If you’ve ever watched a story by Steve Hartman of CBS News, then you already know to prepare to have a tissue nearby. I don’t know if it’s his voice, his delivery, the content or everything combined but he gets me every time.
This week’s story has a travel angle, which is about how each year, 600 of Kentucky’s best high school singers gather to practice and perform at Louisville’s convention center. But a tradition that started in 1987 in the Hyatt Regency, allows those staying there a chance to listen in awe.
I will be the first person to admit I don’t like staying in a hotel when there are 600 high school or college kids in the house because you’re most likely not going to get a lot of sleep. Heck, I remember back in my high school and college days, I had friends who basically tortured other guests. It’s no wonder the front desk at the Louisville Hyatt Regency offers guests earplugs when they’re in the house.
According to CBS: “Late one night in 1987, a small group of kids, who were still wired from practice, gathered along the hotel’s balconies. They chatted and waved to each other.” Then, out of nowhere, there’s a hum. One of the singers says, “someone sing a pitch.” Which can be anyone from anywhere and then eventually, the entire hotel catches on.
“And then they’re all singing the national anthem.” Listen to it below:
Every year 600 of the best high school singers from Kentucky gather to practice and perform at Louisville’s convention center – but it’s the tradition that started in a hotel that leaves those who get a chance to listen in awe. @SteveHartmanCBS has more. pic.twitter.com/olM2FTbzzX
— CBS Evening News (@CBSEveningNews) February 11, 2022
What’s amazing is that there’s no planning, practice or adult direction. “This is all kids, from all walks of life, who every year make it a priority to fill this hotel atrium with a riveting reminder — that we are not a nation of soloists, but a chorus of shared values that, when joined together, resonate like nothing the world has ever heard.”
This is one night of the year I hope I get to stay in this hotel that’s full of these remarkable kids.