Road House.
She's more than used to singing before huge crowds. The National Anthem is a staple in her repertoire of songs. Marince performs regularly for Duquesne University basketball, the Steelers, Pirates, Penguins, and now the Nashville Predators hockey team, and has sung the National Anthem for President Bush.
In fact, she became the John McCain - Sarah Palin official opening act after McCain's handlers heard her sing at a campaign rally in Little Washington, where McCain unveiled (some might say unleashed) running-mate Palin to the country.
At any rate, the young Republican songstress traveled throughout Pennsylvania and Ohio, even making a stop in Missouri, opening the GOP rallies with a playlist of "Independence Day," "I Am Woman," and "Man, I Feel Like A Woman." Hey, she was even savvy enough to hand out some glossies and autographs; the odds are that her career is a little brighter than McCain's right about now.
But you wanna talk pressure? Marince recorded an updated version of the classic Eat n' Park "Place for Smiles" jingle, a Pittsburgh musical icon if ever there was, and not only survived, but thrived. It was cut to celebrate EAP's 60th Anniversary, and she was featured in a gazillion commercials and a caravan of concerts at stores and malls. Not a bad kickoff for a teenager's career, hey?
And while Marince's modern country sound is her ticket to the big time, she's a pretty talented young lady artistically. She was a highly touted, medal-winning Irish singer, with her sister Lizzie, and step dancer. She also worked the stage for Lincoln Park theatrical productions. And did we mention that she writes her own songs?
Now she's in Nashville, the cauldron of country music, reaching for the gold ring. There's a lotta people making a grab for that ring; we can only wish her luck. She's got the ability; now she needs the break.
One thing you don't have to worry about is catching her act; Marince is still a home girl at heart, and does quite a few local jams, the five hundred mile drive from Nashville notwithstanding. She's already got four gigs scheduled here this summer after Monday.
If you miss her on Opening Day, she'll be back to PNC Park on July Fourth. For those that prefer a real show, Marince will be at the Carnegie Library in Oakland on April 8th, on stage for the 4th of July Celebration Concert with Steel Magnolia, and August 6th she'll be appearing at Moon Park in a true homecoming.
Sarah Marince - medley from Jamboree In The Hills 2009