Many of the world's greatest performers say that singing the national anthem solo in front of a crowd is one of the most daunting songs to attempt.
Trenton Brown, an Ohio dad sitting in the stands before his son's basketball game, gave it a shot last week and left the crowd cheering with his impromptu rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner" after the sound system in the gym malfunctioned.
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The rousing moment before the varsity game on Dec. 4 between Portsmouth West High School and visiting Waverly High School was captured by Johnny Futhey, a friend of Brown, who posted it on Facebook.
"Just Wow! Audio wouldn’t work to play the National Anthem at tonight’s Waverly-Portsmouth West game," Futhey wrote. "It got quiet and a little awkward then out of nowhere Ezekiel Brown’s dad Trenton steps up big time and sings with no mic, no music, just talent! Wow someone needs to sign this guy!"
Brown had previously performed in a church choir and a band, but had never sung a solo version of the national anthem like he did before the game.
"There were some technical difficulties and they couldn't get the music to play, and it seemed like forever and so finally my wife kind of nudged me and she said, 'Just sing,' and so I started singing it, and that was it," Brown told NBC Ohio affiliate WCMH.
"Beautiful and so heartfelt," one Facebook commenter wrote. "I hope we all get an opportunity to hear you sing it again."
Brown had settled in to watch his son Zeke's first varsity basketball game when the gym went silent for a long stretch as everyone rose for the anthem. After Brown's voice filled the silence, the crowd and players all broke out in applause at the end of his performance as he sat down for a handful of popcorn.
"Yeah, I was hoping it was more for the anthem than me, but yeah, there was some applause," Brown said.
He has always enjoyed music, often singing with his daughter, who is now in the U.S. Air Force.
"It's just always been something fun to do," he said.
The anthem also has a particularly personal resonance to him.
"To me, it really pulls on my heartstrings because my job, I maintain and service aircraft and support our troops, and my family from my grandfather to my father, two of my brothers, two nephews, a niece and of course my daughter, Grace, all serve in the military," he said. "I've traveled all around the world, and this is the greatest country."