Kent Stark campus sings to celebrate National Anthem Day

Rebekah Mosora

Seeing a group of students singing the national anthem in chorus is not part of a typical day at Kent State’s Stark campus.

Yesterday morning, however, about 100 students, faculty and staff members and community members took part in a nationwide event to celebrate the anniversary of our national anthem. The gathering was organized by the Stark campus chapter of the Ohio Collegiate Music Education Association.

“We are here to celebrate the anniversary of the national anthem and create awareness,” said Jillian Fecich, senior marketing major and secretary treasurer of the sponsoring organization. “There are many people in America who don’t know the words to our national anthem.”

According to a recent survey by Harris Interactive, nearly two out of three Americans do not know the words to the national anthem. The National Association for Music Education started the National Anthem Project to focus on the important role of music education and to get Americans learning and singing “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

The group at the Stark campus gathered around the flagpole for a reading of the preamble of the Constitution and to sing the national anthem.

“There was an incredible turnout,” said Patricia Grutzmacher, the faculty adviser of the organization that planned the event. “We had campus-wide support, local television coverage and full membership of our chapter. It was an incredible feeling to be part of a nationwide event here in Canton.”

In addition to the students at the event, Stark Dean Betsy Boze, Assistant Dean Ruth Capasso and Mary Southards, the assistant dean of enrollment management, were in attendance. William Burger, the president of the Jackson Township Board of Trustees, also came to campus for the event.

Fecich said Canton Mayor Janet Weir Creighton declared Sept. 14 National Anthem Project Day.

Contact regional campus reporter Rebekah Mosora [email protected].