BOSTON (CBS) – A dispatcher, teachers, and professional singers – they were all vying for the opportunity to perform the national anthem before Boston Bruins games.
“My wife and friends said I should give it a shot,” said Jim Buckley, who is a financial advisor and has no professional vocal training. “Once you get up there and you sing the first word it takes over naturally from that.”
Six-hundred online submissions were whittled down to 52 singers who received an invitation to perform a live audition at the Garden.
“Can they perform in this building, the anthem in under 90 seconds with a good presence and with good vocal quality?” said Matt Chmura of the Boston Bruins.
The audition was brought about by the retirement of the iconic Rene Rancourt who sang the anthem at Bruins home games for four decades. The team decided it will choose around 25 singers to fill Rancourt’s shoes.
“I am pretty excited. I haven’t done many auditions like this,” said Oladunni Oladipo.
Singers could show off their pipes on the Canadian and U.S. national anthems.
At 10-years old Sienna Gattinella is the youngest singer. “I am way more nervous than her. I could faint,” Sienna’s mother Dana Gattinella said.
The duet from two sisters was perhaps the most unique.
A panel of judges watched from various spots in the building and will review a recording of the performances over the next couple of weeks.
They will then reveal the singers who can lift up an arena through the anthem.