The athletic department is looking for singers to perform the national anthem at home basketball games throughout the year, as well as various other athletic events.
Open auditions will be held Sept. 17 at Mizzou Arena.
The tryouts are open to anyone who wants to participate, department spokesman Andrew Schuster said.
“It’s just general public auditions, so anybody that wants to do it, they’re welcome to go ahead and come up,” Schuster said. “We’ll take care of them, they just try out — it’s pretty simple.”
Schuster said they had a good turnout last year, and they hope to bring in even more this year.
“Last year, we had somewhere around 30 people,” Schuster said. “I expect probably between 30 and 50 (singers will try out) this year.”
Schuster said he would love to see a strong showing.
“I hope (that a lot of people show up),” Schuster said. “That’s the plan. There’s been a lot of buzz around it, and we hope to have everybody come out.”
Because of the open nature of the tryouts, Schuster said the participants come from varied backgrounds in terms of their singing experience.
However, most of the students coming to the audition have at least some singing experience, Schuster said.
“A lot of them have been doing it for a long time, so they’ve sung all their life,” Schuster said. “Or, they’ve done singing for us in the past. They just haven’t done it in a few years, and they’re going to be with us again.”
The contestants will be judged by a three-person panel headed by Schuster.
“It’s a real simple event,” Schuster said. “It’s nothing too extraordinary. What we try to do is just — we just give them an experience of actually singing inside Mizzou Arena and just allowing them to do that and see how they like it, see how they sound, and judge them based on their performance.”
Schuster said it’s a pretty low-key event.
“It’s not like American Idol or anything like that,” Schuster said.
The setup of the auditions will stay largely the same as it was last year, Schuster said.
“There’s not really anything you can change to it,” Schuster said. “It’s the same format (as last year). We just give them a microphone, and the audio system inside Mizzou Arena (takes care of the rest).”
Nonetheless, Schuster said he believes the participating students relish the chance to sing the national anthem at a game.
“I think, you know, for the first-time people, it’s pretty cool,” Schuster said. “It’s a unique experience. You don’t get to sing in an arena or facility like that (every day). It’s pretty cool, I think, for the first-time people.”