National Anthem Home Run!

For months we’ve been planning it!  
For weeks we’ve been rehearsing it!  
Barely a minute of music!  
The National Anthem!

Why?

Because the Calvary Chapel Theatrical Choir from Vineland, New Jersey, was scheduled to sing the National Anthem at the Phillies game on September 20 – Vineland Night – when our hometown would be saluted on the big screen in a video.  Representing our hometown, our choir would salute our nation in the traditional game opening ceremony!

We wore matching Phillies’ shirts with blue jeans, and car pooled to preferred parking just outside the ballpark entrance – a bit of a discount on the regular steep parking fee, too!   Ours was the evening game, so there was something of a wait while the park was readied after the afternoon game of a double header. 

To pass the time, of course, there was plenty of mugging for the camera!

Ed had bought a ticket to the game for his best buddy – Sam’s birthday – so, he met us there.

Our own Pastor Frank and friend, Rich, are pretty excited . . .

Being Vineland Night, we saw plenty of hometown folks – like my cousin and her husband and son!

We even brought our own cameraman – Phil – to shoot a video of the whole experience.  He’s our video producer at church for all our shows and service broadcasts.  Give him a day or two and if you click the link HERE you’ll be able to see his film of our adventure online!

Finally, our group was called to follow an escort down a special entrance tunnel . . .

Deeper into the Phillies Underground we went . . .

Catching a glimpse of the field . . .

Deeper in and around corners . . .

Past the Phillies Locker Room entrance . . .

Down a narrow hallway . . .

And, into a special locker room for our use!

Here, more mugging for facebook fodder . . .

Until our choir director, Danny, lined us up, everyone showing just a twinge of tension and anticipation at the thought of singing live for 43,000 fans in the park plus a national television audience broadcasting on the MLB Network!!

Danny brought taped warm-up exercises to get our voices ready – and a run-thru or two of the song – pretty tight in that small room!

Time was getting short!  The ladies made sure every hair was in place and lips were well glossed!

An escort came to the door – “It’s time!”  And, out into the hallway once again – this time, to the field entrance!

Lining up . . .

It was exciting to be sharing this experience with both my husband, the tall fellow to the right with the moustache . . .

And my daughter, Bethany – the two of us pictured here lining up with the sopranos.

We were ushered onto the field to take our place in front of some microphones.  The moment we’d looked forward to was finally here!  Wow!  This place was BIG!!!

What’s this?  From behind, the Philly Phanatic mascot fellow – quite a hoot entertaining at all the games – drove up on his Phanatic Mobile and jumped right into the middle of the altos!

He made it clear to Danny that he wanted a crack at directing us for a minute – Danny graciously bowed to this towering green bit of mayhem!

Philly Phanatic lifted his arms and directed us up and down the scale with finesse!  Then, just as quickly as he’d come – he was gone!

But, not for long!  He’d hopped back on his scooter and drove around behind Danny who’d been trying to settle us.  All was now lost, as our entertaining green friend grabbed Danny’s bald head and began spit shining it . . .

The moment was broadcast on the big screen, too!

Soon, all was hushed as a voice over the loudspeaker called everyone to a moment of national reverence, and all the attention was directed to our choir on the field . . .

A perfect pitch opening note and the familiar strains of, “Oh, say, can you see . . .” echoed throughout the park!

The camera capturing it for the big screen panned our group (see me just behind the right microphone), and caught a bit of Danny directing (he’s very entertaining to watch, by the way) . . .

And, zoomed in for a nice close-up!  Why – that’s Bethany, with me just in front!

“And, the home – of the – brave!”  Thunderous applause!  It was done!  A great job and a great time!

Filing back to grab our gear, we took a moment to pose with our hometown newspaper in the locker room for a special feature the paper runs each week . . .

Then, found our place in the stands.  That’s Ed in the middle wearing the white Phillies shirt and binoculars hanging around his neck, pointing directly into the camera . . . 

Ate every wrong thing on my diet list – two hotdogs, a soft pretzel AND a vanilla waffle cone with sprinkles.  No, I did not photograph that intestinal disaster.  After eats, we took one last photo to say – “We were there!”  Here’s Ed and I with Sam, again, towards the end of – I am sorry to say – a losing game.  Phillies lost both games that day. 

