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OCU Student to Sing National Anthem at NBA Home Opener
Although she admits to being a “little nervous,” Oklahoma City University grad student Carri Perrier says she is more than ready to perform the “Star Spangled Banner” in front of thousands of eager fans Tuesday for one of the most locally anticipated events in years – the first home game of the Oklahoma City Thunder professional basketball team. Perrier was selected for the big day amongst several contestants, and what makes her selection even more surprising is the fact that her try-out was a bit of a snap decision. “A friend of mine I sing with at church told me he was going down there to audition right after the service a few weeks ago,” Perrier said. “So I thought well, why not? I’ll go, too.” A lot of Perrier’s singing experience comes from performing as a group in St. Luke’s United Methodist Church choir. However, singing solo in front of large crowds is nothing new. To be more specific, singing the National Anthem in front of large crowds at sporting events is nothing new for Perrier. The former “pageant girl” contestant has performed the tune at an Oklahoma City Yard Dawgz game, the Big 12 Conference college baseball tournament and a Major League Baseball game. Despite having plenty of experience with the song, Perrier said she’s working hard to prepare herself for the Ford Center gig. And even though she has gone over “The Star Spangled Banner” a million times it never gets boring or repetitive. “It’s a song I really enjoy doing. It challenges your range and it’s a lot of fun to perform,” she said. “I also feel like we need to dig a little deeper into our patriotism right now, so the song means a lot to me and I’m proud to sing it.” So Perrier has been practicing the song alone a few extra times each day since she found out last week that she would be performing it Tuesday. And with her schedule those few extra moments are precious. With a bachelor’s degree in international political science under her belt, Perrier is currently going after a master’s degree in liberal arts. “We’re also in the middle of mid-terms,” she pointed out. Not that she would pass up the chance to open the inaugural season. She expects the time between the 4:30 p.m. sound check and the 7 p.m. performance before tip-off to quickly fly away, and the rest of the evening is basketball excitement time. “It’s been a lot of work the last couple weeks, but it sure is nice to have a comp ticket. This is going to be a lot of fun,” she said.