Tuesday, May 29, 2012

KCKCC Dean sings National Anthem at Wrigley Field


With more than 40,000 Chicago Cubs fans looking on, Kansas City Kansas Community College Dean of Humanities and Fine Arts Dr. Cherilee Walker highlighted emotional Memorial Day pre-game activities by singing “God Bless America” and the “Star Spangled Banner” at Chicago’s historic Wrigley Field Monday.

An active Reservist with the 85th Army Band of Arlington Heights, Ill., under the command and control of the 88th Regional Support Command in Fort McCoy, Wis., Dr. Walker was fleet vocalist for the U.S. Navy while on active duty and during four years stationed in Naples, Italy, she performed in 35 countries in western Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.

A mezzo soprano, Dr. Walker’s performances included the Rome Jazz Festival, the World Military Games in Rome and the Rose of Tralee Festival in Ireland along with numerous diplomatic functions.

“After 14 years as a military musician, there aren’t many patriotic openers that make me nervous but I have to admit, this one was a little different,” admitted Dr. Walker.

Dr. Walker shared the opening ceremonies with “Challenger,” the American eagle that performed a fly-over during the anthem. “Apparently Challenger is also a music critic,” noted Dr. Walker. “As I was singing some vocaleses to warm up beforehand, he started cawing along with me.”

The emotional landing of Challenger near the end of the National Anthem and the final “Home of the Brave” by Dr. Walker both drew thunderous ovations from the more than 40,000 fans in attendance and undoubtedly sent shivers up and down the spines of many of the million watching on TV.


PHOTO: Dr. Cherilee Walker, the Dean of Humanities and Fine Arts at KCKCC and an active Reservist with the 85th Army Band, shared the spotlight with “Challenger,” the American eagle which performed a fly-over during Dr. Walker’s singing of the National Anthem in emotional Memorial Day pre-game ceremonies at Chicago’s historic Wrigley Field Monday.