TENAFLY, N.J. — With 24,000 people watching, Jacob Shanker from Tenafly stood confidently on the court at the U.S. Open singing "America The Beautiful."
The 12-year-old vocalist was chosen among 11 from more than 200 performers ages 14 and under who submitted performances through a nationwide online audition as part of the U.S. Open Casting Call.
Previous winners have used their U.S. Open performances as platforms to land roles in Broadway musicals and regional productions across the U.S.
"Hopefully this is the one of many big performances for him," said Shanker's mother, Nadine Shanker Haruni.
Shanker participated in the national audition at the suggestion of his vocal teacher, Katherine Keyes at the JCC on the Palisades.
He got a callback to the theater district in NYC with hundreds of other young contestants.
A few weeks later, Shanker got the call.
"I'm super proud of him," his mother said, "especially since prior to landing this gig, the largest crowd he had sung in front of was at Tenafly High School in the Spring Production of 'The Sound of Music' in 2015."
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