O say, can she sing: Upstate nurse belts out anthem in stadium
BY AMBER SMITH
A nurse from Upstate sang the national anthem at opening day for the Syracuse Mets in the spring of 2021. Kimberly Fetters, 56, of Syracuse has been a nurse for 12 years. She’s been singing for four times as long.
“Ever since I was 5 years old, I knew I wanted to be a singer. It all kind of started with the Carpenters,” Fetters says. “Then when I was in 10th grade and MTV came out, and Pat Benatar hit the screen, I was like ‘I want to be just like her.’ “
She performed in “South Pacific” and “Bye Bye Birdie” during high school in Cazenovia. Then she spent eight years performing on the road with a couple of different bands. When she returned to Central New York, Fetters auditioned in 1996 for singer/songwriter Benny Mardones, who was known for his hit “Into the Night.”
Mardones later described Fetters as “the best female singer I have ever worked with in my life.” They sang together for 23 years. Mardones died in 2020.
Fetters lives across the street from Upstate Community Hospital, where she works in the pretesting unit, caring for patients who are preparing for surgery. She is glad to be singing again, after the pandemic made live in-person performances impossible. Fetters says she was honored that the Syracuse Mets invited her to sing on opening day.
“People think the national anthem is this really hard song. It can be if you don’t start in the right key for yourself. You have to find that perfect place to start,” she says. “I’ve done it so many times, I know what note to start on.”
Click here for a video of Fetters singing the national anthem.