Cher and Gene, Omaha natives and professional songwriters who have lived in Nashville, TN, and Los Angeles, CA, describe the National Anthem as “truly inspired.” “Imagine you are Francis Scott Key, detained on a British ship, witnessing the bombardment of Fort McHenry through the night, and at the break of dawn you spot the American flag, still waving triumphantly in the distance,” Gene Klosner said. “That one moment inspired the poem that came to be an anthem for a nation. That’s what we think about when we sing – we want the people to feel that one inspiring moment.”
Francis Scott Key was a young lawyer and amateur poet at the time he penned the poem, “Defence of Fort McHenry” in 1814. The poem was later set to the tune of a popular British drinking song, written in the late 1700’s by well-known composer, musicologist and organist, John Stafford Smith. Originally created for the Anacreontic Society, a London social club, Smith's melody was modified to fit Key's poem and the resulting composition became known as “The Star-Spangled Banner,” a title crafted to honor the very flag which inspired Key to create the poem.
The Klosners have performed “The Star-Spangled Banner” for multiple events, including several immigration and naturalization ceremonies. Cher Klosner Lane stated, “To witness a person becoming a citizen of the United States is very moving – there are many emotions going through people’s hearts and you see it in their faces – it’s difficult to get through the song without a tear. It is very bittersweet. I imagine this is what my great, great grandparents felt when they left their homelands and set sail for America in search of a better life.”
The duo's performance highlights include appearances at World Youth Day, with Pope John Paul II and President Clinton, CNBC’s “The Big Idea”, the 2007 College World Series, The Grand Ole Opry, “American Magazine” and many 9/11 tribute events in New York and Los Angeles. The Klosners' music has been performed by symphonies across the United States and Canada, and their latest CD, Stardust, has won several awards, including an “iParenting Media – 2008 Best Products – Audio” and a “Parents’ Choice” music award.
Cher & Gene Klosner will sing the National Anthem for the College World Series on Saturday, June 14, Session 2 – Game 2, at 6:00PM at Rosenblatt Stadium in Omaha, Nebraska. Omaha became the home to the College World Series in 1950 and back then, total attendance for the series was 17,805. Today, musicians and singers from throughout the Midwest compete each year to perform the National Anthem before an average of more than 20,000 baseball fans per game.
The Klosners’ performance at the US Olympic Team Trials for Swimming, slated for Saturday, July 5, 7:00PM at the Qwest Center in Omaha, will be the first Olympic event for the pair, as well as the first year the Olympic Swim Trials will be held in Omaha. The Omaha Sports Commission is projecting totals of 10,000 visitors to Omaha, and estimating seating capacity for the Trials to be 14,000. “To be able to sing the National Anthem for both of these major events, we are doubly honored,” stated Klosner-Lane. “Just as these amazing athletes are bringing their best to Omaha, we will give them our very best in song. We hope to inspire them as much as each of them inspire us.”