NATIONAL ANTHEM PROJECT
ALL-STAR SINGER NAMED FOR COLORADO
Local winner to Donate $1,000 to York College;
Campaign Traveling the Country to Spotlight Importance of Music Education
July 3, 2006 – The National Anthem Project, an effort to re-teach Americans to sing the “Star-Spangled Banner” and spotlight school music programs, has named York College junior Zach Rush as the National Anthem Project All-Star Singer for Colorado. Zach competed in the statewide singing contest on May 13, 2006 when the tour was in Denver, CO. The contest is part of a year-long, 50-city tour that will visit every state in the country. The local stop included a concert and singing contest at Denver City Park. This national education campaign is led by the National Association for Music Education (MENC) and National Presenting Sponsor Jeep. The National Music Industry Sponsor is NAMM, the International Music Products Association.
MENC awards a $1,000 donation in the name of each contest winner to the local music program of their choice and each winner is given the opportunity to perform at a concert in Washington, D.C. in 2007. Zach Rush is donating his $1,000 prize to the York College Music Department. Contestants were asked to sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” on stage without accompaniment, and are judged on their vocal skills such as pitch and range, their ability to engage the crowd, stage presence, and if they sang the correct words to the song.
Two out of three Americans don’t know the words to the National Anthem, according to a Harris Poll. This startling statistic prompted MENC, the world’s largest arts education association, to spearhead the project and sine the spotlight on the importance of school music programs, as this is where most Americans learn the national anthem and other patriotic songs. The campaign launched on the steps of the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C. on March 10, 2005, and Mrs. Laura Bush serves as the Honorary Chairperson of the program. Additional sponsors include: The History Channel; Conn-Selmer, Inc.; The Gibson Foundation, part of the Gibson Guitar Corporation; Bank of America; and American Musical Salutes.
“Recent budget cuts to school music programs deny students across the country access to learning about our country’s historical musical traditions” says Dr. Clark Roush, Chair of the York College Music Department. “Through the National Anthem Project, we aim to empower our local school boards, teachers, and parents here in York to voice their support for quality music education for all of our children, as music is a vital part of a complete education.”
The initiative is supported by more than 200 civic, education, and entertainment organizations including the Girls Scouts of the U.S.A., American Legion, and professional sports leagues such as the NBA and the NFL. The official musical ambassadors of the National Anthem Project are legendary country music artists The Oak Ridge Boys.
The extensive tour will travel to at least one city in all 50 states throughout 2006, where the National Anthem Project truck will stop at local events, schools, sporting events and civic locations to educate local citizens and generate excitement for the program. In addition, the multi-faceted campaign will include education initiatives in schools across the country and special performances and alliances with professional sporting events.
For more information about how to get involved and support the National Anthem Project and school music education, please visit www.thenationalanthemproject.org