As the annual State of the City event draws near, Merced Mayor Mike Murphy, city officials, and other community leaders have been busy making preparations.
Slated for Friday, Feb. 7, at the Merced Theatre, the event is free and open to the public, with doors opening at 10:30 a.m.
As the program gets underway at 11 a.m., community members in attendance will gain insight into future plans for the City of Merced, updates on current projects, and an overall view of the direction Merced is heading in.
But before Mercedians settle into their seats and hear about the so-called “City on the Rise,” they will stand to hear the singing of the national anthem.
And for this year’s event, there will be a special selection process for the singer or singers.
“While I am aware that we have a lot of amazing talent here in Merced, I also know there is a lot more that I haven’t become aware of yet,” said Murphy in an interview with the Times. “So this year I wanted to do something special for the event and open up the singing of the National Anthem to the public.”
Murphy went on to say that he’s excited to further highlight the talents and skills of Merced’s residents through the new auditioning process. The singer or singers of the National Anthem performance will join along with the numerous other performances that punctuate the event including local dance groups, school choirs, local bands, and more — all in an effort to show the variety of artistic capabilities and cultures that make Merced stand apart from other Central Valley towns.
“So if you’re a singer, or if your a group of singers, and you’d like to audition to sing the national anthem, we’d love to have your submissions,” Mayor Murphy said.
Singers who have a voice for it — be it a solo performer or a group, a capella, or any other style — are encouraged to take part in the auditions by submitting a performance video and contact information electronically to: [email protected], or by hand delivering it to the City Clerk’s office on the first floor of the Merced Civic Center located at 678 West 18th Street in Downtown Merced.
The deadline for audition submissions is Jan. 17.