Why is the Star Spangled Banner so hard to sing?
And can a singer find inspiration from the Smithsonian’s most famous icon?
At the Smithsonian Institution, one artifact is revered above all: the Star-Spangled Banner. In 1814, it flew high above Fort McHenry during the Battle of Baltimore, inspiring lawyer Francis Scott Key to write what would become the American national anthem. Now it’s the physical and emotional heart of the museum. So it’s no wonder it’s preserved in a specially-constructed, climate-controlled room at the heart of the museum. Anyone can visit the Star-Spangled Banner but not everyone can sing it.
What makes America’s national anthem so hard to sing? And can a singer find inspiration from the Smithsonian’s most famous icon?
Museum Secrets investigates with the help of local singing legend DC Washington, as he auditions aspiring singers interested in performing the Star-Spangled Banner at Howard University’s homecoming football game.
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