Portland High School sophomore Mary Timmer had the honor of singing “The Star-Spangled Banner” at Ford Field on Sunday, prior to the game between the Lions and the Los Angeles Rams. While the anthem was not televised during the Fox broadcast, Facebook video posted by her mother, Mattie Timmer, proves that this young lady made her hometown proud.
The Portland Beacon is working to get that video shared on our Facebook page in the near future.
When asked how the opportunity came to be, Timmer said, “The Lions advertised an open audition competition to sing the National Anthem for their home games this year. They wanted video submissions for the 1st round of the competition and I had sung the Anthem at school for basketball and football games and had videos of that, so my mom sent one in. The Lions organization emailed me a month later asking me to come to Ford Field for a callback audition. When we got there, we found out that they had received 648 videos and selected 15 of those to come and compete in the 2nd round for nine spots. I auditioned there in July, and in September I found out that they selected me to sing for the December 2nd game against the Los Angeles Rams!”
While Ford Field, with a capacity of 65,000, was the largest crowd she has performed in front of, this actually is not the first time Timmer has sung in front of thousands of people. Timmer said, “The biggest crowd I sang in front before the Lions game was in June 2018. I was selected to sing the National Anthem by the radio station B-93.7 to kick off the Birthday Bash Country Music Festival at Fifth Third Ballpark in Grand Rapids. There were approximately 10,000 people there, so it was a big honor and I also got to meet some famous country artists, like Rascal Flatts!”
Music is a large part of Timmer’s life. She said, “I have been singing as long as I can remember. I started participating in shows with Portland Civic Players with their musicals each year and in summer theater, and was in a musical in Ionia a couple years ago, too. I study piano, guitar and voice at Miller Music Studio in Portland and last year I joined a local rock band, Rage Under Age, and we’ve been performing locally whenever we can. Two summers ago, I traveled to Europe for six weeks with Blue Lake International Choir, which was an amazing experience. I usually sing, practice guitar or work on songwriting a little every single day.”
Members of the community were quick to recognize Timmer for her accomplishment, and for that she is grateful. She said, “I just want to say thank you to all the people in Portland that supported me and sent wishes of good luck or congratulated me and complimented my singing for the Lions game. I got so many calls, texts and nice messages on social media and hugs and cheers at school and at my job (I work at the Wagon Wheel) and from my theater family!! It meant so much and I really appreciated knowing I had all those people believing in me when I was at Ford Field and feeling nervous!”