ITHACA, N.Y. — An Ithaca woman is vying for the chance to sing the national anthem at the New York State Fair this summer.

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Talyse Hampton, 28, is among the competitors who submitted a video of themselves singing the national anthem for the Star Spangled Challenge. 

The challenge puts singers and musicians up for a public vote and the top 12 winners will sing the national anthem during the fair.

“I’ve got a timer on my my phone,” she said laughing, adding that she does not feel embarrassed about voting for herself once almost every hour, per the contest rules.

Her roommate and biggest supporter, Crystal Sessoms, also has a timer on her phone and votes several times a day.

Hampton, a Cornell University employee, said she frequently sings the Star Spangled Banner at events such Syracuse, Cornell or Binghamton university games, landing her a few chances to sing on national television. She also sang at this year’s Ithaca Community Fireworks Celebration.

But the fair, she said, will be different.

Hampton said people who attend sporting events are there to see the game. State Fair attendees, she said, are there for the music and vocalists.

“I think this will get me a lot of exposure,” she said.

Hear Talyse sing or vote for her at the Star Spangled Banner Facebook page.

Contact Jolene Almendarez anytime: 907-854-3248 | Email | Twitter | Facebook

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Jolene Almendarez

Jolene Almendarez is Managing Editor at The Ithaca Voice. She can be reached at; you can learn more about her at the links in the top right of this box.