After winning three of the last four, we enter the final game of our home stand with renewed spirits and heightened optimism. A few victories do wonders for confidence, and things have slowly been on the upswing. Last night’s inspiration may have been partly attributed to the Quakes’ honoring of Armed Forces Day. This game included the wearing of red, white, and blue uniform tops that were auctioned off for a charitable cause, as well as the honoring of military personnel throughout the game.
With a patriotic mood in mind, I got to thinking about the National Anthem we hear prior to every game and some of the features that make some performances better than others. Personally, I get a bit antsy during the Anthem as the game is about to begin and I have to stand still for a period of time. This brief anxiety leaves me hoping for shorter anthems over the longer performances.
I see there being three components to the Anthem: length, type, and originality. I have already touched on length, which tends to be directly correlated to anthem type. Anthems can be performed vocally or instrumentally, and done solo or in groups. Instrumental anthems tend to be on the shorter end, with there being minimal room for musical interpretation and drawn out notes. The same goes for group performances; these anthems are typically shorter in length than solo renditions.
Finally, the last Anthem component is originality. The desirability of this trait differs from listener to listener; however, I prefer that there be as little variation from the “traditional” Anthem as possible. I do not enjoy hearing certain words and notes drawn out in a variety of ways so the performer can express his or her individuality. Instead, I prefer the traditional Anthem because it is intended to be a reminder of the freedoms we enjoy as Americans and the people that give their lives to protect these liberties.
To sum things up, I find the most enjoyable anthems to be performed instrumentally by a group. This is not to say that I have not heard solo vocalists put a solid performance together; however, when looking for a terse and traditional National Anthem, group instrumental renditions are my preference. Despite the fact that some performances are personally more enjoyable than others, the efforts to provide the subtle reminder that our freedoms have not come without a fight are always greatly appreciated and admired by all.