A small, but huge moment
- Ramona McCallister
- Central Oregonian - Features
Local resident Mary Chapman is selected to perform the National Anthem in front of an international audience
Singing the National Anthem is an honor regardless of the venue, but few soloists have the opportunity to project their voice in front of an international audience.
Mary Chapman, a permit technician for the Crook County Building Department, represented Crook County and the nation for that very honor at an international Code Council conference in October.
“The International Code Council is an annual conference of international representatives all around the world that come together for one meeting once per year to the United States,” explained Chapman. “It just happened to be in Portland this year.”
She added that Crook County was only sending one representative this year, and she not only sang for the opening ceremony, she also stayed and attended the conference.
Chapman said that permit technicians throughout the nation received an invitation to audition for the opportunity to sing the American National Anthem at the opening ceremony. Interested candidates were asked to send their audition to Chicago, Ill. to the ICC headquarters.
“I did that in February, and I was selected to sing their anthem.”
She received emails from all over the northwest, because it was the first time a representative from this part of the nation had been selected.
“It was a very big honor,” she exclaimed. “It was the biggest honor I have had in my life — it was very humbling.”
Chapman has sung for various events all her life, and has also performed the National Anthem for the Bend Elks games for the past two years.
She noted that this event was much bigger than she had anticipated, and she began to get nervous when dignitaries from around the world and nation began to assemble for the opening ceremonies.
In addition to the enormity of the event, Chapman said that singing in front of that many people first thing in the morning was a challenge as well. Her fears were unfounded, however, when she received a gracious and overwhelming response from the audience.
“It was a very huge, small moment.”