Ball State music professor to sing national anthem at Indianapolis Colts game

Topic: College of Fine Arts

September 28, 2007

Jill Burleson
Think Jill Burleson is nervous to sing the national anthem at the Oct. 7 Colts game? No way!
Ball State's Jill Burleson is relaxed and excited about singing the "Star-Spangled Banner" at the Oct. 7 Colts televised game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

About 60,000 people are expected to attend the game, but that doesn't faze Burleson, assistant director of choral activities and undergraduate coordinator of admissions and recruiting for Ball State's School of Music. She routinely sings at Indianapolis Indians baseball games, where attendance reaches about 15,000.

"I really don't get nervous," said Burleson, a mezzo-soprano.

The invitation to sing the national anthem came several months ago. Several Colts officials were at an Indians game and heard Burleson sing in early spring. She accepted the offer. Now, she's excited because Colts officials plan to introduce her by her full title.

"So Ball State will get a little more publicity," she said.

In addition to Burleson, her husband, daughter and son-in-law will attend the game and sit in a VIP section.

Her one concern is that she stay healthy between now and game day.

"A singer's voice is her instrument, so being sick could hamper my performance," she said.

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