Britini D’Angelo, a rising Niagara University senior majoring in communication studies and theatre, sang the national anthem to open Saturday’s crowning ceremony of the Miss New York pageant at Shea’s Performing Arts Center in Buffalo.

D’Angelo, a Niagara Falls native who is fulfilling a lifelong dream by attending NU, sang the “The Star-Spangled Banner” in her purple prom dress. She was presented with the opportunity by Kathleen Neville, a Niagara University Trustee and member of the Miss New York planning committee in Buffalo who heard her sing last spring with the university’s a cappella group, the Soar Throats.

“It was a phenomenal experience,” said D’Angelo, who is involved with 13 clubs and organizations at NU.

A former Miss Rochester, Neville coached last year’s Miss New York, Gabrielle Walter, through the statewide competition as well the Miss America pageant in Atlantic City, N.J.

Adding to the Niagara flavor of Saturday’s event was the presence of emcee Maryalice Demler, a 1986 NU alumna who was crowned Miss New York in 1990 and currently serves as a news anchor at WGRZ-TV Channel 2.

This was the first time since 1979 that the official state preliminary to the Miss America Pageant was held in Buffalo.

Nia Franklin topped 23 other women in this year’s competition to earn the title of Miss New York 2018.

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