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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Opinion — Its okay to outgrow your college friends
Opinion — It's okay to outgrow your college friends
Megan PoeApril 12, 2024

Official NMU National Anthem singer selected

STAR SPANGLED VOCALS—Senior theater major AJ Stephens awaits her debut performance for NMU hockey.

With the first home hockey game only days away, NMU has officially announced who will stand on the ice and sing the National Anthem for this season’s home matches.

Senior theater major AJ Stephens will perform the anthem at the upcoming game against Michigan State University (MSU) Friday Oct. 11. as the resident anthem singer for the university. The whole process of choosing the anthem singer began as a contest started by NMU Athletics, with auditions open to students and Marquette community members. 

Each audition was set up just like every home game, allowing contestants to stand on the ice while being judged by faculty and staff, Theater Department Head Bill Digneit explained. 

Digneit views this contest as a change that will lead to opportunities for students in future years.

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“Traditions are great to have at NMU, and this will be a new exciting one,” Digneit said. “We had many students and community members audition. It was very exciting.”

For Stephens, the audition process was a little out of the ordinary. Due to scheduling conflicts, she couldn’t make it to the physical auditions and instead sent a video. Looking back on her initial reaction, Stephens explains that sometimes videos don’t always work for such important presentations.

“My heart was pounding, and I kept thinking ‘Woah. A video audition actually worked,’” Stephens said. “Sometimes with video auditions, they don’t look at it or even consider it, and I’m just happy that I was.” 

Even with the experience Stephens carries from years past, the title of official anthem singer carries a different and unfamiliar weight to it and a degree of great responsibility.

“I’ve sung at a number of games over the years, but not for such an honor and I just want to do a good job,” Stephens said. “Not only for myself but for the team and wildcat fans.”

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