Encourage crowds to sing anthem with soloists
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