A good National Anthem performance can evoke emotions some people never even thought they had. One 8-year-old boy stunned the crowd with his rendition of the historic song at the Utica Blue Sox game over the weekend.

Ben Kidwell has been playing the piano and keyboard for going on 3 years now, since he was 5-years-old, and he was very excited to have this opportunity. His father JP Kidwell says, "We couldn't be prouder. Not only because of his performance but because right after it ended he and his is brother were chasing foul balls." Ben was invited to play the National Anthem at the Utica Blue Sox game by Danielle Padula of Broadway Utica who is in charge of booking the National Anthem performers.

Padula says,

Ben embodies everything Broadway Utica is. When we say we go Beyond the Stage it’s with talent like this! Broadway Utica is committed to exposing our community to talent in all forms - including baseball to piano. I’ve known Ben’s parents for several years and when they shared his YouTube video I knew the impact this kid would have on so many people and we wanted to be apart of it. If that meant him playing before a Blue Sox game or being featured on our social media pages - then that is what we’ll do.

Many people argue that the National Anthem should be performed in the traditional way, without artistic liberties. Ben's rendition was traditional and impressive. At only 8-years-old his attention to musical detail is indeed impressive and he was excited to do it. Ben said, "I loved it! I worked so hard to get ready and I hope I can do it again someday.”

One thing is for sure, it is good to have live sporting events to be able to attend again and National Anthems to be performed. I personally am looking forward to the vast array of performers to sing the nation's song at the Adirondack Bank Center. Hopefully, the virus will remain at bay and there will be no more lock downs or restrictions.

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