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Benjamin Truncale, 11, of Malverne, to sing at U.S. Open

Eleven-year-old Benjamin Truncale will sing 'America the Beautiful'

Eleven-year-old Benjamin Truncale will sing 'America the Beautiful' between quarter-final tennis matches at the U.S. Open on Sept 2. (Aug. 30, 2013) Credit: Chuck Fadely

Benjamin Truncale is all of 11, but the budding singer has already notched performances at Citi Field, the Nassau Coliseum and the Vatican.

The Malverne sixth-grader is poised to add Arthur Ashe Stadium to the list. Monday, he'll sing "America the Beautiful" in front of thousands of U.S. Open tennis fans in Flushing Meadows, Queens.

Benjamin is one of 13 vocalists, age 12 or younger, selected from across the country to perform patriotic songs kicking off the tournament's evening sessions.

"I was really excited when I found out that I got it," he said Saturday.

To prepare for his debut, Benjamin said he's been practicing twice a day and drinking tea with honey to soothe his vocal chords.

But mostly he's been chilling out, like any other Long Island kid in summer: playing with his 7-year-old brother, Jake; watching TV; and going to the beach.

"I've been resting my voice, not screaming very much, not talking loudly," he said.

Before Benjamin performs at the tournament's biggest venue, he and his parents, Teresa and Ben, watched other children sing. "Just to give him a feel for what the arena is like," Teresa said.

Earlier this summer, more than 150 children auditioned for the coveted slots by submitting a recording of themselves belting out "America the Beautiful" a cappella. A panel of judges selected 60 children and invited them to a second round of auditions before announcing the winners.

The only other Long Island kid chosen this year was Frenie Acoba, 11, of Kings Park, who made her fourth straight U.S. Open appearance, performing last week on opening night.

Benjamin, who attends St. Agnes Cathedral School in Rockville Centre, is a member -- along with his father -- of the church's Men and Boys Choir. The choir sang at the Vatican last summer and had hoped to have an audience with Pope Benedict XVI, Benjamin's father said, but the pope was ill. The choir has also performed at Citi Field.

Benjamin's first solo performance was at Malverne Village's Sept. 11 memorial service when he was 7. In February, he performed in front of Islanders fans at the Nassau Coliseum.

"He's a hometown celebrity," his father said. "People know Benjamin sings and invite him."

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