Mavericks fans had more than one home team to cheer for during the Jan. 7 game against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Eighth-grade choir students at Highland Park Middle School took to the court amid high fives and applause to perform the National Anthem under the direction of Katie McDaniel, known to her students as “Ms. Mac.”
McDaniel has been teaching at HPMS for nine years, but said performing at a Mavericks game was a first for her. She was nervous about what to expect, but not about the ability of her choir students.
“I wasn’t nervous for the kids,” she said. “They knew what they were doing completely.”
Although the students had extra rehearsals before their performance, the noise and enthusiasm of the crowd were still new experiences. Eighth-grader Margaret Bickel said that choir members had to stand closer together than usual to make sure they started on the same note.
“At first I was nervous,” eighth-grader Brody Pacholski said. “But then it just felt like any other concert at the school.”
“When I got out on the court, and I saw everybody cheering, and I saw that I was with my friends through choir, I was like okay this is going to be fine,” eighth-grader Aria Wasson said.
In addition to “Ms. Mac,” choir students were accompanied by assistant choir director Julia Durbin-Nyoka and assistant principal Meghan Coates. Administrators from HPMS were in the stands to cheer on the students.
McDaniel emphasized how much the choir appreciated the support of the HPISD community. The choir’s performance was publicized by the school district and the Raider News before the game.
“That part was really fun, to be able to see that many people cheering for us,” she said.
Wasson said the performance was a “huge privilege” for choir students and “really brought us all together. Click HERE to view the students’ performance.