BILLINGS – The Big Sky State Games finished on Sunday, but on Friday, a 17-year old girl from Anaconda had the honor of singing the national anthem at the opening ceremony.
Madison Lodell was one of five who not only won an online contest in order to sing but was also hand-picked by music professionals.
She has sung at her school’s games, but this was even more special.
“It’s pretty exciting,” Lodell said. “It’s a lot bigger than just a high school game.”
Lodell started singing when she was 2 years old.
“It’s pretty special,” said Miranda Liedle, Madison’s mother. “She’s been doing this her whole life. It’s been a dream for hers forever. And I’m excited to see her reach her dreams.
Lodell said her music teacher encouraged her to sing at high school games.
“She pushed me to do the national anthem at my school games,” Lodell said. “I didn’t really want to at first, but she told me I had the voice for it, and so I started doing it, and I fell in love with it.”
“This is pretty big,” said Liedle. “She wants to get her name out there, and she’s really something special. So I’m excited to see where she goes with this.”
“It’s heartwarming just because it’s the national anthem,” Lodell said. “It’s my country, so I think it’s an honor to sing it, and it’s just all-around exciting.”
“It’s such an honor,” Liedle said. “My grandfather actually just passed in April. He was a vet. And so we have a lot of respect for the people here that fight for America, and we’re very proud to be here.”
Retired U.S. Army Sgt. Dana Bowman, who is a double amputee, parachuted with an American flag into Daylis Stadium before the national anthem.
Lodell has more dreams and says she will be auditioning for American Idol in September.
She will be a senior at Anaconda High School.
Story by David Jay, MTN News