Robert Morris University
(RMU) staff member John Tucci
of Sewickley has sung the National Anthem at many RMU sporting events over the past six years.This fall, Tucci
will have the opportunity to perform for his
RMU colleagues - and a few thousand other Pittsburgh sports fans - in a whole new venue when he
performs the National Anthem during the Saturday, September 16, 2006, baseball game at PNC Park.In addition to having been designated Robert Morris University
Night at the ballpark by RMU's
Office of Alumni Relations, the 7:05 p.m. match-up between the Pirates and New York Mets will also include a Jack Wilson Bobblehead for all fans.A maintenance worker with RMU's physical plant, Tucci has worked at the University since 1993.He began singing at RMU in 2000, when, while attending a men's soccer match, he observed that the team was using a recorded version of the National Anthem during its games.
After the game, Tucci
approached men's soccer coach William Denniston about having the Anthem performed live.
"I was attending games to cheer RMU's students on, which meant the world to them and showed that I cared," said Tucci
."I thought that a live performance of the song might be a little more meaningful, to both the players on the field and those watching the game, especially the way I sing it - with all of my heart, passion and soul.I sing it like a prayer."
Denniston agreed to let Tucci
perform the song live, and Tucci
soon began singing at more of the men's soccer games, as well as at other RMU
and high school sporting events year-round.
...Also a member of the choir with St. James Parish in Sewickley, Tucci is honored to have been selected to perform at PNC Park, particularly on an evening when so many of his colleagues will be in attendance.
"I have sung in front of my Robert Morris University
friends many times for games on RMU's
campus, and have often looked to them as a source for inspiration," said Tucci