Amelia Maggio openly admits it; she was nervous. Very nervous. But the senior’s spectacular performance of the “Star Spangled Banner” before the start of last Saturday’s Homecoming Day football game at Blue Devil Stadium left a crowd estimated at 2,000 in awe.
Ms. Maggio’s strong, clear and crisp voice could have given even the most seasoned professional a run for their money. It’s difficult to understand just how good the teenager was last weekend unless you were there and heard her sing with your own two ears.
As the words of the anthem floated off Ms. Maggio’s lips and through the air like the sweetest of poetry, they carried far beyond the field, echoing over the top of Huntington High School and into adjoining neighborhoods and down the hill to the Big H Shopping Center.
The powerful performance elicited an ovation from the crowd and even drew cheers from the Blue Devil football players and coaches, who are known to often be in their own little world just prior to kickoff, but on this day stood up straight and took notice of a sensational young vocalist.
“Amelia auditioned against three other seniors to sing the ‘Star Spangled Banner,’” said music teacher Victoria Garbarino, who leads the high school choral program. “She has been singing her entire life and it shows. She is an extremely strong vocalist and an extremely hard worker.”
As the time for the kickoff approached, Ms. Maggio began the tense walk up the bleachers to the press box where the PA system microphone is located. “It was really nerve wracking,” she said. “Being in the box was so surreal. It was such an honor to be able to sing in front of the whole school.”
President of the high school’s choral club program, Ms. Maggio said she’s been performing as long as she can remember. “It’s hard to say how long I’ve been singing, but it seems like I learned to sing before I learned how to talk,” the teenager said. “I started doing musical theatre in fifth grade and I haven’t stopped singing since. I’ve done shows at Variations dance studio in Huntington and Centerport Community Theatre and I recently became an equity actress at the John W. Engeman Theatre in Northport.”
Ms. Maggio attended kindergarten at Flower Hill School. She made her way through the district’s schools until her freshman year when she decided to attend St. Dominic’s. The teenager returned to the district for her junior year. “I came back to Huntington mostly for the amazing fine arts department and I’m so glad,” she said “I really love Huntington. I can’t imagine being anywhere else. The amount of care that the teachers and administrators have for the students is second to none. Both of my older sisters and my mom are alumni of Huntington High School.”
The senior worked at SCOPE’s summer arts enrichment program based at the high school last July. “It was cool because I got to see a lot of really talented young people cultivating their talent,” Ms. Maggio said. “I also was able to work with Ms. Garbarino, who’s one of my favorite teachers.”
The teenager loves serving as the high school choir’s president. “I don’t mind the responsibility because I’m so passionate about chamber choir,” Ms. Maggio said. “I’m in the drama club right now for the fall play and I plan to do the musical in the spring.”
In her free time, Ms. Maggio enjoys volunteering at Golden Paw Society’s cat shelter. She’s a great student and is currently enrolled in Advanced Placement Literature, AP Psychology, Spanish 5 Honors, Participation in Government, pre-calculus and chamber choir.
“I’m planning on majoring in nursing,” Ms. Maggio said. “Although I love music, my main passion is helping people. I’m mostly applying to schools in New York because I don’t think I could live anywhere else!”
As her time at the high school nears an end, there is little doubt she will remain a fan of the place she has called home. “Everyone is so welcoming,” Ms. Maggio said. “I feel like Huntington prepares you for college and beyond. I love that there is so much diversity and so many opportunities to branch out of your comfort zone.”