Awesome. (With Thanks.)

One of our pet peeves here at Raised on Hoecakes are singers / performers who use the National Anthem as a platform to show their vocal range or supposed talent rather than letting the crowd sing with them. We have always thought the Star Spangled Banner belongs to us all and should be sung by all. It is a group participation event – not a “look at me” performance.

Enter the members of the Kentucky All State Choir Championships.

Each year the junior and senior high students attend the competition in Louisville and stay at the Hyatt Hotel.

What is amazing is that each night of the competition at 11 PM, the kids come out of their rooms and stand looking out over the interior of the hotel.

What happens next is amazing and at the same time, awesome.

The above video is from 2013 looking down from one of the upper floors. (We like the video because it is wide screen.)

Here is one from the same year, looking up.

Below the fold is the video from the 2014 competition, once again from a slightly different viewpoint.

It is the type of thing that give you hope for the country.

It also gives you goosebumps.

Well done kids.

Well done.

We saw this on another site and there were comments saying that starting at 11 PM was too late and disrespectful to others staying at the hotel. Some people wondered why the tradition could not start earlier in the evening.

One commenter who attended the event explains the timing:

As an all-state band member, which happened at the same time as the all-state choir, let me fill you in on why it is at 11 pm. These kids have been in rehearsals from 8 in the morning until 9 at night. There is a one hour break for lunch, and another for dinner, but otherwise, they’re in rehearsal. They have to be allowed time to get back to their hotel before they can begin. It’s not far, but not all the choir members are in the same hotel. The Hyatt and the Galt House are the two primary hotels, and while they are fairly close together, they’re also the most expensive. Many counties can’t afford to let their kids stay there. As a result, lots of kids get bussed to less expensive and more distant hotels. To allow as much participation as possible, the “show” waits for them to drop off their music, etc., and return from that hotel before beginning. And trust me, if it’s all-state time, you’ll know. First of all, they tell you upon check-in. Second, at it is also the Kentucky Music Educators Association conference and all sorts of music shops go to display their wares, the rates go up from the population increase so even if they didn’t, you’d probably ask why it was so expensive. And third, none of the three choirs or the four instrumental groups (and those numbers may have gone up since I was there) ever go to lunch/dinner at the same time, so you’ll hear music from the Wednesday before the performances until the Sunday of the performances. Each group is somewhere around 80 people, and all of them have an extreme passion for music. Asking them to not practice would be like asking them not to breathe. And in case you want to avoid or attend, I don’t know when specifically this part happens, but the KMEA conference is always the first weekend in February, so from the Wednesday before to that Sunday will be your time frame. I do recommend seeing their actual performances at the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts, and you can find more information about tickets there. At any rate, I must agree there is never a wrong time for our National Anthem.

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