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Happy New Year to all of you! This season, I’ve had so much to reflect on and be grateful for. 2012 has been very good to me and if 2013 is anything like it, I’ll be a very lucky, blessed girl.
Thanks to the support and encouragement you provide on a daily basis, I am able to sing and share my gifts. This has paved the way for many doors to open and here are some that have allowed me into their world during 2012…
iHeartRadio made me a “New! Discover & Uncover Artist” and an “Artist To Watch”. This enabled major radio stations across the USA to discover me and add me to their iHeartRadio artist roster. It also allowed many others who had never heard of me discover my singing and my music. Thank you so much to Clear Channel, iHeartRadio and YOU for making this happen! Please sign up for free, create your own radio station and be sure to add me to your playlist! Music Connection Magazine picked me to be on their highly anticipated December end of year “Hot 100 Unsigned Live Artists And Bands 2012” list. Taylor Swift on the cover. Wow. Just wow. One of the best NCAA basketball teams picked me to sing the National Anthem for their 2012-2013 season – Fordham University Men’s Basketball team. The Fordham University Women’s Basketball team also picked me to sing. This enables me to sing in front of great, enthusiastic audiences in person, on radio and possibly on national TV and cable stations like CBS Sports, ESPN and the YES Network. I am honored to be the girl who sings our nation’s epic anthem. Fordham is my alma mater, so it’s a chance for me to give thanks to this amazing educational institution and adds a bit of magic! I was chosen by the brand new state of the art Barclays Arena in Brooklyn, NY to sing the National Anthem for the Fordham University vs. Princeton University basketball game in November. This was nothing short of an amazing experience. To sing at the same arena that recently hosted Barbara Streisand, Lady Gaga and Andrea Bocelli, home of the NY Nets and Islanders, left me in awe. Let’s just say I will definitely sing there again! The acclaimed Dover International Speedway in Delaware picked me to sing at the NASCAR Sprint “One Main Financial” race, which was aired live on ESPN in September. I was also aired on 465 radio stations. What an experience to be “backstage” at a NASCAR race! Thanks to Deuce Management and Promotion, I am being played on major FM radio stations throughout Europe and the UK. Wow.
I had a host of simply amazing reviews on my voice, music and also received major quotes. YAHOO VOICES said I am going to be the next Celine Dion. Vivoscene said I am going to be the next Barbara Streisand. Being compared to these amazing singers left me pleasantly shocked, utterly elated and extremely humbled and once again, very blessed.
Funny thing is, the massive exposure the above milestones gave me provided opportunities to perform more as the year passed by. Thanks to all who booked me for your parties. You are an elite bunch and I am flattered to have performed for you.
And now comes the ultimate thank you – TO ALL OF YOU. You inspire me, encourage me and keep me on the path of hard work and success every single day. Your faith, dedication and belief in me are astounding. I thank God for you and count my blessings.
What do I have in store for you in 2013? New music. More videos. More performances. Exciting inspiration. A little bit of a brand new Gina. I’m excited for the opportunities that are ahead and know it will be wonderful year for ALL OF US. Love, Gina xx
Please see my website for the full blog and pictures about my experience singing the National Anthem for NASCAR at the Dover Speedway LIVE on ESPN!
Reverbnation wouldn't allow my blog to fit here, as it the blog is too long :)
Much Love, Gina xx
Welcome Back Fordham University Rams!
When I received a phone call from my Elite Marketing Contact, who informed me that Fordham University was interested in having me perform the National Anthem and God Bless America for their Men’s Basketball team and their Women’s Basketball games – I was more than elated.
You see, this was much more about the Men’s Basketball team being a marquee team whose games are on National CBS Sports TV and the YES Network on cable. More than a team who is among the best in college basketball, playing against the best college basketball teams around.
It’s goes deeper than that. I am a Fordham Alumnus.
Ever since I graduated from Fordham University, when I am asked about my recommendation for colleges I always recommend Fordham University. Fordham is one of the best, elite educational institutions in the country, so if you have the grades and the brain to be admitted you are guaranteed to be taught by caring Ph.D.’s, and graduate as a well rounded, well educated, well read and overall – a person who can see and think clearly outside the box. I believe this is necessary in this day and age.
When we met with the Fordham University Sports Department, nostalgia ran through me like ribbons of joy. I was in shock upon arriving, when right after introductions, they asked me, “Hey Gina, are you by chance available this weekend? We have our Rams Football team playing Georgetown for our Armed Forces Appreciation Day and we don’t have a singer.”
