When I received a phone call from my Elite Marketing Contact, who informed me that Fordham University was interested in having me perform the National Anthem and God Bless America for their menís basketball team and their womenís basketball games Ė I was more than elated.
You see, this was much more than about the menís basketball team being a marquee team whose games are on National CBS Sports TV and the YES Network on cable. More than a team who is among the best in college basketball, playing against the best college basketball teams around.
It goes deeper than that. I am a Fordham alumnus.
Ever since I graduated from Fordham University, when I am asked about my recommendation for colleges I always recommend Fordham University. Fordham is one of the best, elite educational institutions in the country, so if you have the grades and the brain to be admitted you are guaranteed to be taught by caring Ph.D.s, and graduate as a well-rounded, well-educated, well-read and, overall, a person who can see and think clearly outside the box. I believe this is necessary in this day and age.
When we met with the Fordham University Sports Department, nostalgia ran through me like ribbons of joy. I was in shock upon arriving when, right after introductions, they asked me, ďHey Gina, are you by chance available this weekend? We have our Rams Football team playing Georgetown for our Armed Forces Appreciation Day and we donít have a singer."
Whoa. Erm... "YES! I am available and I will be honored to sing for the The Rams and for the Armed Forces."
Boom. That was it. I was booked for my first game and, after singing the National Anthem and then God Bless America immediately following, live airplay on FM radio station 90.7 WFUV and an incredible response, they booked me for more menís and womenís basketball games into 2013. Some are being played at Madison Square Garden and the new Barclays Center (the new Nets home) and Iím waiting for confirmation on these big arenas.
All games will be aired on CBS Sports and the YES Network.
You know what the best part of this is for me? After all these years I get to return to the school that gave me so much. I didnít just receive an outstanding education but I received a well-rounded view of the world via Ph.D. professors who not only taught at Fordham but were also working on writing books, publishing, appearing on TV discussing the subject(s) they are experts on, directing Broadway productions, conducting their own radio shows... I think you get the idea.
I had the experience of an education given by people who werenít just stuck in the classroom but were simultaneously having a world experience within their expertise and in return sharing that experience with their students.
Will singing at these games with TV coverage help boost my career? Of course. But this time, itís not about that.
Now, I get to give back.
Thatís a blessing. Itís giving back to an institution that gave so much to me. It opened its doors in 1841 and is most impressive. It stretched out to me, accepted me and I absorbed everything I could like a sponge.
Fordham University was one of the influences in my life that molded me into the person, singer and musician I am today.
I thank you with all my heart...
Now, LETíS GO FORDHAM RAMS!!!