AUBURN — Something about bombs bursting and rockets glaring — over and over and over — strikes a chord with Jeff Scully, director of the Maine Games.
“I love this event more than anything else we do,” Scully said Saturday. “And it has nothing to do with sports.”
For the fourth time, he gathered dozens of singers for a morning-long audition. In all, 36 people — boys, girls, parents and grandparents — gathered Saturday at Auburn’s Great Falls School to sing the national anthem.
Their goal: win a chance to sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” at the start of a Red Sox game in Boston’s Fenway Park.
One by one, they walked onto the stage and sang the song. There was no accompaniment. Four judges — Scully, two Shriners and last year’s winner, Hannah Kramer — watched and took notes.
“It was awesome,” Scully said, still on a patriotic high more than two hours later.
He chose the singers to audition from more than 100 applicants. Each one filled out a form that included the question: “What does the national anthem mean to you?”
Their answers were used to thin the applicants to a manageable number.
He broke the 36 singers into six groups of six each. As each group finished, he and the judges met and settled on the call-backs.
By 1:30 p.m., it was over.
Rebeckah Kay Perry, a 24-year-old Bangor mother, won the contest.
A recording of her rendition will go to Red Sox offices on Yawkey Way for a decision on whether she’ll sing.
Scully believes she’ll get her chance.
After all, Kramer, last year’s winner, sang before a raucous Sunday night Red Sox-Yankees game. The game and her rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” was televised nationally on ESPN.
“It was unbelievable,” Scully said. “I knew she could sing, but you should have heard the crowd.”