URI vocal performance major chosen to sing at Fenway; named soloist for state civic chorale

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Cranston resident also performed at Vatican with brother

KINGSTON, R.I. – May 2, 2014 – A University of Rhode Island sophomore who began taking singing lessons when he was 9 years old will perform at one of the oldest and most venerable ballparks in the country.

Christopher Davey, a Cranston resident and vocal performance major at URI, will sing the national anthem Sunday, May 4 before the Red Sox-Athletics game at 1:30 p.m. He was chosen as part of Rhode Island Day ceremonies at Fenway.

But that’s not the only big accomplishment for Davey this year. He was selected to perform as a soloist for the Rhode Island Civic Chorale and Orchestra Concert earlier this year.

As he prepares to take the field at Fenway, he feels a mixture of emotions. “When my dad and brother first told me I was going to be singing at Fenway Park, I had no words. I was just completely taken aback by it,” said Davey.

“I’m very excited to be performing at Fenway but anxious at the same time. Having sung for many years, I’ve gotten pretty comfortable in front of large crowds. The 30,000 people who will be at the game on Sunday definitely takes the cake for being the largest crowd I’ve performed for,” said Davey. “I hope to focus my adrenaline on making my family, my teacher, and URI proud while I sing a great rendition of the national anthem. After, I’m probably going to eat a Fenway Frank and enjoy the game.”

Davey will join Nicholas A. Mattiello, speaker of the Rhode Island House of Representatives, during the pregame ceremonies.

With a music teacher for a mother and a brother involved in vocal performance, it’s no surprise that Davey found his passion in singing.

He began his performance career in 2004 when he sang at the dedication of the Smith Center for the Arts at Providence College, but his career really started to bloom in high school. In 2010, Davey sang before Pope Benedict XVI during a pilgrimage to Rome.

“I was fortunate enough to be able to travel to Italy with the Bishop Hendricken choir where we sang in many different churches including, St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican. One of the days we were there, we went to a papal audience with Pope Benedict. My brother, Matt, and I sang a duet at the beginning of the song our choir was singing. It was an awesome experience and even more special that I got to share it with my brother,” said Davey.

In 2011, he sang at New York City’s Carnegie Hall during the American High School Honors Performance Series.

“My choral director at the time, Mary Jo Gambardella, nominated me for the series, which brings in students from all of North America to be in one choir conducted by a guest conductor. To be considered, I had to send in an audiotape and a resume and was fortunate to have been chosen to be in the chorus. As a performer, being able to say I’ve performed at Carnegie Hall is a great accomplishment and I hope to return there some day as a soloist,” said Davey.

In addition to his high school accomplishments, Davey continues to build his name, connections, and career through his college experiences. He is supplementing his vocal performance major at URI with classes in music theory, ear training and piano. Outside of the classroom, he remains involved with singing. As the winner of this year’s Rhode Island Civic Chorale and Orchestra’s Collegiate Vocal Performance Competition, he was chosen as a soloist for a concert with the chorus and orchestra, which took place in March at the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul in Providence.

“The solo competition was one of my first major professional performances with an orchestra. For this competition, soloists from colleges and graduate conservatories around New England came to audition. I was very honored and humbled that I was chosen to be one of the soloists for the concert above some of the many very talented singers in the area,” said Davey.