|Kayla Capone ’14 is LVC Athletics’ Most Vocal Supporter
Some sports fans are more vocal than others, but Kayla Capone ’14 has the voice that rings out above all others. Capone, a music education major, is known around campus as the girl with the operatic voice that sings “The Star Spangled Banner” before Lebanon Valley College athletic events.
“I practice a lot,” Capone said. “It’s just about doing it over and over again – especially in front of a crowd. I actually like singing in front of bigger crowds better. I’m less nervous because with smaller crowds it gets more intimate. The more, the merrier.”
Click here to see Kayla Capone '14 perform at a recent men's basketball game
Capone grew up playing basketball and running cross country and track. Her brothers have always played sports, and both of her parents coach. Her biggest draw to the fields and courts at LVC may be the friendships she has formed with its student-athletes along the way. She keeps herself directly involved with women’s basketball and is currently serving as team manager for the second year.
When athletics director Rick Beard put out a request for singers, Capone was one of the first to respond. She has since become a staple performer at men’s and women’s soccer, volleyball, and men’s and women’s basketball, and rotates in with other student-performers at other events.
“Our team is inspired when Kayla sings the national anthem,” women’s basketball head coach Todd Goclowski said. “She plays a dual role for us as a student manager and go-to singer, so she is a valued member of our basketball family. When she sings, she gives us confidence because she knocks it out of the park every time. Her versions of the anthem set the tone for us when we compete. We like to see her sing it for every one of our home games – we count on it for inspiration.”
“People always ask if I get paid, and when I tell them that I don’t they ask, ‘Then why do you do it?’” Capone said, and her answer is always the same: “My mom always said that you never know who’s listening, so now I repeat that back to myself.”
Capone began singing the anthem at a young age, performing at Pop Warner games without any formal training. In high school, she sang in the choir and at church, but no one ever told her how to sing. At LVC, she is getting instruction and learning to harness a voice that never quite sounded like those of her peers.
“I always wanted to be a poppy or country voice, but ever since I was younger, I’ve had a more mature voice,” Capone said. “I wasn’t originally happy with it, and I even took a year off of singing. As a young person, it’s just weird to hear.”
To fulfill her ensemble requirement laid out by the music department, Capone participates in choir. She has also held starring roles with the Wig and Buckle Theater Company, including performances in “An Adult Evening of Shel Silverstein,” “Anything Goes,” and “Into the Woods.”
Capone sees two possible paths for her future. “I am really interested in music therapy, which is why I picked up a psychology minor. More than anything, I’d like to study opera and get a degree in opera performance. I really enjoy performing, but I also really enjoy working with people.”
In the meantime, Capone is doing a fine job prioritizing her life within a hectic course load and choir touring schedule. Her biggest stress outlet is attending and participating in athletic events. Given some more free time, she would go out for a team, but her absence from the court doesn’t mean she hasn’t maintained a competitive spirit.
“Each time I sing the National Anthem, I try to do it better,” Capone said. “It’s like a game that I play with myself. How well can I sing it?
“At LVC, with proper training, I see what I’m capable of.”