Taylor Bothun has sung the national anthem at Target Field before. But this time it’s likely to be a much different experience.
The senior nursing major at the College of Saint Benedict is scheduled to perform the “Star Spanged Banner” prior to the Minnesota Twins’ matchup against the Texas Rangers at 6:10 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 20.
Saturdays are always big nights at the ballpark, so Bothun knows there will be lots of people watching.
“I was doing some research and I saw that I could send in an audition tape,” said Bothun, a member of the Chamber Choir at CSB and Saint John’s University. “I figured why not take a shot at it. I submitted it and didn’t hear back for a long time, so I figured ‘Oh well. At least I tried.’ But then, at the beginning of August, I got an email saying they were giving me a spot.
“I’ve sung there before for a Little League tournament when I was in high school,” she continued. “But this will be only about 30,000 more people!”
Bothun, a Lakeville North High School graduate, also sang the national anthem prior to many CSB athletic events during the 2021-22 academic year.
“My boyfriend who graduated from Saint John’s this past spring (Ethan Michaels) did the stats for all the Saint Ben’s games,” she said. “He told me they normally just played a recording for the national anthem. I contacted Emily Carr (the former athletic operations manager at CSB) and told her I’d love to do it. She got back to me and said that would be great.”
Bothun has been singing since she was little. But she credits her high school choir director Jamye Casperson with believing in her ability, as well as helping direct her toward CSB.
“If she hadn’t given me solos in high school and shown so much faith in me, I probably wouldn’t still be doing this,” she said. “She was the person I asked about going to CSB and SJU. She knew of (former choir director) Axel Theimer and his reputation. She told me I’d love it here and I have.”
Singing in a space as vast as Target Field presents some challenges, but Bothun said she’s prepared.
“I guess I’m most nervous about the echo,” she said. “There’s a terrible echo there, and if you aren’t careful or super-focused on yourself, it can be pretty easy to get behind or hit the wrong note.
“But I’m most excited about being able to perform, especially for a crowd that large. I love having a mic and getting the chance to sing. So I’m really excited about this.”