From singing alongside “American Idol” winner Kris Allen, to a feature in Soiree magazine, the CAC choir is not new to the limelight. This weekend, however, the students of the Mustang high school choir will sing for their largest audience yet when they perform the National Anthem for Saturday’s Memphis Grizzlies home game at FedEx Forum.
Janice Northen, CAC’s high school choir director, said she was approached by a Memphis Grizzlies representative last semester after he discovered a video of her students on the school website. The representative asked Northen to send him a few recordings of the choir. That week, Northen recorded the class singing “The Star Spangled Banner” and submitted it along with a video of their performance with Kris Allen at “An Evening at CAC” in 2013.
Northen said her students’ excitement after learning they would be performing at an NBA game was unparalleled. “I knew about the opportunity for a couple of weeks before I could tell them, and it was really hard to keep it a secret,” Northen said. “When I finally did tell them, I’m pretty sure all of Central Arkansas heard them screaming with excitement.”
Junior Caroline Leverett has been part of the CAC choir since the program’s inception in 2011. Leverett said she and her classmates were thrilled at the opportunity. “We were so excited when we found out. Everyone in the room was screaming and it took about five minutes for us to settle down,” Leverett said. “It’s going to be really cool for our school’s choir to be on national television. I think it’s a great opportunity, especially since they came to us instead of us approaching them.”
The choir performed the National Anthem last semester during chapel on 9/11 and Veteran’s Day. Northen said she and the students have been polishing the piece since Christmas break.
The Mustang high school choir will travel to Memphis to perform the National Anthem this Saturday, January 24. The Grizzlies tipoff against the Philadelphia 76ers at 7 p.m.