Singing our National Anthem is a great honor for a musical artist. Music superstars, from Faith Hill to Whitney Houston, have performed the "Star Spangled Banner," delivering chill-inducing vocals and, frankly, making it look effortless. But (as anyone who has attempted it knows) America's National Anthem is widely considered one of the most difficult songs to sing -- even for the pros.
The Arizona-raised artist, who recently released "Drive Me to Drink" from her album I'm Gonna Ride, says when she prepares to perform the anthem, the first thing she considers isn't vocal technique, but the meaning behind the song.
"I've had the honor of performing our nation's anthem for various organizations and events over the years," Wineland says. "The first thing that comes to the forefront of my mind isn't vocal technique or pitches or anything along those lines. Actually, what's at the forefront of my mind is the meaning behind the song. This is America's song. This is what connects us all together. Everyone knows it. I always consider that when I go into an anthem performance. This song holds so much meaning to a wide variety of people."
Wineland says in preparing for a performance, she makes sure she takes care of her voice, practicing vocal warmups and drinking soothing teas and plenty of water. She also practices singing the song in a variety of environments.
"Every show that you do, every performance that you do, the anthem is always going to be in a different place, and even if you've played there before, it's not always going to be the same," Wineland explains.
Finally, Wineland suggests paying close attention to the starting note; starting the anthem off in the wrong key can be detrimental to the entire performance, as even the best singers have discovered the hard way.
Most importantly, Wineland reminds us all to consider the meaning behind the anthem and the power that it has to unite us as Americans.
"It's always such an honor to perform our National Anthem. Whether you're performing it or you're listening to it, the next time the song comes up, I want you to take a moment to just step back and listen to it and really think about the meaning of the song. We may be different but this is the one thing that brings us together as one."