ALPENA, MI – As students return from their Spring Break trips, Alpena High School’s Lilly Gembel, started her vacation on a high note. The junior had the opportunity to sing the national anthem in front of 50,000 people at The Monster Energy Supercross on March 18.
Gembel is no stranger to “The Star-Spangled Banner,” as she sang for the Alpena Wildcats varsity hockey, softball and basketball games this past season. “I get really nervous when I sing for the hockey and basketball games,” she said. “I didn’t really know anyone at Supercross so it wasn’t super nerve-wracking to sing in front of all those people.”
Fast forward to March 18, where Gembel was invited to sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” in front of 50,000 motorcycle racing fans at Ford Field in Detroit. “Jeremy Albrecht submitted a video of me and then they asked if I could sing,” she said. “That was a super cool experience.”
Gembel started young as her fourth grade teacher taught the class the words. Soon after, Gembel began singing the national anthem for the Alpena Figure Skating Club. The rest is history for Gembel as she began performing the national anthem for Alpena athletic events as a sophomore. “Laura Dubey got me started singing at the varsity games,” she said. “Then hockey games because we’re around the rink all the time.”
Gembel has plans to sing next year at both girls basketball and hockey games for Alpena High School. As she enters into her senior year, Gembel has big plans for the future. “I would like to go to school either in Michigan, Stanford or LSU,” she said. “I’d like to go into either anesthesiology or biomedical engineering.”
Wrapping up her junior year, Gembel is an athlete herself with a varsity spot on Alpena’s girls golf and figure skating teams. Aside from her own games, it’s likely you’ll find Gembel singing “The Star-Spangled Banner” on the ice, court or diamond next season.