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September 16, 2009

Oh Say Can You See, It Ain't About Me

NPR

I got a call from the offices of the local minor league team, asking if I wanted to sing the national anthem at a ball game. Sure, I said, with barely a thought passing through my little brain — How cool is that? Singing in front of thousands of people at a baseball game. I might even get good seats. For free. That was as far as my thought process went.

As the day approached, a whole different set of thoughts and feelings announced themselves. What was I thinking? Singing a cappella is challenging enough. Singing the "Star-Spangled Banner" is something more. I have an octave-and-a-half range and a little extra, but there's not much room for error — it all depends on starting on the right note. And if you don't, you're halfway through the song before you realize you're going to have some trouble at the end. Big trouble. Without a guitar or piano to remind me of the key, who knows where I'll go. There could be a serious nightmare right at the end of the song. The use of a falsetto voice is something to be avoided in most cases, unless you're Marvin Gaye or Bobby McFerrin. Needless to say, I ain't. Read more.

Posted by acapnews at September 16, 2009 12:00 AM

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