The Incarnate Word Academy Choir made its Minute Made Park debut on Tuesday, Aug. 20, singing the national anthem before the Houston Astros-Detroit Tigers game. Led by Mr. Josh Wilson, IWA's choir director, the students performed before a crowd of Astros fans, as well as more than 300 IWA parents, teachers, staff and friends who bought tickets for the event.
Mr. Wilson, who also leads the St. Thomas High School Singers, has had that choir perform the anthem before Astros games for the last six years. Toward the end of the 2018 season, he approached the Houston Astros management about finding a spot for IWA's choir to sing. Returning choirs receive priority to reserve dates for singing; new ones, like ours this year, choose from what remains. First, however, Astros management have to hear the choir's performance of the anthem, and choirs must adhere to guidelines about how it can be performed.
"The choir did a great job of learning the arrangement we chose in a short amount of time," said Mr. Wilson. "We worked on this for barely two weeks before performing it at Minute Maid Park. They did a fantastic job, and I'm so proud of them."
"It was wonderful to sit in the stands and listen to our choir sing the national anthem," said Sister Lauren Beck, C.V.I., president of IWA. "I love that they had this experience, and it was great to share with others how talented our young women are."
“What an awesome experience!” said Olivia Green, an IWA senior who sings alto in the choir and also led the school's Instagram takeover chronicling the event. "I mean, what other high schoolers have the opportunity to walk next door and sing the national anthem at a major league baseball game?”
The game ended in the Astros' favor. They beat the Tigers 6-3.
Meanwhile, the choir isn't resting on its laurels. Excited as they were about their Minute Maid appearance, they are already working on their upcoming performance, a combined concert with the St. Thomas High School Singers on Nov. 4.