January 25, 2009 Guest – Wayne Messer
Program: Finding Release From Hatred
is the public address announcer for the Chicago Cubs. He sings the Star
Spangled Banner before many Cubs games. Messmer also performs the
Star-Spangled Banner before many Chicago Wolves American Hockey League
games. Messmer is part owner of the Chicago Wolves. He is a member of
Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, the national fraternity for men in music.
For many years, he also sang
for the Chicago Blackhawks, Chicago White Sox and Chicago Sting. He was
fired by the Blackhawks in 1994 when he began working for the "rival"
Wolves. They allowed him to sing the anthem one last time at the Hawks
first home game at United Center on January 20, 1995. It was his first
performance since being shot. On a few occasions since then, the St.
Louis Blues have asked Messmer to sing the anthem at their home games.
Messmer often performs the Anthem with his wife Kathleen.
Messmer's performance of the
Anthem is always concluded with his trademark flourish on the final word
"Brave" in which he forcefully flips the "r" and sings the word on the
same pitch as the Anthem is begun.
In April of 1994, Messmer was
mugged and shot in the throat by a teen. During the mugging, Messmer did
as the teen mugger told him. He said "you can have it all," and gave him
all his valuables. The teen then shot Messmer for no apparent reason and
left him to die in front of a West Side Chicago restaurant. He survived
the incident and after months of therapy continued his career as a
singer and announcer.