Winnipeg Jets fans are eagerly looking forward to Sunday night’s pre-season matchup against the Ottawa Senators — not only for the game itself, but also for the experience of being in a full arena for the first time since public health orders kept sporting events a closed-off affair.
Part of that experience is the traditional singing of the national anthem, complete with Winnipeg’s “True North” shout — something longtime Jets anthem singer Stacey Nattrass Brown said is a long time coming.
“I’ve missed singing to a room full of humans,” Brown told 680 CJOB. “Not that there weren’t humans in the arena last year, but it sure was different not having 15,000 people around you.
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“Last year I was singing with my back to the players up in the lounge area, to a couple of camera people…. It was dead quiet, and so it was very surreal and nerve-racking in that sense, that I’m the only sound in the building right now.
“There’s a comfort with all of the hubbub of everybody excited and singing with you. I feel like it’s a big warm hug and it felt very isolated last year.”
Brown said while she expects to get nervous on game day right before she sings, right now she’s feeling nothing but excitement and “the anticipation of joy”.
“The act of singing — there’s something just integral to our soul, I believe, that when we sing we just feel connected to our true selves and to each other.
“It connects us because it’s the universal language.”