Greece, N.Y.— It was supposed to be a joke. It was a sign with the words “Can I come sing with you?” and Tricia Van Auken has been carrying it around to concerts for the 15 years.
It worked for her once, ten months ago. She was at a Jake Owen concert at the New York State Fair. She had the sign with her and Jake Owen brought up on stage for a duet.
When Tricia took it to the Lady Antebellum concert on Sunday night at CMAc, it was just for fun. She had done so for 15 years, so why not?
But then, the unexpected happened.
“Lady Antebellum stopped and asked, ‘What does your sign say?’. At first, I was thinking, ‘Are they talking to me?’. Then my sister shoved me down the stairs and said ‘Go!’.”
The 32-year-old music teacher at Webster’s Klem South Elementary School was used to singing for her students or for her friends and family but not for thousands of screaming fans at CMAC.
“I was very nervous and very excited,” Tricia recalls. “The music started and I just kept thinking ‘Don’t mess it up! Don't mess it up!’”
To the surprise of the audience and to the members of Lady Antebellum, Tricia knew how to sing and sing well!
“The noise and the screaming. The yelling and the hooting. It was just so overwhelming, but it was a flood of love. When they started singing, I'm assuming I caught people off guard that I could actually do it then it just went crazy.”
For Tricia, it was the performance of a lifetime.
“It was amazing... amazing! I could hardly sleep last night and I haven't stopped smiling all day long. For me, it's like a bucket list item you want to check off as a singer. If you love country music you're thinking, ‘I would love to do this someday.’ The fact that it worked is amazing.”
Tricia says she plans to take the sign to her next concert when Tim McGraw performs at CMAC, because after all you never know...