Concord National Anthem singer Nathan Smith is in the High School Spotlight
This week in the High School Spotlight, it’s Nathan Smith. Smith, a Concord High student, sings the Star Spangled Banner at some Concord High assemblies, before sporting events and pep rallies, too. You might know him as Rene Rancourt’s mini-doppelgänger. He’s even moonlighted for some other schools around the area.
Concord Monitor: How did you get the gig of singing the National Anthem?
Nathan Smith: it was offered to kids in my concert choir class. (Teacher) Miss May told people that if they wanted to sing they could. The requirements were that they had to stay in the same key, and that was pretty much it . . . they couldn’t change octaves either. So I auditioned, and I was selected.
CM: Is there a certain Boston Bruins inspiration to your act?
NS: My principal and the director of the music department thought I should dress like Rene Rancourt, yes. That’s were this comes from. Because I do hear that I sing in a somewhat similar style to him.
CM: Do other students recognize you as the guy who sings at hockey games?
NS: Not just hockey, because I do hockey, basketball – this year I started doing football – last year I did ba- baseball . . . that’s how you pronounce it, and lacrosse. So I do a lot of sports. They have me do it at assemblies, so I think that’s where I’m most recognized. Also, there was a pep rally, too. So a lot.
CM: Do you get nervous before you sing before the games?
NS: I do get nervous. Not as nervous as the first time I ever sang. I was really nervous. I was drinking a lot of water, and that’s not a good thing to do when you’re nervous because . . . you know. But I did get very nervous because I had never done it before. And I still get slightly nervous but it’s. . . I feel that it’s good to get slightly nervous because it means you care about what you’re doing – enough to get nervous.
CM: Where is your favorite place to sing?
NS: The shower. I really love the Capital Center (for the Arts). I’ve performed there many times. I do summer theatre camps there, and our performances are at the Capital Center. It’s an amazing facility.
CM: What’s one thing about singing that would surprise people?
NS: That’s a tough one. It takes a lot of muscles. The diaphragm muscles are very important for singing. So you have to be able to hold your breath, literally, though. You don’t want to breath like this (motions shoulders up). You breathe with your stomach and expand and that where the diaphragm comes in – the deep breath – and having the strength to hold your breath in for the long notes.
CM: When you’re not singing where can we find you?
NS: When I’m not singing – well that’s about most of my life. Other than just singing, I do a lot of theatre, too. I play the cello, as well, and the piano. And that’s about it.
CM: What’s your favorite class?
NS: I’d have to say Spanish. I don’t know. I’m finding that I’m really good at it. It comes very easily to me. It’s something I find interesting – to know more than one language.
NS: I’d have to say pizza. But that’s probably because I live in the same building as Checkmate Pizza. They give us a free pizza every week. What could be better than that?
NS: I really like, right about now, “Pompeii” by Bastille. And from musical theatre, I don’t know. I like a lot of songs. But I’d have to say my favorite musical is Les Miserables. And from that, my favorite song is “One Day More.”
NS: My favorite movie . . . probably Despicable Me 2. It’s just really funny. It’s kind of cheesy funny because of course it’s a little kids movie, but there are some things that older people would get that younger kids wouldn’t get. It just has a general appeal of being a very funny movie.
CM: Do you have a shout-out for anyone?
NS: It’s a long list. Miss May, my concert choir teacher; Mr. Foley, the director of the music department; the principal Mr. Connolly; Mr. Mello, the athletic director; and my former voice teacher, Mr. Tony Bongiorno; and my current voice teacher, Ellen Nordstrom; and of course my mom and dad, for being so supportive of me.
CM: Any parting words?
NS: Ummmm, if you have a dream follow it. Just keep trying . . . I dunno (laughs).