"This young lady won the hearts of the nation, not only with her singing talent, but with her charm and personality as she competed this past year in 'America's Got Talent'. Here to honor us with the singing of the 'Star Spangled Banner' -- platinum international recording artist and Pittsburgh's own, Jackie Evancho."
Those words introduced the 10-year-old from Richland Township last night as she took the stage at Heinz Field to sing the national anthem before fans at the 2011 Bridgestone Winter Classic.
The Eden Hall Upper Elementary student was dressed simply in gray as she sang a cappella before a crowd of almost 70,000 at the football-stadium-turned-ice-hockey-rink prior to the Capitals beating the Penguins, 3-1.
"You just hit a home run at a hockey game in a football stadium. That would count as a hat trick," a fan tweeted.
A few hours earlier, Jackie had tweeted "On. My way to the stadium for the winter classic. http://twitpic.com/3m4quo"
This was not the first time Jackie has performed at a Pittburgh sports venue.
"Jackie also auditioned for a spot to sing the anthem at a Pittsburgh Pirates MLB baseball game," her parents wrote in her journal on jackieevancho.com. "To our surprise, we received a call a few days later asking if Jackie would be interested in singing the anthem for the home opener, making her the youngest to do so."
"2010 has been a huge year for Jackie," her parents wrote in a Dec. 30 entry in Jackie's journal on jackieevancho.com. "Taking a look back we could have never imagined everything she has accomplished.
"2010 started like any other year, school, homework, friends, mixed in with a few trips to give Jackie her opportunity to follow her dream of performing. One of those trips was to Philadelphia to audition for "America's Got Talent." They passed, for a second time.
"In May or June I came across a video from Nick Cannon advertising the YouTube edition of 'America's Got Talent.' Not thinking much would come of it, we uploaded a video and forgot about it. Then came the call saying they were putting Jackie's video up for public vote. From there you know the rest."