Saturday, February 6, 2010

Singing the National Anthem

Julia's big week continued Wednesday, with a trip to the Seventy-Sixers game with her school chorus to sing the national anthem. For a seven o'clock game against the Chicago Bulls, parents needed to drop the kids off at the Wachovia Center at 4:45pm. When I dropped off Julia, Mr Lenderman asked if I wanted to stay with her and help chaperon the kids, so I said sure.
The first order of business was to get the kids lined up and down onto the floor for a quick run-through on how to get on and off the court quickly, and a sound check. Here Julia is waiting in the tunnel. It was very interesting to get to walk through parts of the arena that regular people don't get to see.

Sound check on court. It is around 5:30 by now, and we have been practicing lining up and moving.

The court. After the sound check, we had about 45 minutes to kill before having to regroup to get ready to sing. This is the view from our seats. At one point, we stopped to listen to a gospel choir singing in the atrium, and met two Sixers dancers who were working the crowd. We got pictures and autographs.

Getting ready in the tunnel. The national anthem was to be promptly at 7pm, so we gathered and lined up in the tunnel at around 6:50 to be ready when called on.

Big men. The chorus is on the court and ready to go at 6:55. The players were on the court getting loose, and some of them took a moment to come over to the kids and slap some hands, which was nice. Allen Iverson wasn't there for the game - excused for personal reasons because one of his kids was sick. His act has gotten so old...but that's another story.

Almost ready to sing. Sixers dancer Erica is smiling for the camera - she is one of the two we met earlier when we got pictures and autographs. The sacrifices we make for our children!

Show time.

After singing, we marched the kids back up to the concourse, where they were picked up by their parents. Julia and I went up to our seats and watched the first half of the game before heading home. We had a really enjoyable time, and I lucked out by getting to hang around with Julia, as I got to see all sorts of backstage areas that were interesting to me. We got home in time to see the end of the fourth quarter and the overtime; the Sixers ended up winning (which is a rarity - their record as of this morning is 17-31).

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