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October 14, 2004

Herald Sun

Their bus had just left Yankee Stadium on Wednesday afternoon, and the 16 members of UNC's a cappella group, the Loreleis, could hardly contain their excitement. They were going to sing the National Anthem at Yankee Stadium. The 16-member group had just finished a sound check in the empty stadium, where they were scheduled to sing "The Star-Spangled Banner" before Wednesday night's second game of the American League Championship Series between the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox.

"We're just ecstatic," said Jordan Elliott, president of the Loreleis, during a cell phone interview from the bus after leaving the afternoon practice. "A lot of us can't believe it's happening." During the sound check, which lasted about 15 to 20 minutes, the group "ran through the anthem three or four times," she said. "They gave us some hats that are really authentic, hats with logos." Stepping out on the field to practice and hearing themselves sing was overwhelming, Elliott said.

No players were on the field warming up at the time, but the group saw former Yankee star Don Mattingly walking into the stadium as they were leaving, Elliott said. She and the other singers wished they had seen Yankee shortstop Derek Jeter. "And A-Rod," someone screamed in the background, referring to third baseman Alex Rodriguez. "I would recognize Derek Jeter and A-Rod," Elliott said with a giggle. Elliott wouldn't say why the Loreleis were chosen to sing at such an important game, except to say there were some family connections that made it happen.

Of course, there is a connection between UNC and Yankee owner George Steinbrenner. His daughter, Jennifer Swindal, graduated from UNC in 1981. The Loreleis got word a few weeks ago that they might be chosen to sing, but they didn't get official word until last week, Jordan said. "We were already planning to come up to New York and Boston for our fall break anyway, so it worked out perfectly," she said. After they sing the national anthem, the women got to watch the game from a special box.

Posted by acapnews at October 14, 2004 9:01 PM