Whoa. Erm…”YES! I am available and I will be honored to sing for the The Rams and for the Armed Forces.”
Boom. That was it. I was booked for my first game and after singing the National Anthem and then God Bless America immediately following, live airplay on FM radio station 90.7 WFUV and an incredible response, they booked me for more Men’s and Women’s Basketball games into 2013. Some are being played at Madison Square Garden and the new Barclays Center (the new Nets home) and I’m waiting for confirmation on these big arenas.
All games will be aired on CBS Sports and the YES Network.
You know what the best part of this is for me? After all these years I get to return to the school that gave me so much. I didn’t just receive an outstanding education but I received a well rounded view of the world via Ph.D. Professors who not only taught at Fordham but were also working on writing books, publishing, appearing on TV discussing the subject(s) they are experts on, directing Broadway productions, conducting their own radio shows…I think you get the idea.
I had the experience of an education given by people who weren’t just stuck in the classroom but were simultaneously having a world experience within their expertise and in return sharing that experience with their students.
Will singing at these games with TV coverage help boost my career? Of course. But this time, it’s not about that.
Now, I get to give back.
That’s a blessing. It’s giving back to an institution that gave so much to me. It opened its doors in 1841 and is most impressive. It stretched out to me, accepted me and I absorbed everything I could like a sponge.
Fordham University was one of the influences in my life that molded me into the person, singer and musician I am today.
I thank you with all my heart…
Now, LET’S GO FORDHAM RAMS!!!
Much Love, Gina xx
5/5/12 - If You Want To Know Where Your Heart Is Look To Where Your Mind Goes When It Wanders – Bernard Byer by Gina Zavalis on Saturday, May 5, 2012 at 8:05pm · If You Want To Know Where Your Heart Is Look To Where Your Mind Goes When It Wanders – Bernard Byer Well, here I am with my very first blog. I always imagined my first blog would be about music, singing or songwriting. However, I am pleasantly surprised it’s not. Of course, those blogs will come in time because I know most of you have asked for them :) For now, I wanted to be honest and write about what’s truly on my mind. Today, on my Facebook page I posted, “Re-evaluating people in my life. This is my idea of spring cleaning.” To my surprise, I received 18 “likes” so far. This made me think about how this really resonated with a lot of people – not just little old me sitting here in Brooklyn, NY. Those of you who have been with me for a long time know that I am a deep thinker and a very pensive person. Needless to say, I’ve been consumed with this thought all day. There will be people in your life everyday who feel a need to tear you down for no reason just to watch you fall. Although I must admit it’s quite comforting to know I’m not the only one who feels this way, it’s also quite disheartening. I figured the only way to resolve it is to take action. Take a moment to really think about this word: action. The concept of cleaning out your closet of people in your life who are negative & have hurt you, etc. This will pierce your heart, cause pain, create anger and vulnerable moments but in the end, those people in your life who drain you of precious energy and don’t treat you the way you deserve will be gone. Isn’t that the point? These are the people in your life who are literally like poison. They disable you from pursuing your dreams, criticize you and hold you back. They drain you from positive energy and inject negative energy into you, which will keep you from pursuing your gifts and what you were put on this earth to do. They will attempt to strip the confidence from you by putting you down, refusing to support you and ultimately destroying your dreams – if you let them. I now refer back to the title of this blog. “If You Want To Know Where You Heart Is Look To Where Your Mind Goes When It Wanders” – Bernard Byer. Let your mind be free. Take quiet time. Be still. Allow yourself to wander and take a break to daydream. Go to the beach and put your feet in the sand. Feel the cool sand under your feet, breathe in the ocean air and clear your head (okay, that’s what I do!). Not near a beach? Take a walk, go to a park. Or, go to your favorite spot to chill out and take a rest (I prefer Starbucks!) Clarity will keep everything moving in your life, but you must allow yourself to take the steps to achieve it in order to move on and take action. Sometimes it takes baby steps, but that’s better than your feet stuck in cement. Don’t allow anyone or anything from holding you back from your aspirations, goals, dreams, and passions…your life. You create your life with the choices you make. Don’t allow anyone to tear you down. Let your mind wander. Trust your heart. Trust your gut. Go where it tells you to and work very hard to reach your goals and you can do anything. Most of all, keep all of the haters and negativity in all forms out of your life for good. If there are some that you can’t avoid, then take them in small doses (and I mean tiny!). Always remember: Rejection Is Protection. Get inspired. Trust yourself. Hug yourself. Love yourself. You deserve it. Love xo, Gina P.S. – For any of you wondering, yes, I DID write a song revolving around this theme today! :)