WASHINGTON – Baltimore Ravens games have started the same way virtually every weekend since the team’s inception in 1996. But today will be their National Anthem singer’s last.
Mishael Miller has been singing the Star-Spangled Banner at Ravens home games since he graduated from Morgan State University 18 years ago.
“I got a call from the Ravens out of the clear blue stating that they had received my name,” Miller tells the Baltimore Sun. “They needed an anthem singer – somebody to sing for the first game only.” But then the team called him back, and they’ve had him back on a year-to-year basis ever since.
Singing the anthem means coordinating it with other events, such as a military-jet flyover, so his renditions can range from a minute to two minutes.
He’s tried different singing styles over the years, but one thing remains the same.
“I have learned over the last number of years to allow the audience to participate in with the National Anthem.”
Even though it’s been the same song and the same ritual through the football season since the team was started, the style has changed over the years.
When the Modell family owned the team, Miller was instructed to “Juice it up, you know … so I got really jazzy with it. Then we got new management here the last few years. They wanted a more traditional version, you know, one the audience would be able to sing along with.”
Those fans will bid farewell to Miller today – he’s leaving to become a pastor at a church in Alabama.