En­cour­age crowds to sing an­them with soloists

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - EDITORIAL PAGE -

As a for­mer choral di­rec­tor and oc­ca­sional soloist, I agree with your [July 27] ed­i­to­rial lament­ing the many ren­di­tions, aka “per­for­mances,” of our Na­tional An­them. I, too, pre­fer it be sung by the large crowds be­fore most sport­ing events. How­ever, it is a very dif­fi­cult song that ex­ceeds the vo­cal range of most adult singers. Its roots are found in an old English drink­ing song, i.e., “To Anacreon in Heaven.” (I only men­tion the source of the tune be­cause one might in­fer that it was bet­ter sung with the aid of a pint or two of wine.)

Per­haps a so­lu­tion might be for the crowd to be en­cour­aged to sing along with the soloist but with the caveat that it be per­formed with­out any em­bel­lish­ments. Some soloists should be re­minded that the crowd is there for the event that fol­lows the Na­tional An­them, not to be en­ter­tained, baf­fled or oth­er­wise dis­tracted by a ren­di­tion that leaves them won­der­ing what it was they just heard.

ROBERT RITSCHEL Bella Vista

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