So you’ve been asked to sing the National Anthem for a big event? Congratulations!
Although you’ve probably seen dozens of performances there is SO much more that happens behind the scenes before, during, and after the anthem.
If you want the inside scoop, I’ve got your back!
I started my career as a professional singer with the US Navy where singing the anthem was literally part of my day to day job. Since becoming a civilian I have continued my singing career and performed for organizations including the NFL, NBA, and Nascar. While the venues may be vastly different, there are some key principles that remain the same and knowing those will help you prepare for whatever you face.
Want the ultimate anthem checklist? I’ve compiled EVERYTHING I’ve learned and encountered over the years in this must-have document.
Note: includes updated Covid protocols as well!
Two weeks in advance: Put on your planned outfit, including shoes, and video yourself singing the anthem. Send it to trusted friends for their honest comments on what to improve. The key here is people you trust to give you good feedback. If you have a voice coach or mentor, this would be a perfect job for them!
For other important preparatory tasks, get the ultimate anthem checklist.
One week in advance: There will be distractions. LOTS of them. So practice for that! The crowd may sing along. They may yell or cheer at weird times. Since Covid has limited in person attendance, there also may be piped in crowd noise that can be VERY disconcerting. The announcer may get your name pronunciation wrong or say it in a way that makes you want to giggle. Keep a straight face and JUST KEEP SINGING! Have people slam doors, randomly clap or yell, even turn the lights on and off while you sing so you get used to singing through ANYTHING.
For an exclusive video of real examples from distracting sound checks, get the ultimate anthem checklist.
Day of: You are there to do a job, act like it! First and foremost, protect the asset ~ you and your voice! Any talking over loud noise is detrimental to your performance capability. Have someone with you who WILL NOT ask you/expect you to chat with them in the hours of waiting between sound check and performance so you save your voice!
For a complete list of tasks to give your support person, get the ultimate anthem checklist.
After: Touch base with your contact(s) and let them know how much you enjoyed yourself. Tactfully ask for access to any video or photographs of the performance.
For a complete script on what to ask your handler and team contact, get the ultimate anthem checklist.