O, Say Can You Hear
National anthem tryouts at Agganis Arena
On November 2 and 3, more than 60 individuals and groups from the BU community filed into Agganis Arena to audition for a chance to sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” in front of a captive audience at an upcoming Terrier men’s ice hockey or basketball home game. Only 20 of the coveted spots are available through the end of the season.
“It’s one thing to sing at my little high school. It’s another to sing for BU,” said Erica Krist (CAS’14), one of those trying out.
With clipboard in hand, Jessica Connor, Agganis marketing and promotions manager, took notes as students, parents, alumni, professors, a cappella and choral groups—even a group of schoolchildren—auditioned on the ice. And for every performer, there was the formidable challenge of competing with the arena’s overwhelming echo.
From harmonizing to the operatic, the auditions revealed an array of styles and variations on the national anthem. Two instrumentalists, on a cello and an electric guitar, auditioned.
“It’s important to put as much emotion into it as possible while still sounding good,” said Vanessa Salvucci (CAS’05), who sang the national anthem at BU soccer games as a student.
Many of the hopefuls introduced their own personal touches to the anthem: some closed their eyes, others raised their arms during crescendos. “We can usually tell the CFA students from the other people just by a certain stage presence,” Connor noted.
After two days of observing the auditions in person, Connor then reviews the performances on tape with her staff to determine who will sing for Terrier fans at Agganis this season. “So far the talent has been incredible,” says Connor of this year’s competition. “It’s going to be really hard to make a decision. I actually wish we had more games for them to sing at this year.”
You can see the next winner of the national anthem auditions perform at the men’s ice hockey game vs. UNH on Saturday, November 20, at 7 p.m. at Agganis Arena.
Alan Wong can be reached at email@example.com Comments