Capitals fans saw a familiar face before NASCAR’s Pure Michigan 400 Sprint Cup race, Sunday.
Sergeant Major Bob McDonald, who regularly performs the National Anthem before Caps games, sung the The Star-Spangled Banner with the US Army Chorus Quartet.
Before most Caps home games, fans at Verizon Center are treated to a stirring, up-tempo rendition of the national anthem by Sergeant Major Bob McDonald. McDonald’s bass-baritone is popular; he has performed at the Super Bowl, the Winter Classic, Major League Baseball games, and, of course, RMNB Party 7: PARTYZORD. As an active-duty member of the Army, McDonald has entertained presidents, visiting heads of state, and supreme court justices.
This week, McDonald will perform twice at Arlington’s Signature Theatre, sharing highlights from his illustrious career and singing Broadway tunes and songs he’s sung for US presidents. Wednesday night’s performance is sold out, but Friday’s show still has tickets remaining. You can purchase tickets here.
On Sunday night, while I grilled a pizza and Bob grilled a steak, we discussed his upcoming concerts and what it’s like to perform at some of the biggest sports events in the world.
After giving out bracelets in the first round of the playoffs, the Caps kicked it up a notch with branded styrofoam tubes for Game One of the Penguins series. The tubes lit up red when activated.
At first the giveaway seemed strange. Caps superfan Goat joked on Instagram that it was “Light-Up Miniature Pool Noodle Night’ at VERIZON CENTER!” But they were stunning. It looked like a pulsating sea of red.
Caps fans recognized a familiar face in the crowd on Super Bowl Sunday as regular anthem singer Bob McDonald (top row, 2nd singer from the left) sang “America the Beautiful” in the Armed Forces Chorus, a DC-based group of 50 singers from all branches of the US Military. They were joined by actress Marlee Matlin, who signed along with the group in ASL.
In what is becoming an annual tradition, Santa Claus flew down early from the North Pole to make an appearance at the Verizon Center before the Washington Capitals took on the Tampa Bay Lightning. And before puck drop, we were even treated to a stirring rendition of the national anthem from Claus which sounded a lot like Bob McDonald.
There was fist pumping and gyrating. Santa went HAM.
Before game seven, the Washington Capitals had Bob McDonald and Caleb Green sing the national anthem together. As always, it was beautiful. But you could tell that they were a little more pumped than usual.
At the end of the anthem, Green punctuated his performance with a loud chant of Let’s Go Caps! McDonald pumped his fist.
And that’s why we love these guys.
Photo: Monumental Network
Not only do the Washington Capitals have a talented team on the ice, they also sport a number of gifted people off of it. I mean, heck, PA Announcer Wes Johnson has been in a Julia Louis-Dreyfus sitcom, a John Waters movie, and a national TV commercial with Ray Lewis.
On Saturday, Caps anthem singer Bob McDonald will spread his wings in concert at AMP by Strathmore in Bethesda (doors 6:30, show 8pm). Tickets are still available as of right this moment, but you should get on it now, because I’m told they’re going fast.
The Master Sergeant has been singing at Capitals games since the 1992-93 season. As an active duty soldier, McDonald also sings in the U.S. Army Chorus. On New Year’s Day, he sung during the Winter Classic in the NHL’s best outdoor pre-game ceremony yet.
I hate feeling my own feels. The Caps just turned my insides to mush with this two-minute video dedicated to Bensten “Bman” Schone. As you’ll recall, Bensten is the six-year-old Caps fan who was struck by a car after accidentally sledding into the road. He’s been slowly recovering from a brain injury ever since.
When news broke that the Capitals asked the US Army Chorus sing the national anthem, some wondered if it was potentially a cost-cutting move. In previous Winter Classics, famous, Grammy award-winning musicians have sung the Star Spangled Banner, including the Zac Brown Band last year and Patti LeBelle in 2012.
Instead, Caps anthem singers Master Sergeant Bob McDonald and Master Sergeant Caleb Green combined with Caps PA Announcer Wes Johnson to author one of the most beautiful pregame ceremonies and anthem singings I’ve ever seen. In fact, the whole thing was so dang perfect and well-done, I found myself overwhelmed. I sobbed by the end of it.
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
All original content on russianmachineneverbreaks.com is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)– unless otherwise stated or superseded by another license. You are free to share, copy, and remix this content so long as it is attributed, done for noncommercial purposes, and done so under a license similar to this one.