A Note of Thanks
5 February 2014
Singing “The Star Spangled Banner” is a responsibility I took very seriously, and a moment I will never forget. I relied on a group of remarkably talented people who made my performance possible.
Rob Mathes arranged, conducted, and produced a magnificent setting of the anthem. The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra was the sterling ensemble that played, and I was joined by a star chorus of select vocalists from the U.S. Army Chorus, the U.S. Marine Band "The President's Own," the U.S. Navy Sea Chanters, and the U.S. Air Force Singing Sergeants, coordinated by Bob McDonald.
Vera Wang, the brilliant designer and a dear friend, created the gown and cape for the performance with her hallmark originality and elegance. I am grateful also for the work of her talented staff, especially Margo Lafontaine, Keith Lissner, Dean Sonnenberg, and Suheyla Sun.
Thanks to David Lai for his invaluable management of the creation of the musical accompaniment, and to Paul Acosta for tackling the enormous challenges of sound engineering in a live stadium performance.
U.S. Bank deserves sincere thanks for their generous support of the production of this new arrangement of “The Star-Spangle Banner.” Thanks are due also to IMG Artists and Universal Classics for their support.
For help with public relations and management, I am grateful for the expert assistance of Kristen Foster at PMK, Dannielle Thomas of Untitled Entertainment, Romana Jaroff and Andrew Elsesser of IMG Artists, and Matt Ringel of Red Light Management. And of course, I am thankful for the dedicated work of Paul Batsel and Alexandra Howitt in my office, who have managed the varied aspects of this huge undertaking with aplomb.
The beautiful black cape for the Super Bowl red carpet was designed by Chado Ralph Rucci. General styling was guided by the impeccable taste of Freddie Leiba and the artistry of Nancy McNamara.
Bill Creasy, producer of the very first Super Bowl, had the idea to invite me to sing. I am grateful, on behalf of classical singers everywhere, to him and the NFL for expanding the range of American musical expression at the Super Bowl. Thanks are also due to halftime and pre-game Executive Producer Ricky Kirschner and Talent Executive David Paley. And finally, I am grateful for the escort provided by the New Jersey State Police, who whisked me from Manhattan to the MetLife stadium in a record 17 minutes (without the use of a helicopter)!
With sincere gratitude,
Photo gallery coming soon.