Sunday, January 20, 2008

National Anthem spectacular!

Current mood: excited

So I wanted to share how much I've been singing the National Anthem lately. It's been a lot of fun and I still have a few more performances left. In high school I used to sing it pretty regularly at soccer and basketball games. I even sang at a track meet once. After high school I only sang about four more times (all Kent State women's basketball games) before going on my mission in 2001. I didn't sing again until an unexpected (but very fun) opportunity I had at Morgan High School in Morgan, Utah in January 2005. I did it to surprise some friends there who had wanted to hear me sing. Not only did it surprise them, but I got a lot of good compliments after I sang, plus they announced I had come "all the way from Kent, Ohio" even though I was at BYU-Idaho at the time. After that game a guy came up to me and asked if I knew Andy Ridinger. Of course I said yes, "he's my brother." Turns out this guy served with him during his mission in Hungary and recognized my last name, but thought "but Andy was from Kent, Ohio."

Anyway, I didn't sing again until this past Fall 2007, though I tried to sing at a few events in the meantime with no success. I've been trying forever to sing the National Anthem at a Cleveland Indians' game, but I usually get my audition tape/CD in too late, so no success so far. I finally sang again at a Kent State Ice Hockey game against Youngstown State on November 9th. Little did I know, but that was just the beginning!

I finally got to do my first KSU men's basketball game on November 28 against Saint Louis University. It was a great experience and am looking forward to my next game.

On December 11th I went to see my friend Ashley play for Lake Erie College in Painesville, Ohio. We both worked at Geauga Lake in 2005 and 2006 and now that I'm back in Ohio I wanted to see her play since I couldn't come to any games last season. Well, I showed up and it didn't look like they had an anthem singer, so just before the game started I inquired as to if they needed one and if they wanted one. Those in charge were rightfully cautious since they had no clue who I was. They did, however, let me after hearing me sing for a few meaures and making sure I knew all the words. I did a decent job and have sung the anthem at every women's game since at LEC and now at the men's games too as they do doubleheaders. Even though it's an hour trip to Painesville, I've really grown to enjoy singing there and getting to know the people there a little bit better. Lake Erie College is a small liberal arts school that has an enrollment just below 1,000 and is currently an NCAA Division III (soon to be D-II) school. I'll be singing there again on Monday January 21 and I anticipate at least a few more times after that!

I'm way excited to be singing at the men's basketball game at KSU this coming Wednesday, January 23 against arch-rival Akron. The game is going to be sold out (a battle for first place in the MAC East), so it should be an exciting environment. I've been wanting to sing at that game for a long time and now I finally have my chance! I even had the opportunity to sing at my high school again January 4th, once again unexpectedly, but I've found good things happen when I just ask if a singer is needed!

Here's where I've sung recently:
November 9, 2007 KSU ice hockey vs. Youngstown State University
November 16, 2007 KSU ice hockey vs. Iowa State University
November 28, 2007 KSU men's basketball vs. St. Louis University
December 11, 2007 LEC women's basketball vs. Ursuline College
December 29, 2007 LEC women's basketball vs. Hiram College
January 4, 2008 Roosevelt High School boy's basketball vs. Norton High School
January 9, 2008 LEC women's basketball vs. Medaille College
January 9, 2008 LEC men's basketball vs. Medaille College
January 12, 2008 LEC women's basketball vs. La Roche College
Janaury 12, 2008 LEC men's basketball vs. La Roche College

Coming up:
January 21, 2008 LEC women's basketball 1 PM vs. Frostburg State University
January 21, 2008 LEC men's basletball 3 PM vs. Frostburg State University
January 23, 2008 KSU men's basketball 7 PM vs. University of Akron
January 24, 2008 LEC women's basketball 6 PM vs. Penn State-Behrend College
January 24, 2008 LEC men's basketball 8 PM vs. Penn State-Behrend College
hopefully some more at LEC and KSU...we'll see!!!

Hopefully I can get my audition CD together and sent off in time so I can FINALLY sing at an Indians game this season!

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