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Monomoy students sing national anthem at Healey address

With little notice—and some help from a local state senator—a high school choir performed at the governor's first State of the Commonwealth speech.

HARWICH—While rehearsing last Friday afternoon, Rose Richard's choir students were informed that they had just landed their biggest gig ever.

By Wednesday night, they were performing "The Star-Spangled Banner" at a packed State House ahead of Governor Healey’s first State of the Commonwealth address.

Because of the holiday weekend, the 11 Monomoy Regional High School students didn't have a proper rehearsal until the day before. But they were ready — they've had the national anthem down since the start of the school year, Richard said.

The choir was recommended to the governor's office by Senator Julian Cyr (D-Truro) and a member of the a cappella group Hyannis Sound.

Richard and the choir hopped a school bus Friday afternoon and arrived at Beacon Hill in time for a performance run-through and a tour of the State House.

"I kind of geeked out," Richard said. "I was like, 'Oh my god, [Boston Mayor] Michelle Wu is going to be sitting right behind me.' That I think is when it set in that this was really a huge deal."

Last week, CAI's Morning Edition featured Monomoy High's band and orchestra as part of a live show from the school, where Richard is music director.

"I am so incredibly proud of my students," she said. "For some of them, it was their first time singing in front of that big of a crowd. And they were just crushing it the whole way."

The performance can be heard by clicking LISTEN above.

Patrick Flanary is a dad, journalist, and host of Morning Edition.