Skip to main content

Eight Audition For Ravens National Anthem Singer

Joey Odoms was in Kandahar, Afghanistan in early February when his commander put out a memo that Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh was on the base. 

Odoms, a member of the Maryland Army National Guard and Baltimore native, got some Ravens memorabilia autographed and was on his way out the door when an idea hit him.

"Something told me, an act of faith, that if I wanted to sing the national anthem, this was my time," Odoms said.

Odoms turned around and asked Harbaugh if he could put him in touch with somebody that could help him realize his dream.

About five months later, after filming his video audition in Afghanistan, Odoms was one of eight finalists to go through a final live audition in front of eight judges on the field at M&T Bank Stadium. The stands were empty, but the stakes were high.

Odoms wasn't the only impressive person with a remarkable story or voice, however. Seven other finalists also sang, from a woman due to give birth tomorrow to former Miss Maryland sisters.

The eight judges, including the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra's Meg Sippey, Ravens Team President Dick Cass and Ravens Director of College Scouting Joe Hortiz, deliberated in the Ravens' locker room immediately after the performances. Their final decision will be announced later this week.

The Ravens need a new national anthem singer because Mishael Miller stepped down from the post to become the senior pastor at the St. Luke A.M.E. Zion Church in Birmingham, Ala. Miller had sung the anthem at Ravens games since the franchise's inception in 1996.

Miller would likely be proud of the talent that tried out to replace him.

Odoms is a former Baltimore City 911 operator who is also a songwriter, actor and photographer. He had multiple appearances on HBO's "The Wire." Odoms delivered a powerful version of the song and displayed good range.

Another strong performance came from Shannon Ramsey, who is a born and raised Baltimore girl who has sung all over the world and was mentored by Gloria Estefan on the CW reality show, "The Next."

Perhaps more incredibly, Ramsey is scheduled to give birth to a baby boy, Caleb, at 3:15 p.m. tomorrow. She still strutted out onto the hot turf at M&T Bank Stadium and belted out a passionate version of the anthem.

"My husband asked yesterday if I was still going to go," Ramsey said. "I was like, 'Heck yeah!' I prepared for this, I studied voice and I practiced. Just to be here today and sing on the 50-yard line of my favorite team – my home team – was an honor. I would be crazy to pass that up."

A pair of sisters, Lindsay and Kasey Staniszewski, also performed, although they had to do it separately. The two are part of a duo, The Marylands, but the Ravens want a solo performer. The sisters have different voices, but both sang beautiful renditions.

Their singing isn't the only beauty they bring to the table. Lindsay, the older of the two, was Miss Maryland 2010 and Kasey was Miss Maryland 2013.

"We're just hoping one of us is lucky enough to get it," Lindsay said. "The other one will be there at the games watching, giving critiques afterwards."

Below are excerpts of the finalists' bios that they personally wrote, and their audition tapes:

  • Lindsay Staniszewski* *From an early age, Lindsay Staniszewski knew she was born to perform. She began performing with her sister at a young age and quickly developed into a polished performer. Lindsay won the title of Miss Maryland 2010 and started Beyond Beauty for Girls shortly thereafter.
      • Kasey Staniszewski –From an early age, Kasey Staniszewski knew she was born to perform. She began performing with her sister at a young age and quickly developed into a polished performer.  Kasey most recently captured the title of Miss Maryland 2013, and holds Miss Maryland Teen USA 2009.
    • Peter James* *Peter James has made his home and his stage in the greater Baltimore area for the past 15 years. He is inspired by rock, blues, and the sexy side of country, culminating in edgy compositions. From the age of four, Peter James has been highly involved in music, performing in numerous operas and musicals, to touring the East Coast in a hard rock band from 1998 to 2004, in which he was the lead singer.  He has been a solo acoustic artist for the past three years, rocking the docks of the Chesapeake Bay, and serenading the party-goers of Western Maryland wineries. He makes his living solely playing music, playing an average of 23 shows a month. He not only is an avid Ravens fan, but is highly patriotic. Somewhere between blue-collar and white-collar, as a musician, Peter represents a typical, working-class Baltimore resident.
  • Shannon Ramsey* *Born and raised in Baltimore Maryland this songstress has been singing ever since she can remember. Not only is Shannon a singer, she's also a songwriter, actress, model and a performer. Shannon is a world traveler and has brought her voice and talent to many great cities. Not only is she educated, but she understands the importance of giving back. Shannon currently resides as the fundraising Vice-Chair for FWO (For Women Only), a non-profit organization that was birthed with a desire to see women empowered, healed, safe and set free.
    • Andrew Carpenter –Carpenter is originally from Hagerstown. He's 29 years old and has been singing for most of his life. In December of 2012, Andrew appeared on BET's Apollo LIVE! and was declared "The Winner" of his episode. He recently won another singing competition at the Maryland LIVE! Casino.
  • Brooke Ansley* *In 2009 Brooke won the title of Miss Maryland, yielding the opportunity to sing and perform at over 150 events during the year and the chance to compete for the title of Miss America.  After a military performance of the National Anthem, she was told by Condoleezza Rice that her "singing was inspiring," becoming a turning point in her career and goals to pursue music.  Brooke has been an avid philanthropist and volunteer in Baltimore and has become involved in multiple grass roots efforts.  She spends her time as both a country songwriter and a community program manager for a cancer research foundation.
  • Jami Eisenstadt* *Jami's first anthem was when she was eleven years old at Camden Yards.  From then she was hooked.  She has sung the National Anthem for the Baltimore Blast, Washington Wizards, Pam Shriver's Tennis Challenge, (for 10 years in a row) and 72 Anthems during her undergraduate years at the University of Maryland. No anthem is complete for Jami without the loud roar of the Baltimore "O" during the song.
  • Joey Odums* *Joey is a member of the Maryland Army National Guard, a former Baltimore City 911 operator who is known in the Baltimore area best for his work as a songwriter, actor and photographer. Joey had multiple appearances on HBO's "The Wire" and has worked both on and off stage with many international and domestic performing artists of all types.
This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content