Taggio Sings National Anthem at NY Mets Game
Friday, April 13, 2012

On a cold, windy afternoon in New York, the New York Mets and the Atlanta Braves stood side by side for a moment as one of NATCA's own AnnMarie Taggio sang our country's National Anthem. You may know that voice if you've ever attended one of NATCA's many events in the past seven years, but you may be surprised to know how she discovered her talent.

It may seem as if Taggio has been singing all her life, but she found out she had a voice by singing karaoke at her going away party with her fellow New York TRACON air traffic controllers. It wasn't until then when she received so much praise for singing "I Will Survive" by Gloria Gaynor that she began singing karaoke on a regular basis when she moved to Oklahoma City.

I was during the NATCA Convention in St. Louis when Taggio for the first time sang the National Anthem, and she admits she had never been nervous to sing before, but singing that song for the first time to her NATCA family was nerve-wracking.

"Although I was nervous, the best thing that happened was afterwards when hundreds of controllers came up to me and told me I brought them to tears," said Taggio. "That was so moving to me and I just will always cherish that moment."

From John Carr's administration to now Paul Rinaldi's, Taggio's National Anthem has become a tradition at nearly all of NATCA's national events. And as she continues the tradition, her captivating, booming voice continues to move air traffic controllers as they sing along with her.

"I sing the song true to its melody, and therefore people are able to sing with me," said Taggio. "It's all about patriotism and pride, and that's what NATCA is all about. It's about us and our pride for America. People become a part of that song and feel in their hearts what being an American is about."

Taggio has a handful of events she has been honored to be a part of, one of those being in September 2011 when Taggio was invited to sing in downtown Charlotte, N.C. for the pre-Democratic National Convention festivities. She hopes the city will allow her to sing again, only this time it would be for President Obama. Click here for more details.

After Taggio sang for the Mets, she brought them a little luck as they went on to win the game against the Braves 4-2. They enjoyed her performance so much that the invited her back to sing next year, and Taggio hopes to make this a NATCA event for all those who would like to attend.

"I don't consider myself a great singer, but I feel so honored to be lucky enough to be a part of these events," said Taggio. "I put my heart into this song hoping to get tears of joy from those that listen. I just want people to feel the song and be proud of our country."