by Lawrence Lannoo
For Father’s Day, Melanie Lane was buying Jets hockey tickets for her husband when she noticed an opportunity she had to consider.
Lane, who teaches grade one at Wawanesa School, became interested in one of the contests she qualified to enter as a season-ticket holder.
“One of them was to sing the national anthem at a Jets game,” Lane said in an interview October 6th. “That had been on my bucket list for years.”
And, after going through the audition process, Lane earned that privilege.
On October 1st, Lane stepped out onto the ice in front of 15,000 hockey fans to sing the anthem, the prelude to a pre-season game between Winnipeg and the Edmonton Oilers.
A clip of her performance was played on the TSN sports channel, as well as being recognized on the Jets’ Facebook page.
Lane noted the arena was “pretty full,” due in part to the unveiling of a statue honouring the late Dale Hawerchuk, who played nine seasons with the Jets.
“I was worried I would freeze up and really bomb,” Lane said, “or get scared and not be able to do it.
“But because the people are so far out and away from you on the ice, … you feel a little better.”
She said her husband David told “everyone” his wife would be singing the anthem at the game, and her mother did something out of character to recognize the occasion.
“My mom came to the game, and she doesn’t even watch sports,” Lane said. “She came to watch me sing.”
Melanie calls herself a “singer by hobby,” including performances by karaoke and in her car with her teenage daughter.
As a teacher in Wawanesa, she is one of the instructors for the high school choral class.
Lane also has a family connection to a well-known Canadian singing act.
Her great aunt was a member of The Hames Sisters, a trio who gained fame in the late 1950’s performing on CBC’s “Country Hoedown” program.
Looking back on her pre-game performance, Melanie is grateful for the experience.
“Being out there on the ice and knowing everybody is hearing you,” she said, “and knowing all my friends and family were supporting me: It was just … a really neat feeling.”
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