“My dad is always telling me it is not what you know, but who you know,” says Plymouth State University Student Kathryn “Katy” Cohn from Moultonborough. The fact that she is singing the national anthem to open the Red Sox game on Tuesday, August 9, proves just how true those words are.
Cohn is not studying music or voice at PSU, she has had no formal training and generally doesn’t perform any other songs publicly. Yet, she has a way with the national anthem. “I don’t show off my voice except for singing the national anthem,” says Cohn.
Which is exactly what she did on June 7, when she sang at a banquet in Sanford, Maine, honoring the Sanford Mainers, a college league baseball team who had won the New England Regional Championship. Several officials from the Red Sox were present for the celebration, including one of the owners, Leslie “Les” Otten. Cohn walked up to him and asked about singing at Fenway. He explained she would need to submit a demo CD and go through the audition process, which typically takes four to six weeks. Otten told her to send her demo CD to him and he would hand deliver it to the appropriate person.
Not being in the “music business,” Cohn wasn’t sure how to go about making a demo CD. Gary Miller, owner of Miller Auto Dealership in Tamworth, is Cohn’s father’s boss and, interestingly, one of the owners of the Sanford Mainers. He made arrangements for Cohn to make her demo CD at WOKQ 97.5 FM.
On June 14, Cohn sent in her CD, and on July 11 she called to follow-up and was asked at which game she wanted to sing the national anthem. The rest, as they say, is history and Cohn will be joined by her family on the field at Fenway when she opens the game at 7:05 p.m. on Tuesday, August 9.