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Trio Wins National Anthem Contest

September 29, 2011
Somerset Medical Center is pleased to announce the winner of this year’s National Anthem Contest, held on September 27. I.C.E (In Christ Eternally), a vocal trio from Tamaqua, Pennsylvania,took top honors in this year’s competition, earning the opportunity to sing the National Anthem at the Far Hills Race Meeting on October 22nd. This is the first time that a musical trio has won the competition. Kim Sekora of Bridgewater was named runner-up.

The contest, which was held at Somerset Medical Center’s Steeplechase Cancer Center, included 14 finalists competing for the chance to sing at this year’s Far Hills Race Meeting. Contestants were judged based on their vocal skills, stage presence and confidence in their performance. The judges included Guy Torsilieri and John von Stade, co-chairmen of the Far Hills Race Meeting, Paul Grzella, general manager/editor of the Courier News and Home News Tribune, Marie Fosket, last year’s National Anthem winne,r and Sharon Davis, weekend DJ for Magic 98.3 FM.

I.C.E consists of Marjorie Fortin, 51, David Fortin, 26, and Tanya Erdman, 41. Marjorie and her son David are originally from Bayonne, NJ and come from a musical family. The group travels daily to perform for a wide variety of venues such as nursing homes, variety shows, churches, and even sang the National Anthem on a musical cruise in Pennsylvania.

In order to shake their nerves and prepare for the audition, the trio said a prayer together before their performance and warmed up their vocals. When the judges announced I.C.E as the winners, they could not hold back their excitement. “When our names were called we were so proud and ecstatic,” said group member Marjorie Fortin. “We walked up to the judges and shook their hands and thanked them. Everyone was so nice; it was such a pleasant experience.” 

This will be the first time I.C.E is attending the Far Hills Race Meeting and they are thrilled to see what it’s all about. More importantly, the trio is honored to sing this amazing, patriotic song at an event that will be raising money for such a great cause. 

“I was greatly impressed with the setup of Somerset Medical Center’s Steeplechase Cancer Center,” commented Marjorie. “I think it is wonderful how all of the various departments are so close together in the same building. It really makes it very convenient for patients and their families. I am delighted that the proceeds of the event will be going to support this wonderful facility.” 

The group has been together for 11 years, and each member has lost a loved one to cancer. They would like to dedicate their performance at the Far Hills Race Meeting to those they have lost as well as pay a tribute to the many veterans they have come across and show that they aren’t forgotten with this undeniably patriotic song. 

The Far Hills Race Meeting is a “must-attend” event of the fall season that combines the height of culinary skill, modern and traditional fashion, top thoroughbred jump racing and joyous camaraderie. Tens of thousands of attendees flock from near and far to participate in a day of entertainment and sport, all while contributing to a worthy cause. For 57 years, The Far Hills Race Meeting has raised money to support the programs and services of Somerset Medical Center, and to help to ensure the residents of central New Jersey are afforded the highest quality healthcare available. To date, The Far Hills Race Meeting has raised over $17 million. I.C.E’s performance of the National Anthem at this year’s Far Hills Race is one that should not be missed.

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