The Dream….

Posted: under Creative Mom, Identity, Motherhood, Music, Performance, San Antonio Silver Stars, Tulsa Shock, Uncategorized, WNBA.


Shameka Christon & Maya Moore

Four weeks from today, one of my dreams is going to come true.  For real.  A lot of people have asked me how I came to be singing the national anthem at a San Antonio Silver Stars game, so I wanted to blog about the story.

First, I need to say that I am not a basketball player.  I became a fan just a few years ago, but wow!  What a fan I became.  I literally fell in love with the sport, to a degree that surprised me.  It’s a little bit complicated, this love.  As a former dancer, I love the physicality and dance of basketball, and especially, the beauty of women’s ball.  I love the grit, strength, and discipline.  I love the way the sport of women’s pro ball goes on, under the radar of most Americans, even sports fans, for less pay and glory than what NBA players receive, and yet the players absolutely play their hearts out.

Something about the sport reminds me of my old favorite quote from the great American choreographer Merce Cunningham, in whose NYC dance studio I once did a few thousand plies:  “You have to love dancing to stick to it.  It gives you nothing back, no manuscripts to store away, no paintings to show on walls and maybe hang in museums, no poems to be printed and sold, nothing but that single fleeting moment when you feel truly alive.”

Substitute “women’s basketball” for “dancing” in the sentence above and you get an idea of what inspires me about these players, who just want to play.

SO THEN:  I got the dream.  I don’t remember when exactly, but one day I became aware that I really wanted to sing the national anthem at a San Antonio Silver Stars game.  I rejected that crazy nonsense immediately!  I thought, “Tricia, that is a crazy dream!!!”  But it would not go away.  And since it would not go away, I began to give it some thought.  And I started to plan, since I realized that the dream was a pretty big one.  I reasoned that it would not be a good idea to start with the Silver Stars.  “I’ve got to start small,” I thought, and I decided to send that little wish out into the universe.  I’ll try to make the rest of the story short, by telling it in FIVE steps…

STEP #1:
Some time later (not sure exactly how long), there was a post on my neighborhood’s listserv, about a celebration at our local Fire Station #14, to mark the station’s 60th anniversary, as well as Flag Day.  The organizer put out a call for a musician to sing or play the national anthem.  Well, I read that email and instantly hit “Close” on the message.  I walked away from my computer.  The dream….it was so big!!!  I let the message sit in my Inbox for a couple of weeks, knowing I wanted to reply, but just too scared.  Finally, I clicked “reply” and that was that:  I got to participate in the most amazing  event.  I got to witness the majestic Austin Fire Department Color Guard.  I got to meet Fire Chief Rhoda Mae Kerr.  Best of all, I got to be a part of honoring some of the most brave folks around, our firefighters.  If firefighters can’t inspire you to overcome your fear, who can?

AFD Station #14 Flag Day Celebration Thank You, Station #14!

 AFD Station #14 Raising the Flag



STEP #2:
My awesome voice teacher, Liz Cass, recommended me to a friend who needed an anthem singer for the 4th of July Celebration in Lago Vista.  That was a crazy morning, featuring miscommunication, an argument between the person who booked me and a city council member, and a 14 year old contest winner, who had been promised the job of singing the anthem!  We worked it out, because I grabbed someone’s guitar and offered to sing “My Country ‘Tis Of Thee” instead of “The Star Spangled Banner.”  I didn’t want any fistfights or broken hearts on the 4th of July.  But since I did soundcheck the song in front of a small crowd, with a PA, before the lunacy ensued, I do count that as my second national anthem experience.  Check!  They even put my photo on their website, which was kind of weird, given how things went…but ok.  (Note:  same patriotic t-shirt in all photos!)


