Marchbanks to Sing National Anthem at NAIA Tournament

OBU senior Stephanie Marchbanks has been invited to participate in the 75th annual NAIA Division I Basketball National Championship in Kansas City, Mo., bringing her love for patriotic music alive in a presentation of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

A native of Overland Park, Kan., Marchbanks contacted tournament officials in the past to offer her help with the tournament since she lived nearby. This year, however, NAIA contacted her and gave her the honor of singing the national anthem during the opening day of the event. The tournament runs March 14-20, 2012, at the Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City.

A vocal music education major, Marchbanks said she loves all patriotic songs. She grew up in a musical family, enjoying The Acoustix barbershop quartet’s album, “Stars and Stripes,” and singing “God Bless the USA” as a family in church. When Marchbanks received the opportunity to sing the national anthem at OBU, she was ecstatic, and she said she is thrilled to sing for a national tournament.

“I got a compliment from a parent at an OBU game a couple weeks ago,” Marchbanks said. “A woman came up to me after I sang and said her father, an elderly man, said it was the best rendition he had heard in 100 years. Yes, an exaggeration on his part, but it made me smile!”

After graduating from OBU, Marchbanks plans to move back to Kansas to work at a daycare teaching preschool-age children. She also will serve as a field supervisor for baseball and softball at a complex in Overland Park, and she will begin the process of getting her Kansas teaching license while networking with surrounding school districts.

More than anything else, Marchbanks desires to teach music and express the joy she finds in sharing her own musical talent with others.

“I love making people happy with music,” she said. “It’s what I do!”

Marchbanks studies in the studio of Dr. Louima Lilite, assistant professor of music at OBU. She is the daughter of Noel and Lisa Marchbanks. During her time on Bison Hill, she has been named to the academic honor rolls, and she has received music, endowed and academic scholarships. She has participated in Bisonettes, University Chorale, Sigma Alpha Iota, Kappa Delta Pi and MENC, the National Association for Music Education.

For more information about the NAIA Division I Basketball National Championship, click here.