Voice of America


The national anthem is far from an easy song, but Catina Mack loves to sing it anyway.  

Catina Mack
The national anthem is far from an
easy song, but Catina Mack loves
to sing it anyway. 

As every American knows, “The Star-Spangled Banner” isn’t so much a song as an obstacle course.

It’s not just that minefield of a melody, which lyricist Francis Scott Key borrowed from a British drinking song. His 19th century words are tricky, too, at least for us here in the 21st:

“O’er the ramparts we watch’d were so gallantly streaming?” Good thing this is the “home of the brave” or none of us would ever have the nerve to try to sing our national anthem.

One of the bravest among us is Sanford’s Catina Mack, a part-time secretary and full-time mom who sings the “Star-Spangled Banner” every chance she gets.

Mack, who turns 36 this month, started giving public performances of the anthem in 1995, at a vocational-school graduation ceremony in Clearwater. Since then, she has performed the song more than 200 times at parades and ballgames, colleges and convention centers.

“When I was standing up there and singing, I was able to express my love for my country,” she says, thinking back to that first performance. “I was standing for something.”

This July 4th, Mack will sing the national anthem as part of the annual fireworks celebration at Lake Eola. Of course, not everyone shares her enthusiasm for the song. Some, in fact, propose changing the national anthem to something, oh, a tad more singer-friendly.

The very thought of that horrifies Mack. And she doesn’t like jazzed-up versions, either.

“I just don’t believe the song is about the vocal acrobatics of the singer,” Mack protests. “When people put too much into it, they ruin the song.”

Edit Module
Want to read the whole issue? Download and read this issue and others on Magzter.

Add your comment:
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow TagsEdit ModuleShow Tags

Guides & Resources

Vacation Planner

Your next getaway is only a click away. Search our database for a great vacation experience.

2016 Premier Veterinarians

2016 Pet Resource Guide

Check out our searchable 2016 list of some of the best pet resources in the Orlando area.

Premier Realtors

Check out our 2016 searchable database of Orlando's premier realtors.

Orlando's Best Lawyers 2016

Our annual list includes hundreds of Orlando-area attorneys in dozens of areas of practice.

Orlando's Top Dentists of 2016

Our annual list featuring 224 of the area's finest dental professionals.

Guide to Private Schools 2016

Our searchable annual database will help you chart an educational course for your family.
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags

MoreRecent Blog Posts

Culinary Delights at the Epcot Food & Wine Festival

Dino Roussia provides an insider’s look into the longest and most recognized food and wine events in the world at Walt Disney World’s Epcot.

Weekend Happenings in Orlando Oct 21 to 23

Find out what's happening in and around Orlando this weekend.

Moving Snap! Shots

Gallery owners Patrick and Holly Kahn offer powerful exhibits showcasing photographer Roger Ballen, as well as Pulse tribute images.

Weekend Happenings in Orlando Oct 14 to 16

Find the best events in and around the city for the weekend.

A Celebration of Wildlife—and the Good Life

Thomasville, Georgia’s Plantation Wildlife Arts Festival features dozens of wildlife artists, fine dining, music, parties and a Southern-flavored Bird Dog Bash.
Edit Module