NEWSFLASH!!!! Special Guest National Anthem Singer Marlana VanHoose

A year and half ago before one of the Cavs-Warriors 2015 NBA Final games, my friend and I along with millions of other in a National TV viewing audience were able to witness the precious Marlana VanHoose sing the National Anthem in Cleveland’s Quicken Arena. We had the game DVR’d; and so with goosebumps, we rewound it once again to watch her pre-game performance over, before we settled in to watch the game. We were so inspired by this young lady from the great State of Kentucky. She was fearless, tenacious and could belt out the tunes. She was our hero on the court that night for sure..

Fast forward to this year and here she was singing the National Anthem again in Cleveland, at the Republican National Convention. A few days later my friend said to me: “we’ve got to get Marlana to sing the National Anthem at the Wattle”. This is our fifth year of bringing the Wattle to Grove City and we wanted to continue to bring excellence. We emailed her via her website, and received a “yes” response from her mother, Teresa, (somewhat of a fitting name here for her love-filled journey too). We shared one of her Youtube National Anthem renditions shortly after to Mount Carmel Health personnel, and they quickly agreed to help us underwrite her appearance fees for our event after witnessing her inspirational performance. We are truly thankful for our Presenting Sponsor’s 5th year of helping us bring the Best Family Event in Central Ohio on Thanksgiving Morning.

We had a chance to ask Marlana a few questions to gain some further insight into what stirs inside this sensational individual.

Q: How do you feel at that moment when everything is silent and you know that there is this crowd of 20,000 on hand or a national television audience like at the RNC and that they are waiting on you?

A: I am excited for them to hear me to inspire them

Q: What are you thinking before you start to sing?

A: About our country & how GOD made everything in it

Q: Do you take deep breaths? Do you get a signal somehow as to when to start? Are you nervous at all?

A: No deep breaths. My signal is right after they announce my name!! No I'm never nervous.

Q: Some people are sooo afraid to speak in front of a large group, let alone sing before such a large audience. Do you have some similar fears? How do you prepare during the day leading up to an event of such importance, where literally, you are on center stage?

A: No I do not!! I do my vocal warm-ups about one hour before I sing. And I drink lots of room temperature water.

Q: How often do you practice per day, per week, singing?

A: The only time I practice is when I learn the words to new songs or Mom reviews a song with me if I haven’t sung it in a long time.

Q: I saw where you played piano on Youtube where you sang Amazing Grace, and it is so stunning. Do you play piano to other songs too? Is your music available on Youtube?

A: I can play most any song on the piano after hearing it once or twice. Yes I have a YouTube channel plus I have an album on ITunes, CD Baby, etc.

Q: Have there ever been times in your career, where you felt that you could not perform? That you did not want to perform, that it was too hard or something like that? Can you share some of your most frustrated moments and what you did to overcome them?

A: Yes when I don’t feel good such as a cold or something like that. I usually go ahead & perform since I had been scheduled. But I have been blessed not to go through this much at all.

Q: What makes you feel good? When do you feel your best? Do you feel your best during your song? After your song when you hear the ovation? Do you get charged up when you can hear cheering during your song when you are really belting out a tune within the song?

A: During a song when people are hooping and a hollering. Yes I get very charged up with the cheering!! I love it!!

Q: If there was one thing you would like to tell your audience that they probably don't know about you, what would it be?

A: That I can sing more than the National Anthem. I’m not a one hit wonder like my brother told me!!

Q: What are you hobbies? Do you read (braille)? Do you listen to TV or to the Radio? Who is your favorite singer? Is there a singer where you feel you'd like her voice and you try to perform like them?

A: I love playing, composing & arranging music!! Discovering the world from YouTube. I love to swing! I listen to the radio when I'm swinging & traveling. I do watch (we say “watch”) TV when it’s a musical program. It’s hard to pick a favorite singer. I like Adele, Shania Twain, LeAnn Rimes, Whitney Houston. I can imitate some of the singers such as Shakira & Christina Agularia.

Q: Do you like books on tape or DVD or thing like that?

A: I have listened to several of them when I was in school, but I usually don’t have any desire to do that anymore!

Q: Who has been your biggest supporters in your life? Who has helped you achieve this national and world spotlight that you have landed in?

A: My mom!! My mom, Candi Combs, David L. Cook & the Best Buddies Organization.

Q: In addition to being a beautiful lady, and having a rock star singing voice? What do you want people to know about you?

A: I focus on my abilities rather than my disabilities!!! And I don’t want to see with my eyes on this earth!!!!

Q: It appears that you are a devout Christian? How does your faith play into this journey that you are on?

A: That I can be a witness for Jesus all over the USA!!

Q: Finally food, what is your favorite food?

A: McDonalds: 6 piece chicken nuggets, large french fries & a medium water with no ice.