Monday, October 18, 2021

Eric Conway: Morgan choir sings national anthem at Ravens game against the Chargers!


Dr. Eric Conway writes:

Hello Morgan Fine Arts Community,

Given that Morgan State University was a proud sponsor of the Baltimore Ravens football game today against the Los Angeles Chargers, the MSU choir sang the national anthem for the game!   Surprising to most, this was the first time the Morgan choir had ever sung the anthem for a Ravens game.  Given NFL policy states that all persons must sign an affidavit positively affirming COVID vaccinated status, I had the task of picking fifteen choir members from the hundred plus on the choir, who could comply with the NFL COVID policy.

We left campus at 9AM to arrive early for a soundcheck before the stadium opened to the public!  Upon arrival we were given Ravens credentials to get onto the field.  We had to be off the field by 10:30AM for both teams to take field for their warm-up time before the game.  After our warm-up, we took a group photo on the field, and were escorted to the tented area with refreshments.

To be early on a Sunday morning, everyone around the stadium was as cheerful as could be!  It was certainly a beautiful day today!  Because of the Morgan sponsorship, there were probably more Morgan alumni in the stadium than is typical.  I saw several Morgan alums who were attending the game, working at the stadium, or playing in the Ravens Marching Band.  

I spoke with the Ravens Marching band president, John Ziemann, who told me to keep sending the Morgan musicians to the band, as they have done quite well in the organization.  Although the Morgan Marching band has played with the Ravens Marching band in the past, unfortunately, he and Melvin Miles, Morgan band director,  were not able to align schedules this time around to rehearse the two bands together for today’s game.  

You will see pics of the choir waiting to go onto the field, seeing the Marching band precede us.  We happened to enter out of the tunnel, on the side with the L.A. Chargers, so we saw them parade past us prior to our entrance!

It was great to hear “Morgan State University” announced so many times during the game!  At least twice a quarter, highlights from the game would be shown on the big screen with the Morgan trademark conspicuously shown!

The choir has performed many places over the years, but this stadium of fans certainly was the largest live public performance that we have ever enjoyed.  Of course, as you can imagine, it is challenging to sing in a stadium with the slow speed of acoustics in a space as large as M&T stadium.  I must say the anthem went very well.  A choir member texted me a few audience reactions to our performance below.

Although the anthem takes a little more than a minute and a half to sing,  we all agreed that we were very exhausted after the performance.  We were all given great seats to see the game after we performed.  We enjoyed a commanding football performance by our Baltimore Ravens - leading to a conference leading 5-1 record.  We thoroughly enjoyed the day!

See pics attached from our day.  Also see links to videos of our performance: from the stands and from the field.


Comments after the performance from fans in the stadium:
"A woman just came up to me and told me that she and her husband have been season ticket holders for years now and they both agreed that that was the best rendition of the star spangled banner they’ve heard here!"

"Another lady just told me she got emotional during it."

Ravens Marching band arrival

Morgan choir anthem performance from the stands:

Morgan choir anthem performance from the field:

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