Hundreds try out to sing national anthem for Utah Jazz


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SALT LAKE CITY -- All Kristina Skorhein wanted was a second chance. Friday, the 22-year-old Salt Lake City resident got it.

"My hands went numb, but I think I did a lot better this time. I took it slow," Skorhein said.

She was one of hundreds of singers auditioning at EnergySolutions Arena in downtown Salt Lake City to sing the national anthem during a future Utah Jazz home game.

Skorhein auditioned two years ago but didn't get a call back. This year, she thinks her chances are better.

"I've been practicing quite a bit," Skorhein said.

There are 41 home games during a typical NBA season, meaning not everyone who auditioned will get a call.

Six judges seated at a table on the main floor listened to soloists, duets, quartets, orchestras and other types of performances; but it was the judge with the red card most singers were paying attention to. When the red card went up, that meant stop.

"I was thinking, ‘Don't do it. Don't do it,'" said 16-year-old Jordan Ganoe from Paul, Idaho.

Ganoe was part of a quintet called "5-Fold" who got up at 5:00 Friday morning to drive from Idaho to Salt Lake City. The group has been practicing for this audition all summer.

"I was getting nervous, a little nervous, but I think we did OK," said 15-year old Austin Whitesides of Rupert, Idaho.

Twenty-three-year-old Katie Maguire of Salt Lake City was also looking for the red card. She got it after getting to the "bursting in air" part of the national anthem.

"I was stressing about that red card, but I noticed the judge held it up earlier for some people who were very good singers," Maguire said, "so I don't know if it's a good thing or a bad thing to have it go up early or later."

Maguire wore her new No. 24 Paul Millsap Jazz jersey to her audition.

"They asked for us to be in professional dress, but I felt like this is what the players wear when they're on the court being professional, so I figured it couldn't hurt," she said.

"I've been a Jazz fan for 19 years," Maguire said, "so getting to sing the anthem before a game would be great.

She has already done it once as a high school junior at Judge Memorial, but was with the entire choir. Now, she's hoping her solo performance will get her a call back.

"I've been practicing while driving my car, but I think this performance was one of my better ones," Maguire said.

Performances that were well done received claps from those waiting to audition. Some singers were allowed to finish the entire song, but most were cut off for time purposes.

"I was definitely shaky," said 25-year-old Cheryl Bevan of Draper, "but I figured you don't really have anything to lose, so why not go for it?"

Judges will make their decisions in the coming weeks and will invite performers back by either a phone call or e-mail.

E-mail: acabrero@ksl.com

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Alex Cabrero

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