Students perform National Anthem at tennis matches

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    National anthem speakers can captivate an audience's attention like Marvin Gaye in the 1983 NBA All-Star game.

    For these four university students, they have the chance to participate in one of sport’s most storied traditions at men's tennis matches this semester.

    Mike Buhtanic

    Buhtanic is a senior sports broadcasting major from Illinois. He has been singing since he was in the 6th grade and started performing the National Anthem at sporting events in high school, he said. Buhtanic’s first time singing the anthem at a university setting was at the Pepperdine match on Feb. 26, he said.

    He is an intramural referee at the rec and works many events for sports broadcasting.

    “I’m always doing sports,” Buhtanic said.

    Buhtanic said his favorite sport is football and would love the opportunity to sing at a football game one day. Although he loves to sing, Buhtanic’s dream job is to be the broadcaster for the Chicago Cubs, he said.

    Tori Cress

    Cress is a first-year chemistry and musical theatre double major from Minnesota. Her brother is a senior at the university and was the one who convinced her to apply, she said.

    “It ended up being perfect that he is here. The school is far enough away that I can leave home and try to start some new stuff, but it’s also easy to get home,” Cress said. “The combination is a little weird. I’m on the pre-med track, but I decided I didn’t want to give up theatre quite yet.”

    Cress said she sang at football, hockey and volleyball games in high school. Cress said she has been taking voice lessons from a professional for about six years and has been doing musical theatre for the past nine years. Cress is the music director for Kappa Alpha Theta, a Frog Tutor and a member of intramural volleyball this year.

    She will sing at the March 26 match, which happens to fall on her birthday.

    Taylor Quick

    First-year student Quick was first and foremost a dancer. She has been dancing since she was two years old and said she chose the musical theatre major because it involves singing, dancing and acting.

    “I wanted to be a ballerina for a long time, but when I started singing I wanted to do all of it,” she said.

    When she was applying to schools, she said she auditioned at 13 schools for musical theatre before choosing TCU.

    “It’s hard to get in places for musical theatre because usually a school only accepts 10 or 15 students,” Quick said.

    Quick sang at the March 1 match against SMU.

    “Singing for our country is such a big deal. I think people don’t really think about it a lot because they know it’s coming and it happens at every game," Quick said. "When you get to sing it, you really get to think about the words and what it means, and you get to carry that pride along with you and show it to everyone else as you are singing.”

    Walter Sanders III

    Sanders is a graduate student in the masters of accounting program. He is a Fort Worth native and has sung the anthem at baseball games in previous years.

    “I love to sing. It is my passion,” Sanders said.

    Sanders said his favorite part about singing the anthem at sporting events is the different atmosphere.

    “Normally you sing on a stage or you sing in a choir. Now you are singing in the middle of a field. It’s a different crowd,” Sanders said.

    Sanders said he likes to sing the anthem at games but prefers to sing on stage. Sanders said he is in the gospel choir at the university, and he also plays the trumpet. His dream job is to be a background singer or a recording artist and sing gospel music.

    Sanders said he is excited to sing at a tennis match because he has never been to a match at the university. He will sing the anthem at the March 24 game against the University of California-Berkeley.

    Jessica Dollarhide

    Dollarhide is a sophomore master of divinity major from California and said she has been singing since she was 6 years old.

    Dollarhide said this will be the first time she has sung the anthem in a sports setting, but it is always something she has wanted to do. Dollarhide said she enjoys watching gymnastics, figure skating and synchronized swimming.

    Dollarhide sang the anthem March 9 at the North Carolina match.