By Mike Kinney

Oh say, can you sing? That was the question at hand today in Grand Prairie.

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In today’s Through the Lens I went to Lone Star Park for the national anthem auditions. Each year the park has 80 nights of horse racing that is kicked off by the national anthem. They try to get 80 different singers into the park to perform, so they have open auditions where anyone can come and tryout.

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Most of those who tryout have sung the Star Spangled Banner at Lone Star Park or other venues and have no problems. There are those who come and audition for their very first time. One girl told me it has always been a secret dream of hers to sing the national anthem before a sporting event. Most everyone can hit all the notes but then some people stretch and strain to get to that high note.

I commend anyone who steps up to that microphone, facing a couple cameras and an empty set of stands because I think it would be harder to sing the national anthem to the empty seats than to a packed house. The hardest part they say is the delayed audio. One of the performers told me you hear it three times, once when you sing, about a half a second later it comes out of the speakers behind you and then it bounces off the glass of the front stretch building. That tends to mess up a lot of people who have never dealt with the echo before.

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The best piece of advice one man gave for all singers is to sing it the way it’s written. Don’t try to make it your own. It’s the national anthem and you should sing it with respect. It’s an emotional song and if done right it will send chills through the crowd.