The honor of singing the National Anthem at the Super Bowl is one that would be coveted by any musician. The globally televised event draws over 100 million viewers and kicks off with a rendition of the patriotic tune. This year, the honor has been bestowed upon four-time Grammy winning opera soprano, and SUNY Potsdam Crane School of Music alumna Renée Fleming.
Fleming is a 1981 graduate of SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music, where she studied voice with Patricia Misslin. In her freshman year, she was chosen to sing a solo in the Bach B-Minor Mass. She was also chosen as a soloist for the 1980 Winter Olympic Games in Lake Placid, N.Y., where The Crane School of Music provided all of the ceremonial music. Renée is remembered by many SUNY Potsdam alumni for singing jazz downtown to support her studies in her free time. After graduating from Potsdam, she went on to graduate studies at the Eastman School of Music, was a Fulbright Scholar, and attended the Juilliard School.
Her list of accolades are extensive, including the National Medal of Arts, the Fulbright Lifetime Achievement Medal, Grammy awards for Best Classical Vocal Performance, and various international honors. Fleming can now also add “Super Bowl XLVIII National Anthem Performer” to her list as well.
Super Bowl XLVIII airs Sunday, February 2, 2014 at 6:30 on FOX. Watch her perform here.
Pre-game interview (ABC News):
Maxwell is the Coordinator of Digital Engagement for The State University of New York.