Barkley Bridge singers to perform at NBA game
Tracy B. Cieniewicz, Hartselle Enquirer
Four rows of smiling faces, ponytails and anticipation gazed out from the stage of the First United Methodist Church Ministry Center recently as an audience of 30 or so church members and family readied themselves for a patriotic performance.
However, the young performers were readying themselves for something much bigger.
The Barkley Bridge Elementary School fifth grade choir has been invited to perform the national anthem at Phillips Arena in Atlanta, Ga., for the March 5 Atlanta Hawks NBA basketball game in an "American Musical Salute."
Choir Director Sherri Rahm said the students are excited by the opportunity to lead thousands of professional basketball fans in the national anthem.
"We're all very excited," Rahm said. "This is a thrilling opportunity for a great group of children. They have great talent and a great voice."
Rahm explained the invitation was extended to the choir through their application to the National Anthem Project, a national program to get America singing "The Star Spangled Banner."
National Anthem Project President Joel Biggs said the project is being recognized by MENC, The American Sports Broadcasters Association, The History Channel, the Smithsonian Institute and chaired by First Lady Laura Bush.
"No other institution provides a better forum for developing talent than our school music programs," Biggs explained, "and there is no better stage for sharing that talent than at a professional sporting event. Together we can inspire your students to achieve excellence in all they endeavor to do."
The invitation also includes the opportunity for the choir to share some of its favorite patriotic songs, such as "My Country 'Tis of Thee" and "You're A Grand Old Flag," in a concert appearance on the concourse during halftime.
Fundraising is currently under way to defray the nearly $200 cost per person for students and chaperones to attend, which brought the choir to perform for the audience at FUMC. The choir sang a patriotic medley, which was recorded during the FUMC performance for CD sales beginning Jan. 30.
Rahm said CDs can be purchased for a donation to the choir at the BBES front office or through any fifth grade choir student. For more information or to make donations, call Sherri Rahm at 773-1931.