The Atlanta Braves kicked off a big victory with the help of some local singers, as members of the J.C. Booth Middle Chorus performed the National Anthem at their game on June 25.
Chorus director Kara Post originally applied for her students to sing the National Anthem last September, then they had to prepare an audition video after their initial application was accepted. They found out they passed the test in November, then had to wait until January to find out their game assignment, June 25 against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
A dedicated group of 23 rising 7th and 8th grade chorus members rehearsed since April, including twice a week after the school year ended, to prepare for their big performance. They practiced the music and also practiced logistics like singing despite fireworks going off in the middle of the song.
Participating chorus members were Dillon Alonso, Bridget Burnett, Elise Cooper, Lidia Costanzo, Maddie Craig, Lauren Cronin, Cici Cundiff, Harper Fleming, Cuisle Gibney, Lillian Hodge, Faris Khan, Callie Knapp, Sara Marsh, Paige Martin, Abigail McCuin, Sofia Micciche, Hayden Oh, Ava Grace Phillips, Camila Ramos, Dana Read, Lillian Reiss, Robyn Sanders, and Caroline Votin.
Along with a “fan club” of around 250 family, friends, and teachers who came to the game to support the chorus, it took a community effort to prepare for the day. Booth Principal Deb Troutman supported the chorus throughout rehearsals and the performance, and McIntosh High athletic director Leon Hammond and baseball coach Tom Kelley let them get in a dress rehearsal on the Chiefs’ baseball field so they could really simulate the feeling of singing on the diamond.
Post said it was a thrilling experience for her young singers to perform for a sold-out stadium, and two Dodger players even wished them well.
“They sang beautifully with great poise and confidence,” Post said of her chorus. “And it was the only Braves win in the weekend series, so we brought them luck!”