Oh, Say Can You Sing? (Yes, We Can.)

On December 16, 2016, Star Wars: Rogue One came out in theaters. You can read a superb review of the movie by our very own Noah Gardner. What you may not know is that the next day, four members of Newman’s Upper School Choir sang the National Anthem at the Fairgrounds – and we crushed it.

Newman students have sung the National Anthem at the Fairgrounds before; in fact, Anna November (Soprano) and Rebecca French (Alto) were a part of the original quartet that was asked to sing last year at the wiener dog races. John French (Tenor) and yours truly (Bass) sang there for the first time. We met several times to rehearse the four-part harmony, even getting together during exam week to run the song.

On December 17th, we arrived with our director at the Fairgrounds at 12:30, half an hour before we were supposed to perform. We received our credentials that allowed us onto the winner’s circle and then huddled under a stairwell to rehearse one last time.

At 12:55, we were led back to the winner’s circle. There, we stood tightly-packed around a microphone and focused our eyes on the camera, trying to ignore the strong wind. Before turning around to look at the camera, I noticed that our names were on the board behind us. Then the announcer came on the loud speakers and told everyone our names, our school, and that we would be singing the National Anthem.

And then it was time. The cameraman signaled, our director counted us off, and we took a deep breath: Oh, say can you see…and, well, you know the rest.