Every August, the attention of the sports world turns to Flushing Meadows and the excitement at the US Open tennis tournament. There is more to the event than just competition among the world’s greatest tennis players; it includes young vocalists who entertained the capacity crowds with various patriotic-themed songs.
Roslyn Heights residents Kaya and Kavina Amin are twins and students at The Wheatley School. Both are young tennis stars and both, too, like to sing. On Monday, Sept. 7, the twins sang America The Beautiful prior to the evening’s matches.
“The evening went well,” their mother, Byomini Amin, said. “It was an amazing experience for our whole family. We started this process in May with two DVD submissions. The requirements of this national casting call were that everyone needed to submit a 30-second video of singing America the Beautiful. We were very surprised and overjoyed to receive an email on June 1 that indicated both girls were selected for the live auditions on June 30. On that date, they performed at Queens Theatre in Flushing Meadows.
“That day there were 300 contestants from across the country,” Amin said. “Kaya and Kavina performed separately and then were asked to perform together. They also had a camera interview. We were shocked on July 16 when we learned that Kaya and Kavina had been selected to perform. What an amazing opportunity to sing in Arthur Ashe stadium in front of 24,000 people. The day was absolutely incredible, from the arrival to the interview with the USTA to being in the stadium with all the professional players. Kaya and Kavina were thrilled to have been given this opportunity.”
The twins were only two of the many talented young people who performed at the Open. They were selected through a nationwide online audition, in which more than 300 young people took place in the tryouts. This year’s performers included Christian Bautista of Jersey City, NJ; Caleb Carroll of West Bloomfield, MI; Angelica Hale of Johns Creek, GA; Brandon Hernandez of Yonkers, NY; Jake Miller of Warrentown, VA; Victoria Rose Mozitis of Northfield, NJ; Sadie Pine of New York, NY; Daniela Ramos of Hallandale, FL; Bence Veres of Temple, PA and Madison Zamor of Queens Village.
Also performing were cast members of the ongoing Broadway hit, Annie. The two sisters were also in good company. In previous Open events, such stars as Rob Thomas, Aretha Franklin, Diana Ross and Earth, Wind and Fire have performed.
The twins are junior competitive tennis players who are ranked in the eastern section of the United States Tennis Association. According to their parents, they have played the girls 12 division and are now playing the 14 division on a sectional and national basis.
Both play the piano and participate in their school’s orchestra and chamber orchestras playing the viola and cello respectively. In addition, they have both participated in the New York State School Annual Musical Festival for the last four years, their school chorus, and Kavina was selected this past spring for the All County Chorus.