Hesston Record Staff
In 1994, Jason Jones sang his heart out to a standing-room only arena for the NJCAA tournament at Hutchinson Community College. In front of a crowd of over 6,500, Jones performed the National Anthem before the championship game.
This year, Jones will be performing once again in the Hutchinson arena on Thursday, March 23 at 6:15 p.m.
Jones began singing the anthem at the tournament with the recommendation of his cousin, Raymond Jones.
“[Raymond] is a long time member of the American Legion Lysle Rishel Post #68. They are the group of volunteers that coordinate the Men’s Basketball Tournament each year. Raymond Recommended me to Neal Warnken who is the Chairman of the Opening Ceremonies Committee,” said Jones.
As possibly the best-known song in the country, Jones said he still feels his nerves rise before a performance.
“It’s all a cappella. There’s nothing to hide anything. Its all out there for everyone to hear - the good, the bad and the ugly. The biggest challenge is the wide vocal range it requires. It is the most difficult song I have ever sung,” said Jones.
Jones said he had one near-catastrophe while performing.
“There was one year I started the Anthem, and I could feel a burp welling up. I was scared to death I was going to get to the high note and all that was going to come out. I got lucky all the way through.
“Needless to say, I never drank Mountain Dew before singing the Anthem again in my life. Its only water now,” he said.
While mistakes in the Anthem frequently make the highlight or blooper reels, Jones said it is not mistakes that are hard to watch, but over-performances.
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