Among those professionals was Rene Rancourt, a TD Garden fixture who delivers the national anthem at Bruins home games. But Rancourt, like the Bruins and other Bostonians surrounding him, admitted that even he wasn’t sure he could make it through what promised to be a difficult night.
“As I was getting ready, warming up my voice during the day — because it’s not that easy a song to do — I found myself breaking up and tearing up while I was practicing,” Rancourt said on Dennis & Callahan on Thursday morning. “I said, ‘Gee, I don’t know if I can get through this thing.’”
That evening, Bruins fans were invited to sing along during the anthem. Rancourt started the song then pulled his microphone down and directed the crowd as it sang the words.
“It was a very different sensation for me,” Rancourt said. “This was a first for me. I’ll tell you, I’m speechless for the first time in my life.”
Rancourt said it was the Bruins’ idea to let fans join in, and it turned out for the best.
“I’m sure that people didn’t even realize how much help I actually did need,” he said. “It was wonderful. The sound was carrying me, lifting me up in the room. It was just something indescribable. … I’m afraid I would have probably broken up a few times during the anthem. I’m not ashamed to admit that. …
“It went more than well. I’m just so proud for having been part of it.”