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Filled with anticipation and hope that their team would make the first basket, the crowd of more than 4,000 people in Western Kentucky University's Diddle Arena stopped their pre-game banter and listened quietly to the 200-year-old words of "The Star-Spangled Banner."
Choral director Cyndi Chadwick said when the Campbellsville High School Choir finished its performance of the national anthem before the Houchens Industries/KHSAA Girls' Sweet 16 championship game on Sunday, they were greeted with an outstanding response from the crowd, administrators and referees.
"They represented Campbellsville High School in a superb way!" Chadwick said. "So many times, the national anthem is not performed very well or some performers tend to show off instead performing it with the dignity and reverence it deserves."
Chadwick said the national anthem is a difficult song to sing and should be performed as written. She said the choir learned of the opportunity to perform at the game from Superintendent Mike Deaton, who received an invitation from the Kentucky High School Athletic Association requesting the choir audition.
"We worked for several days to prepare," Chadwick said.
She said the key to the choir's successful performance was the amount of practice the students put into it. Upon their arrival at Diddle Arena, Chadwick said the choir made sure to squeeze in one final practice.
"It was a wonderful opportunity to not only share the gift of music at an athletic event, but to also showcase the wonderfully talented students that I have the pleasure and joy of working with every week at Campbellsville High School."