AUBURN – Saturday, April 4, dozens of Mainers will compete for the honor of singing “The Star-Spangled Banner” at regional sporting events. The competition held by the Maine Games will start at 11 a.m. at Lewiston-Auburn Community Little Theater’s Great Falls Performing Arts Center on Academy Street.

“It’s not ‘American Idol,’ by any measure,” said Maine Games Executive Director Jeff Scully. “We are seeking a truly traditional and respectful rendition of ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ and not someone’s own interpretation.”

This year, the top singer will be given the opportunity to perform ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ prior to a Portland Seadogs game at Hadlock Field and will be offered the opportunity to sing prior to a Boston Red Sox game at Fenway Park. (The Red Sox reserve the right of final approval).

“As always, we’re looking for a voice that can set the tone for the Maine Games. We want a singer who can send a chill down one’s spine when they hit the ‘rocket’s red glare,” said Scully.

This will be the third Maine Games national anthem audition, and the first time it has been held in Auburn. Singers ranging in age from 13 to 50 have already applied to become one of those chosen to audition. Anyone who wishes to audition must preregister and fill out an online application at the Maine Games Web site: www.mainegames.org. The application deadline is March 25.

“The day I realized what ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ meant to me and my fellow Americans was on the Saturday after the 9/11 attacks in 2001. I sang the national anthem at my junior high school football game and felt an energy between myself and the crowd,” Kasey Little of Auburn wrote in her application.

Carole Wise, also of Auburn, shares a similar sentiment. “What I love about singing ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ before any event is that it draws in a spirit of unity. It allows an opportunity for everyone to connect universally, for a moment, even when many may or may not know others around them.”

Singers will be given a maximum of 90 seconds for their most respectful patriotic version of the song. The top singers will have their version videotaped to be shown on the Maine Games Web site and on YouTube. For more information, log on to www.mainegames.org.

The auditions are open to the public; a $3 suggested donation will be asked at the door.

The Maine Games is the Pine Tree State’s annual statewide Olympic-style sports festival. The Maine Games is a member of the National Congress of State Games, which is part of the U.S. Olympic Committee’s multisport organizations council. Since 1986, more than 200 U.S. Olympians have gotten their start in State Games. To learn more, visit www.stategames.org.


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