Drillers Hold Final National Anthem Auditions
With baseball season quickly approaching, the Tulsa Drillers held the final round of their national anthem auditions on Saturday, February 11. The Drillers’ anthem search resulted in more than 150 video submissions from all over Oklahoma and even as far away as Nashville, Tennessee. The top 50 candidates from the video submissions were invited to perform live for an esteemed panel of judges, which included Steven Tyler (Justin Gorski), J.Lo (Lynda Davis), Simon Cowell (Mike Taranto) and Randy Jackson (Brian Nhira).
|Trumpeter Jeff Lyles waits to perform the national anthem. (Drew LaFollette)|
The auditions were conducted at ONEOK Field in the Conference Center. The room was divided in half – on one side contestants performed for the judges using a live microphone, while the other half of the room was filled with anxious singers.
The tension in the “waiting room” was high, resembling a scene from backstage at the Grammys. Each time someone finished their audition the awaiting applicants cheered and applauded the effort. “What was great was how supportive all the contestants were of each other,” said Drillers Game Entertainment Manager Justin Gorski.
What made the auditions particularly interesting was how talented and diverse the applicant pool was, with the youngest performer being a 12-year-old boy and the most “mature” contestant being a gentleman in his 60’s. The 50 finalists presented a wide variety of musical talents, among them were solo singers, duets, quartets and even a 9-person ensemble. The most unique renditions were from a trumpet player and a whistler.
Drillers’ fans are in for an exciting season with terrific performers helping to start the games off right, said Gorski, after being impressed by the finalists. The winners will be announced in March. Be sure to arrive a little early to Drillers games this season to hear just how talented these national anthem performers are!