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Salt River Students Perform National Anthem at Spring Training Game

Salt River High School student Ariana Chiago and the SRHS Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) members pose for a group photo at Salt River Fields on March 8.

Moments before the Colorado Rockies and Texas Rangers took the field for a spring training game on March 28, Salt River High School student Ariana Chiago sang the national anthem, accompanied by 14 SRHS students who are Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) members.

They performed in front of thousands of people at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. The Rangers beat the Rockies 4-3, and paid attendance was 10,077, according to www.mlb.com.

The students prepared months in advance in order to give spring training fans a little taste of SRHS talents. Participating students had to have at least a ‘C’ average to take part.

Chiago's first major national anthem performance was a success as baseball fans cheered her on.
Photo submitted by Off. A. Graham
“I had to prepare two months in advance. It was really exciting, but I was also really nervous because it’s such a big crowd,” said Chiago, who normally performs around the Community and at high school events alongside the SRHS JROTC. “It’s just huge, and it’s going to be everywhere; it was very exciting. I feel really good about my performance. I think I did pretty good and I want to do it again.”

“I think it’s a real honor just being here and [hopefully] being able to come back next year,” said SRHS freshman Hannah Reyes-Carmelo, who accompanied Chiago. It was her second time performing in front of a large spring training crowd. Last year, Reyes-Carmelo was the only straight-A student at SRHS. This year, she is one of four straight-A students who performed.

On Sunday, April 2, the SRES choir conducted by former student Angelica Gonzalez, sang the national anthem in O'Odham for the spring training visitors. The choir included 22 elementary school students and 10 high school students
Photo submitted by Suzanne Decker
“It’s all about the kids and the experience. The students maintain a very high standard, and academics are the most important thing that I stress in our class. We have a great group with great character; they represent the Community, military and everyone in general. They did a fantastic job,” said JROTC Director Sgt. Samuel Carter.

School Resource Officer and Explorer Advisor Officer Seth Graham and Carter, who worked with staff from the Salt River Fields at Talking Stick in order to provide the students this opportunity, coordinated the performance.