STEP #3:
I attended two San Antonio Silver Stars games last season.  One was my Mother’s Day gift (“I don’t want flowers, I don’t want brunch, I don’t want jewelry.  I want basketball.”).  The other game I attended with my friend Quincy.  So awhile after that (don’t remember exactly how long), I got a phone call from the “fan outreach” person with the Silver Stars organization, Yolanda.  She asked me how I enjoyed the game and invited me to attend more.  Yolanda and I had a great conversation.  We talked about basketball, we talked about how I’m a Girl Scout leader, we talked about many topics.  The whole time, a tiny voice in my head is reminding me that I have a crazy dream.  Just before the phone call ended, I ventured a question:  “Yolanda?   If I wanted to make an audition video to sing the national anthem at a Silver Stars game, who in your organization would I send that to?”  Yolanda said, “That would be me.”  Aha.  Interesting.  The dream comes closer…like, right into my lap.

STEP #4:
One day, while my kids were at school, I borrowed my daughter’s Hello Kitty karaoke machine, so I could amplify my voice over what my little webcam’s microphone could pick up.  And I made a little 2 minute video, introducing myself and singing my song in my kitchen.  That was back in October of 2012.  About a month later–on my birthday, actually–I got the message that I had been approved by the Operations department, who books all of the performers for the franchise, which includes the Spurs, the Silver Stars, the Toros, and the Rampage.

STEP #5:
Wait, wait, wait.  Practice, practice, practice.  I had to wait until the Silver Stars 2013 schedule came out.  Then I had to wait because the Spurs were in the championships, and the Operations department was really busy.  FINALLY, I got my game:  Silver Stars vs. Tulsa Shock, Sunday, Sept. 8th, 3:30 pm.   The good news is that I have had a lot of time to practice singing the national anthem!  While I walk my dog, while I cook, while I run errands.  By the dawn’s early light, at the twilight’s last gleaming…oh say, can you see?

I started singing in church, just to get more practice getting up in front of people.  No guitar.  Just singing.  And of course, over the last year, I’ve been playing with my band and performing more frequently.  A lot of people are telling me these days that the national anthem is a hard song to sing.  And it’s true, it has some high notes.  But again, those women on the court inspire me…I actually talk about basketball often in my voice lessons.  Because the mental part of the game/performance is just about everything.  If you get the setup right, the correct outcome follows.  Accepting this dream, and working to rise to the demands of such a big song, has made me a different and better singer.  And even though “The Star Spangled Banner” is a challenging song, I think it’s easier than hitting a 3-point shot.  Plus, no one (with the exception of you, yourself) is trying to block you!  Straight from the diaphragm, up through the larynx, out the top of the head:  it’s an open shot!!

Here’s How to Order Great Discounted Tickets To See My Dream Come True: 5 Easy Steps
1. Go to
2. Enter the Special Offer Code: STARS (not case sensitive)
3: Create new Account (or use your existing one)
4. Select seat location
5. Print tickets at home (No Ticketmaster Fees)


  1. Jenny Meadows Says:

    Oh, Tricia, what a great story about your fabulous dream! I wish I were going to be in Austin then, but my husband and I are in New Zealand right now — yep, we’re enjoying OUR dream of living part-time in Nelson, NZ!
    Hope the St. D’s Women’s Group takes your hint and goes to the game.

    Sing, sing, sing!

  2. admin Says:

    Thanks, Jenny!

  3. Penny Petrich Says:

    Thank you so much for your very encouraging story Trish!
    Now you will be able to impart that “don’t quit” spirit into your girls! Since GS is about learning to set goals and achieving them, this is a perfect example!
    I hope to meet you sometime – maybe at the adult leader’s meeting at St. Mark??? I am not sure if you attend or not, because there are many new faces that I don’t recognize! Please come up to me and introduce yourself next time, will you? My name is Penny and I am the background helper of Carrie, previous Service Unit Director for 11 years, and chair of the new Alumni outreach and event planning committee at the GS Council. Also, your WCSU yahoo moderator! Anyway, I have long, used to be blonde hair, mostly blonde and silver now!
    I also am doing something that follows my dream and it’s awesome, because when we are ready, God makes a way, and you just can’t help but succeed! I speak success in everything you put your hands to, according to God’s plan for your life!

  4. DJ Says:

    You are a dream manifester of the highest degree! Keep on making magic reality, my love! Amazing!!

  5. Katie Gosnell Says:

    What a wonderful story, Tricia! I loved it so much and am truly inspired by it – thank you! Very best to you as you sing your heart out!

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