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O' Say Can You Sing?

O' Say Can You Sing?


Vocalists invited to enter Star-Spangled Sing- Off: winner will perform at Star-Spangled Spectacular

April 15, 2014Press Release

Today the Maryland State Arts Council (MSAC) and Star-Spangled 200 (SS200) kickoff the search to find Maryland’s most talented vocalist to perform the National Anthem at Star-Spangled Spectacular. MSAC and SS200 invite Maryland citizens to show their patriotism by entering the Star-Spangled Sing-Off.  The winner will have the chance to perform the National Anthem in September when the nation celebrates the 200th anniversary of the Star-Spangled Banner in Baltimore.  The top prize also includes $1,814 and accommodations during the event.

To participate, vocalists must record their solo, a cappella rendition of the National Anthem, post it to YouTube and enter the contest at by Sunday, May 25, 2014. 

“Two hundred years ago, Maryland-born Francis Scott Key was so inspired by the Star-Spangled Banner flying over Fort McHenry during the Battle of Baltimore that he wrote the words to a poem that would become our National Anthem,” said Bill Pencek, executive director of the Maryland War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission.  “This September we will commemorate that moment at Star-Spangled Spectacular and I am delighted that we will hear the voices of Marylanders as part of the celebration.” 

Contestants must be Maryland residents and enter as individual performers.  Online entries may be submitted through May 25, 2014.  A panel of music professionals will select as many as five top performances.  On June 9, MSAC will post the top entries and invite the public to vote for their favorite versions through June 13.  The individual whose video receives the most votes will be declared the winner on June 16.  The first place winner will have the opportunity to perform at a public Star-Spangled Spectacular event; receive a cash prize of $1,814, an overnight stay in Baltimore and four tickets to the Star-Spangled Air Show featuring the Blue Angels.  Second and third place winners will receive $500 and $250 respectively. 

Star-Spangled Spectacular is a free festival that celebrates the 200th anniversary of our national anthem. Tall ships, Navy gray hulls and the Blue Angels will come to Baltimore’s famed Inner Harbor to celebrate "The Star-Spangled Banner". Landside festivals include living history demonstrations, a family fun-zone, live musical performances and food and beverage of the Chesapeake Bay region. Events crescendo on September 13 with a star-studded patriotic concert and extraordinary fireworks display over Fort McHenry and the Baltimore harbor.

About the Maryland State Arts Council 
The mission of the Maryland State Arts Council (MSAC), an agency of the Maryland Department of Commerce, Division of Tourism, Film and the Arts, is to encourage and invest in the advancement of the arts for the people of Maryland. The latest economic impact report shows that MSAC grantees' activities support more than 12,700 full-time equivalent jobs and generate $1.07 billion in economic activity and $48 million in state and local taxes.

About Star-Spangled 200
Star-Spangled 200, a national bicentennial in Maryland, commemorates the writing of the Star-Spangled Banner and the War of 1812.  Star-Spangled Sailabration in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor and the Chesapeake Bay launched the multi-year commemoration in June 2012.  Sailabration included a maritime festival with 45 vessels from a dozen nations and an airshow featuring the Blue Angels, and drew more than 1.5 million visitors. Star-Spangled 200 continued Spring 2013 through Summer 2014 with the Chesapeake Campaign, a series of more than a dozen festivals in waterfront communities around the Bay.  Two conferences were held at the U.S. Naval Academy in 2013 - Cross Tech, June 10-11 and From Enemies to Allies, June 12-15 – bringing together leaders in cyber security and scholars from the U.K, Canada and the U.S.  Events will culminate with Star-Spangled Spectacular, September 6-16, 2014, celebrating the 200th birthday of the National Anthem.  Star-Spangled 200 is supported by its Presenting Sponsor AT&T with Founding Partner support from Constellation and Papa John’s.  For more information, please visit or