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Eastman school excited for Fleming's anthem

Rochester, N.Y. -- Four Grammys, a national medal of art from the president, and now opera star Renee Fleming will sing the National Anthem at the Super Bowl.

Fleming has hometown roots in Rochester. She's a graduate of Churchville-Chili High School and the Eastman School of Music.

13WHAM sat down with the musical director of the Eastman Opera Theater, Benton Hess, who coached Fleming when she began her musical career in New York City. He said she was a star since day one.

All of us who knew and loved Renee just stood back and watched in amazement as she blossomed and went from being an extremely talented graduate student to being a really wonderful artist, said Hess.

Hess also said Fleming was always prepared and worked very hard for many years to get to where she is today.

Students at the Eastman School of Music are also excited about the news.

Sara Sommerer also specializes in vocal music. She said shes thrilled to see opera music take center stage.

Typically they bring in mainstream artists like Beyonce, which is also really exciting, but opera stars havent been represented yet in the super bowl ever, said Sommerer. Its really, really exciting.

Hess agreed, saying Fleming will be bringing her own game to Super Bowl Sunday.

She brings a certain kind of gravitas with it," Hess said. "Dare I say, even majesty to it, and thats what the national anthem should be.

 
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