Oh say, did you see?

West Kelloggsville elementary third-graders, from left: Hailey Burns, Destynee Williams, Maryela Chavez and Barbara Allen enjoy the ball game after helping to kick it off with the national anthem

The third-grade choirs from Kelloggsville Public Schools grabbed a piece of the spotlight recently as they sang “The Star-Spangled Banner” to kick off the game between the West Michigan Whitecaps and the Lansing Lugnuts at Fifth-Third Ballpark.

Families of students line up in the infield to watch them sing the anthem

Before the big moment, Kelloggsville West choir member Elija-Reye Long said, “We’ve been singing every Thursday and we’ve always been excited for this day, and it finally came and we’re ready to sing to the best of our ability.”

Karman Ellenwood, also a third-grader at West, said she spent the morning “really excited and dancing around and screaming” before the noon game.

Choir Director Susan Berce brought 68 students from East and West Kelloggsville elementaries to sing the national anthem, the culmination of a year’s hard work and practice by the fledgling choir. About as many parents came to watch.

“They have given up a lunch every week to stay inside — it’s not so hard in the winter but it’s really hard when the weather gets nice — and they’ve been practicing and singing inspirational songs at our assemblies during the year,” Berce said. “This is the capstone of our whole choir year, and it’s been awesome.”

Berce connected with the ballpark last fall to arrange for choristers to sing the anthem, knowing it would be a good incentive for students to join.

“It’s been a great community project this year, having this choir,” she said.

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Bridie Bereza
Bridie Bereza hails from Lansing and has worked in the Grand Rapids area as a reporter, freelance writer, and communicator since graduating from Aquinas College in 2003. She feels privileged to cover West Michigan's public schools and hopes to shed a little light on the amazing things happening there through her reporting. Read Bridie's full bio.

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