Berwick—Two years ago, as the District 2 Swimming Championships were about to begin, there was a scramble.
It wasn’t to locate timers or officials as is typical of most meets. It wasn’t even to locate a missing swimmer or two. It was due to the inability to play the National Anthem to open the meet that had District 2 officials running around looking for a solution. That’s when Berwick’s Gabby Segura-Suarez, her sister Isa, and their teammate Genevieve Kinney stepped up to help.
“We are such a big family as a team, but when we come over here and sing, we depend on each other,” Kinney said. “It’s respect and the honor to be able to sing together.”
They are part of an elite singing group at Berwick and they quickly gathered to perform a stunning rendition of the Anthem.
“Last year it all started when they asked us if we could sing,” Gabby Segura-Suarez said. “We put it all together, because we sing together and it’s been a tradition since then. They didn’t have somebody to sing the National Anthem. They asked and we gave it a shot. It just turned into something we do for every home meet and people know us for it now.”
They created a tradition that has brought coaches, parents, and even competitors to tears as the group sings in perfect key together. As the season opened this year, the group added Abigail Calvert to their group which only expanded their range. It’s something special to hear the girls sing together. It’s a treat for those that haven’t got to experience it and something that most look forward to if they have had a chance to hear the girls sing.
“We have little concerts in different spots,” Gabby Segura-Suarez said. “We have gigs all over town. People will pay us to sing, but we also sing at the football games and the basketball games. We also have concerts. Every Berwick concert we have a special section.”
They also open nearly every meet Berwick participates in. That includes the District Championships, every home meet, and nearly every road meet. They have been requested by District 2 since the first fill-in in 2018. That tradition has continued.
“The other teams always tell us they love it when we sing,” Isa Segura-Suarez said. “They always come up to us and tell us they love coming to Berwick to swim. Sometimes we get so nervous that we have to take the key down, because it’s too high.”
The girls deal with nerves, pre-meet warmups, and the amped up environment of high school competition in the water. They deal with it all and each rendition of the song comes out sounding a little different, but just as beautiful all the same. The group is extremely talented. Singing a good version for the fans and teams is just as important as performing well in the water for the girls and it shows.
They put a lot of time into their craft. Each performance is just as important as the last. The one thing that always remains the same is the round of cheers and standing ovations they receive at the end. No question. Every time the group sings it blows the crowds and teams away.
“For me personally it’s a great experience to share something I love doing with people,” Isa Segura-Suarez said. “We are very lucky to have members of our swimming group on the team. It’s special, because each of us have a different voice. The fact that there’s one of each of us the team makes us able to build this. It’s really an honor to share this with the people who come to the meet and the other teams.”
Her sister echoed those thoughts saying, “It’s honestly just such a pleasure, because you want to share your talents with other people. Being able to have a team that has four girls you can put together to sing something like the Nation Anthem and work together to do something beautiful like that is a great experience.”
Besides getting to show their vocal range to open meets for Berwick, the group looks at the experience as a chance to show they do more than just swim.
“You can tell we’re not only swimmers,” Gabby Segura-Suarez said. “We can do so many other things. Swimming is a fun sport and we enjoy doing it competitively, but there are so many other things. Music for all of us is very important and we can share that every time we sing the National Anthem here.”