As you may know, my sons and I performed the national anthem yesterday at the White Sox home opener. It was an honor and a thrill.
But here’s the full story:
To their credit, when they invited us to perform, the Sox asked for a sample recording first.
We rehearsed three separate times before opening day. I’m pretty sure the boys could have gotten by with two rehearsals but they probably suspected their old man needed the third one for his self confidence!
For the first time in years, I vocalized every day for about 10 days to get my voice back into shape. My wife kindly accompanied me each time.
I actually printed out the words to the anthem to make sure I had them down cold.
On the drive down to U.S. Cellular Field, Dan told Anthony and me about national anthem etiquette: be understated and make it about the anthem, not about the performer. Afterwards, give the audience a brief, polite wave and then quickly get off the field.
One last thing about the performance. If you watch the clip at the top, you’ll notice Dan is assertively directing. That’s because the echo in the stadium threw us off slightly during the rehearsal so Anthony and I asked Dan to give clear visual cues because we couldn’t rely on our ears.
Some people have said that afterwards I looked intensely proud of my sons. I was. But, believe me, the overwhelming emotion was relief that we got through the one-and-a-half octave anthem without doing it any apparent permanent damage!