Cutchogue girl a finalist to sing anthem at Mets opener

02/18/2014 10:00 AM |
KATHARINE SCHROEDER FILE PHOTO | Shelby Dufton playing Grace duirng Cutchogue East Elementary School's performance of Annie.

KATHARINE SCHROEDER FILE PHOTO | Shelby Dufton playing Grace during Cutchogue East Elementary School’s performance of Annie.

Cutchogue East sixth grader Shelby Dufton is one of 15 finalists in the running to sing the National Anthem during Opening Day at Citi Field next month. 

No stranger to the stage, the 12-year-old has been in a handful of school productions, performing as Belle in “Beauty and the Beast” and this year as Grace in “Annie.”

In November, she tried out for the big leagues, singing at an open audition at Citi Field for a chance to perform the national anthem on Opening Day, March 31.  The competition drew hundreds of professional and amateur singers from the Tri-State area, including Shelby, who performed “Part of Your World” from the Disney classic “The Little Mermaid.”

“[It’s] pretty amazing that a little girl from the North Fork is going to compete at this level,” Shelby’s father, Syd Dufton, told The Suffolk Times. “I think it’s a testament to how wonderful the Mattituck-Cutchogue music program is, because she only started singing last year.”

Shelby and family are heading to Citi Field on March 3, when she will sing the national anthem on the field against the others finalists to secure her spot.

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