I recently found out that I will be singing another National Anthem - this time, for the San Diego Padres.  Nothing moves me more than singing the Anthem. Absolutely nothing.  So many reasons - many of which overlap in so many chapters of this book.

The first time I was asked to sing the Anthem was completely unexpected. It was a week from Opening Day at the Del Mar Race Track, with 45,000 people expected in attendance, in July of 2014. When the news came, via a nonchalant phone call from the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, my jaw dropped in disbelief and shock - and excitement, the levels of which I have NEVER experienced before in my life! Then, 15 seconds into the phone call, the cooling off started to happen in my head: "what am I going to do?! I don't KNOW the Anthem! I know the Canadian one - and remember some of the Polish one too.  But I've never sang the US National Anthem - I've just become a US citizen four years ago - it wasn't on the test!".  The gentleman on the phone from Del Mar felt my nerves, laughed and reassured me that I had plenty of time to get ready - and sounded warmly excited to be handing off this opportunity to a giddy sounding jazz "diva".

After much exalted chit chat about the news with all my cohorts, we came up with a plan: I'd find a really tough and demanding vocal teacher (probably in LA), and nail this thing, in no time at all.   And I only had seven days (minus all other responsibilities planned for that week, like being mommy and running a business.)

The following morning, I called my friend, Jennifer Paterson, the head of my music school, California Music Studios in Encinitas.  I think she too could feel the giddiness on the other end of the phone line. But she brought it right down to earth - and business - and right away got me the toughest vocal teacher in her roster, and yes, the teacher was in LA. Ahdda Shur.

I packed my bags three days later. A couple of rehearsals at home with my mentor, Larry White, set me up comfortably so I did not sound like a complete idiot in LA.  The clock was ticking: only four more days to nail the Anthem in front of 45,000 people, one of the toughest things to sing out there, respected and recognized the world over - and such an honor. I did not want to screw it up. More than that, I wanted to treat it with the respect it deserved...

(Excerpt from the book, "Find Your Wings", coming in 2016)

Meet Anna

Anna Danes is an advocate for passion-pursuing and an unstoppable dream-chaser. A former lawyer and stay-at-home mom who at the age of 43 reinvented herself when she turned to singing as a way to find her voice and to change her life when the love in her life was no more, Anna is soon to be renowned as one of the most effective transformational leaders in the world. Read More


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