People who weren't at the Myrtle Beach Pelicans' ball field on Saturday may think there are only a few ways to perform the national anthem.
But the more than 50 singers and musicians auditioning each put their own spin on the traditional song.
Some, like Sara Hughes, a 12-year-old from Ash, N.C., are old pros at singing the song. Hughes said she has sung the anthem publicly many times. She said she came to the Pelicans' auditions because "I like baseball and thought this would be fun."
Others, like 7-year-old Madelyn Anderson, just learned the words the day before and still had to have a cheat sheet while performing. Madelyn said while the anthem was new to her, "I've sung a bunch of times in public."
"Three," her mother clarified.
Having a day devoted to the national anthem try-outs is new for the Pelicans, said Julie Borshak, the director of community relations. In previous years the try-outs were part of the Fan Fest events, but Borshak said this year since the players will be in town for Fan Fest "it just made sense to move the try-outs."
The Pelicans have 71 home games and need an anthem singer for each one. Borshak said more than 50 people signed up to audition on Saturday and those people will start to hear next week whether they have been selected.
Maddy Esposito and Mary Ann Graves are hoping that both of them will get that call. The pair from North Myrtle Beach came together to sing the anthem despite neither woman having sung the anthem publicly before.
"It's just something I always wanted to do. Just one of those things," said Graves. "You see all these people do it and you think, 'I could do that.'"
But Graves and Esposito said the song is not easy. "It's a hard song. There's a wide range of notes you have to hit," Esposito said. "But it's fun."
Some, like Dave Gerancher, opted not to sing at all. He was one of a few people who played the anthem on a musical instrument, an electric guitar in his case. And Borshak said that's fine by the Pelicans.
"It's doesn't have to be about singing," she said. "We love it when people play instruments. It's different."
Contact GINA VASSELLI at 443-2434.