JU Singer Wows Audience at Davis Cup

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The United States was victorious over Brazil in the Davis Cup on Friday afternoon. Sam Querrey came through in a big way, and his victory in the singles match gave the American team a 3-2 win.

The headlines about U.S.’s victory over Brazil were running through the papers but for one Jacksonville University student, it was not only about the tennis. For senior musical theater major, Raquel Lopez, the Davis Cup was about the sweat, heat, and nerves of performing as she opened the Davis Cup by singing the U.S. National Anthem in her strong, yet soulful voice.

Lopez humbly said she does not know why she was chosen to sing the National Anthem at the game, but she sure feels blessed she was.

“My teachers were approached by the Unites States Tennis Association, and my professor nominated me to sing the national anthem,” Lopez said.

For Lopez, Friday afternoon brought about the largest crowd she had ever sang in front of. One could not tell from her impeccable performance how nervous she really was to be singing in front of such a large audience.

“I was really in my own state of mind,” she said. “I calmed myself by thinking that someone in the audience could be important, and could hear me so I had to do good! Plus it’s the national anthem, I can’t lip sync like Beyonce or forget the words like Christina Aguilera.”

Being a musical theater major, Lopez has been performing throughout her life. She has even taken on difficult roles on stage in JU’s own Swisher Theater. With her latest performance, she made the audience chuckle at her amusing and delightful rendition of the cunning owner of Hotel Priscilla, Mrs. Meers, in the play “Thoroughly Modern Millie.”

However this was the first time for Lopez to do something on such a large scale. She followed her usual routine of warming up her vocals, breathing and simply telling herself she could do it. The audience agreed at the end of her performance that she could indeed sing, and Lopez herself was pleased with her performance.

“I thought I did very well,” Lopez said. “I sang to the best of my abilities. I put it all out there. The feedback was very positive, so it made me happy to know that my family, full of military members, approved of my performance.”

Raquel Lopez did a wonderful job doing what she does best: singing. And for her, it’s not only what she studies, it’s much more than that.

“The best in singing for me, are the responses that I get,” she said. “If I can reach at least one person through my gifts, then I am encouraged even more to continue. Singing is not something I just do; it’s who I am.”

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