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Saturday, May 26, 2018
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Carrollwood Day School student performs national anthem at games

CARROLLWOOD — It’s five minutes until game time and Olivia Craparo is a nervous mess.

She is about to sing the national anthem at a Carrollwood Day School football game. The ninth-grader at CDS has done it before and never missed a note, even the high ones near the end. Still, the butterflies were there and she turned to her parents for some much needed encouragement.

She hadn’t been feeling well and her throat felt hoarse, but the show had to go on, right?

Five minutes until showtime. Then a lightning bolt was spotted near the CDS field and the game was postponed for an hour. The last thing an entertainer needs is a rain delay that only makes the butterflies flutter even harder.

After an hour, it was game time, Olivia took the microphone and nailed it note for note. She spent the rest of the first half accepting congratulations and hugs.

Olivia has been around music her whole life. “I think I was singing before I was even talking,” Olivia said. “I just always love to sing.”

She can sing at almost any spectrum in music. She loves Demi Lovato, but can sing anything from REO Speedwagon to Heart.

Her parents, Jack and Laura, say that Olivia grew up in a musical household, and Jack plays guitar. There is a music room in their home, filled with instruments.

Olivia isn’t just a singer. She is a 4.0 student at CDS and still regrets that pesky B-plus she got in math last year. She’s determined not to let that happen again. She is also a member of the CDS drama club and has appeared in several talent shows.

“She can do anything she wants,” Jack said. “But that B-plus really mattered. That’s the first time since first grade she didn’t get all A’s.”

Olivia has a lot of big plans for her life. She is learning to play guitar, and she wants to be on the television show, “The X Factor.” College is a definite, but she’s also looking for a back-up plan for everything she wants to do. She has written five songs and wants to sing more than the national anthem in public.

“I have some really high ambitions,” Olivia said. “I have so much I want to do with my life. I just want to get over being nervous because I know I can do it. I don’t know why I get nervous because it is so much fun.”

Now that she has mastered the national anthem, she is constantly asked to do it at the CDS games and her parents make sure they show up even if they can’t stick around for the entire game. CDS plays afternoon games, so sometimes work gets in the way, but she has a strong support system at CDS.

She said she brings something unique to music that sounds more and more generic every day. “Anyone can be a singer today,” Olivia said. “It’s all the same. I want to bring something different.”

The big goal is to sing at the CDS homecoming game. That’s a big deal and she knows she is ready if asked. Hint, hint, CDS.

“I think I am ready for anything,” Olivia said. “Just take a deep breath and do it. I really want homecoming.”

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