Student choir to sing at Rapids game |

Student choir to sing at Rapids game

Tonya Bina
Grand County, CO Colorado

The 7th and 8th grade East Grand Middle School choir has been selected to lead the “Star Spangled Banner” at the May 22 Colorado Rapids professional soccer game.

On the field of the 18,000-seat Dick’s Sporting Goods Park stadium, about 30 East Grand Middle School students will stand and sing the National Anthem; and, since the Rapids are playing Toronto FC, the students plan to sing the Canadian National Anthem “O Canada” as well.

“It’s in the best range for middle-schoolers, and it’s shorter,” said band, choir and drama teacher Dana Jellick about the students’ progress in learning the Canadian anthem. “They’ve already learned it.”

But the students are still perfecting the Star Spangled Banner, which is “notorious for being one of the hardest national anthems,” Jellick said.

One of the first notes of the song is its lowest, and at the very end is the highest note almost two octaves away. The choir will be singing “a pretty complicated arrangement” of the anthem, Jellick said, and is presently perfecting breaths, dynamics and vowels.

Last year, Jellick arrived at the idea of the student choir auditioning for this rare chance.

“I’m a big Rapids fan,” Jellick said, “and when I went to a game last season, there was an elementary school choir, and I thought, ‘My kids can do this.'”

Jellick recorded the middle school choir and sent in the audition video in December, which included students’ statements about the “awesome” Rapids team and their love of soccer.

During spring break, the choir teacher learned they had been selected.

The Middle School choir will now be selling tickets to the game as a fundraiser for the performance arts in East Grand.

The choir itself is being charged the group rate for Rapids tickets sold locally at face value, and the difference raised will support the Performing Arts Booster Club, which raises funds for instruments, repairs, field trips and drama club expenses.

Joining the Colorado Avalanche and the Denver Broncos, the Colorado Rapids – founded in 1996 – was crowned national champion in 2010, their first Major League Soccer championship cup.

The Rapids 2011 regular season began on March 19 and continues to the end of October.

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