PORTLAND, Ore. — More than 115 members of the Portland Ensign Choir performed the national anthem at the Rose Garden Arena for the Portland Trail Blazers game against the Sacramento Kings on Jan. 23.
The choir, many of whom are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, was accompanied on trumpet by Brett Randolph and was one of the largest groups to have ever sung the anthem in Trail Blazer history.
An “abnormal reverence” came upon the 18,000-plus game attendees when the choir took to the center of the court, reported a Trail Blazer executive to Portland Ensign Choir and Orchestra president John Noff Jr. He added that he had never seen an audience become so quiet and pay so much attention to the national anthem at the arena.
“We’ve been going to Blazer games for many years, so we have heard many versions of the national anthem. Last night’s performance by your group was the best, and we mean the best we have ever heard," Tom and Rhonda Faulkner, who attended the Kings game, wrote in a letter to PECO music director Dr. David Thomas. "What a pleasure for us. Thank you.”
Coinciding with the choir’s performance was BYU Alumni Night, sponsored by the Portland chapter of the BYU Alumni Association. More than 600 BYU alumni and their families attended to cheer on their local Trailblazers and show support for Brigham Young University alum and Sacramento Kings point guard, Jimmer Fredette.