Students sing at ‘dome

Adding to the excitement already found in Minneapolis this past weekend The Singing Statesmen performed on Saturday at the Metrodome before the Minnesota Twins game.

The group sang the national anthem in front of 38,072 fans that were in attendance for the Twins and Kansas City Royals game. The game was broadcasted on national television.

“I’m not sure how many fans will be there, but this will be our largest audience of the year,” conductor Gary Schwartzhoff said
beforehand.

This is not the first time the Statesmen have performed at the Metrodome. The group performed there last year for a Minnesota Vikings game and also have sung there for the past five years at the final Saturday Twins game of the season, Schwartzhoff said.

“The most exciting part is singing for that amount of people,” Statesmen member Tom Holtan said. “We are singing for the country and a variety of different people. It was such a rush.”

Holtan also said it was cool to be on the field, walking within five feet from the players.

“It was a good opportunity for us to see the Twins in person, especially with the pennant race they are currently in,” Holtan said.

Holtan said that the performance went really well. The Statesmen invited alumni to the game to sing, and eight alumni participated. Holtan highlighted the importance of alumni, because of the Statesmen creed “Once a Statesmen, Always a Statesmen.”

The Statesmen stayed for the game and sat in the upper deck behind home plate. Arrangements were made so alumni, family and friends could be able to sit with the Statesmen as well. The Statesmen had over 1,000 people affiliated with the group at a game a few years back, Holtan said.

The Statesmen get in contact with Craig Gumz, a former Statesmen, who works for the Twins. He has made the connection and made the opportunity available for the Statesmen to perform every year, Schwartzhoff said.

The trip to the Twin Cities will not be the only one made this year by the Statesmen. Schwartzhoff said the Statesmen will be doing a November tour in the Minneapolis area later on this fall as well.

Unfortunately, FOX did not show the national anthem on television. Even if they would have, the Milwaukee Brewers were playing at the same time on FOX, so Wisconsin residents wouldn’t have seen the Twins game anyway. But, there may be a way for people to view and hear the Statesmen from Saturday’s performance who weren’t able to attend.

“Some of our performances have been placed on Youtube a day or two after our performances,” Schwartzhoff said.

There are at least five videos currently on Youtube that people have posted of the Statesmen in previous performances.

Holtan said the performance at the game ranks pretty high amongst performances the Statesmen have done. But he pointed out that they only got to sing the national anthem, while at other performances they sing a lot more.

“We didn’t get to sing as much,” he said. “The more we can sing the better.”

Some other trips the statesmen have made in the past include trips to Corcovado, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in Dec. of 2005, the Karlskirche in Vienna, Austria in 2002 and at St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican, Rome in 2002, according to the statesmen university Web site.