No matter.  We just sang the Star Spangled Banner at Citizen’s Bank Park in Philadelphia for a Phillies game and we all felt like World Series Winners!

So . . . um . . . can we do this again next year?

Note:  Special thanks to Pastor Frank for uploading his pictures of the event on facebook early today so I could grab the big screen and stands photos for this post.  Thanks, Frank!

 

About Miss Kathy

"I teach families how to restore their God-given authority as the primary educator in their child’s life through the experience of reading together as a family. Learn how to use literature to create teachable moments, build strong minds, and bind loving hearts."

Kathryn Ross, writer, speaker, and dramatist, ignites a love of literature and learning to equip young and old towards developing a Family Literacy Lifestyle—reading together, learning together, loving together. Her works challenge families to deepen their literacy skills and grow into the greater things God has purposed for them. She’s taught in Christian and homeschool circles, trained in the Principle Approach® through the Foundation for American Christian Education. Miss Kathy owns Pageant Wagon Publishing, producing homeschool enrichment materials, devotional works, study guides, and theatrical dramas for church, school, and community production. She podcasts at TheWritersReverie.com and blogs at PageantWagonPublishing.com.

Comments

  1. What fun!! Thanks for taking us through the excitement with you. :)

    Linda

  2. Oh, what an honor!! Thanks for sharing all those great photos. Not quite as good as being there…but close!! And I’m sure y’all remembered the words, unlike the gal that sang at the Super Bowl.

    I grew up in Pittsburgh, so I was a Pirate fan for many years. In recent years, though, for my NL team, it’s the Phillies. (Actually, I came to the Phillies by way of Houston, as I’m really a Brad Lidge fan, so when he moved to the Phillies, I did too.) I’m pulling for a Phillies/Red Sox series, as Boston is my #1 team!!

    Blessings,
    Patti

  3. That’s awesome! I can’t even imagine how fun that must have been… how proud you all must be. Fun post. Felt like I was there!

  4. Hey Kathy,

    Thanks for stopping by. I FINALLY feel caught up from all that work cleaning out from Hurricane Irene. Still have more to go, but can finally have some down-time to blog and catch up with the rest of you!

    Can you believe school’s already started again? Seems like you were just clearing out for summer.

    Have you made an ATCs? If so, post some pics and let’s have a look!!

    Jill

  5. Thank you for posting this! How incredibly cool is that? You guys sounded GREAT too ~ it was a blessing and a half to see it happen! NICE.

  6. A Play-By-Play through pictures.
    I felt like I was there with you guys.
    To bad there wasn’t any audio. I would of loved to hear everyone singing.

  7. That is just soooooooo awesome…my husband would love to do that. The closest we have gotten is being the tunnel for the Texas Rangers to run through…with five boys you can imagine the amount of ball we have seen…and now watching the Texas Rangers

    What a wonderful memory maker…and what fun.

  8. How much fun!!! Looks like you all had a spectacular time!

  9. Kathy,
    What a super experience for your choir! Thanks for all the great pictures…I really felt like I was walking along those tunnels with you. Fun post!

    ~Jean

  10. What a great honor that was! A wonderful memory for all you Vineland Phanatics! That was so much fun!

  11. What a fun adventure! Good job!

    Deanna

  12. Oh what fun! Thanks for sharing all of the pictures and the tale of your adventure! You all look so happy (and only a tiny bit nervous!)

  13. What a wonderful evening! I would consider it an honor to be able to do something like that. (With the pipes I would bring to the party, I guess it would be a miracle.)

    To top it off, it looks like you all had a wonderful time the whole evening. I’m going to click the link. I hope the video is up. I would love to hear you all sing.

  14. Oh what fun. You must have had a blast – looks like it:) And I’ll take seconds on your supper:)

    Leann

  15. Great rundown of event for a spectacular occassion..A fabulous memory for sure.. complete with minute by minute photography…It just doesn’t get any better M’Lady…Hugs

  16. How fun! Oh say can I see – Kathy? YES! Loved all the pictures, they captured the excitement so well. I felt like I was with you. What a thrill, what a privilege.

    The Phillies lost – oh well. But YOU GUYS hit a homer!

    By the way, your daughter Bethany is a very beautiful young lady. And you, on the big screen?? NOT TOO SHABBY EITHER!

    GOD BLESS!

  17. Excellent, glad you performed better than the phillies have been.

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