AUSTIN, Texas — The Super Bowl has come and gone. Which means we're inching closer and closer to baseball season.
The Round Rock Express will be starting their preparation process by holding some important tryouts on Monday.
Before the start of their 20th season, the Express is holding open auditions Monday, Feb. 4, to select who all will be singing the national anthem at Dell Diamond during the team's 70 home games.
It doesn't cost anything to try out, and everyone is allowed to sign up. This year, specifically, it's looking like there is going to be some stout competition. There have already been 180 people sign up to come out Monday, which is the most the Express organization has ever had.
Laurie Winckel is going to be one of the judges on Monday, as she is the owner of Vocal Edge Voice Studio in Central Texas. Not only has she been teaching for almost 35 years now, but she also knows this particular audition process very well. Winckel has sung the national anthem at Dell Diamond and even coached singers who have performed there as well.
"It can be a difficult song to sing," Winckel said. "It's got jumps, and it's got some of the vowels -- which are important to singers. They're not as easy to just to wing it."
The Express are making sure to have some guidelines for the tryout. Every singer has to keep their audition under 90 seconds while doing so in a traditional style with no creative variation.
"The national anthem, to me, is more about the meaning behind it and the history behind it," Winckel said. "It's about serving and honoring our flag."
Winckel said her father, grandfather and son all served in the military, including her son who just got out of the marine corps. This is why getting to coach and work with people on the national anthem means a lot to Winckel.
"There's just something more about it," Winckel said. "It's grander. It's bigger than any one of us could be when you sing it."
The judges will be picking 70 people to sing for their 70 home games this upcoming season. The Express are also accepting video recordings as auditions for those who can't make it.
Tryouts are Monday from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the United Heritage Center inside Dell Diamond. If you want to sign up, you can find those details by clicking here.