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Gospel Choir Shocked By Cost To Sing National Anthem

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(credit: CBS) Liz Collin
At 15 years old, Liz Collin made her broadcast debut covering...
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COON RAPIDS, Minn. (WCCO) – Students from the Coon Rapids High School Gospel Choir thought it would be fun to sing the national anthem at a Timberwolves game.

Until they found out how much it would cost to sing.

“It might sound a little cheesy,” Ekow Nana-Kweson said. “But it’s just a way for me to relieve stress — just be me at that moment.”

But this summer, some of the students wanted to take their gospel sounds to a bigger stage and sing the national anthem at a Timberwolves game.

“I love basketball for one,” Beryl Sang said. “And I just thought it would be another venue for us to sing.”

So, they rehearsed and their adviser inquired but didn’t like the answer.

“We charge $1,500 (they said), and I’m like, ‘You charge $1,500? Are you kidding me?'” said Gospel Choir Adviser Portia McClain.

The Timberwolves said they could do it as a community day, and suggested fundraising ideas.

But in the end, the dollar minimum remained the same.

“I think the kids — it kind of broke their heart,” McClain said.

The Timberwolves say it’s common to attach a group sale to the anthem. The group buys discounted tickets to the game for $1,500 and can then turn around and sell them for full price as a fundraiser.

The Twins have a similar program, but they have a $300 minimum.

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