Melody King, a junior at Clovis Christian School, sings the national anthem at CCS basketball games. King will sing at the state basketball tournament next week in Albuquerque. (CNJ staff photo: Andy DeLisle)
By Marlena Hartz: CNJ staff writer
Melody King has a gift.
The Clovis Christian School junior can sing.
This year, the blue-eyed student swallowed her nerves and sang the national anthem at Clovis Christian School basketball games. Teachers urged her to do so.
“She’s got a beautiful voice. (She’s) very talented, but very humble,” said Clovis Christian School Elementary Principal Colleen Laumbach,
Laumbach said King prefers to sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” with someone by her side.
Her eyes are set on the flag as she sings, and she tries to ignore the crowd behind. Her hands shook the first time she sang at a game.
“I could barely hold the microphone,” King, 16, said.
But her voice impresses so much, people outside Clovis Christian School have begun to notice.
King will sing the national anthem at two Wednesday games of the state basketball tournament in Albuquerque after being nominated by Clovis Christian School teacher Max Kralicek.
The March performances will be sung for the largest crowds of King’s singing life and will be done a cappella — without instruments.
Among popular songs, “The Star-Spangled Banner” is one of the most difficult to sing, according to Clovis Municipal Schools Director of Music Wayne Anderson. The anthem’s long phrases and its undulating range, pitch and tone render it a challenge even for trained singers, he said.
“Not everybody can do it,” Anderson said.
Those who know King say she’s ready.
“It’s been great to see her progression (since she started singing at school games). She has more confidence,” Laumbach said.
“She adds emotion (to the anthem) and depth to the feelings it creates,” Clovis Christian School teacher Vicki DeLeon said.
That comes partly from King’s admiration of the anthem, which was penned in 1814 by Francis Scott Key. The patriot peered through smoke to see an enormous American flag flying after a 25-hour British bombardment at Fort McHenry, according to the Smithsonian National Museum of History Web site.
“It’s a very beautiful song,” King said.
Singing also allows her to express her emotions and honor God.
“I love singing. It’s a gift that God gave me. I use it the best I can to glorify him,” King said.