Ohio State sound editor sings national anthem amid technical difficulties

Keith Frische is a member of the Ohio State Athletics Audiovisual Scoring System team. Frische can be seen at various sporting events in addition to being the audio tester at Ohio State football press conferences. Credit: Mackenzie Shanklin | Photo editor

Technical problems are common; problems like wrong wiring and bad connections all contribute to situational errors.

Last Monday’s field hockey game featured an impromptu chanting of the national anthem, due to one of those frustrating mistakes.

Prior to the field hockey game between the Buckeyes and the Louisville Cardinals, the event proceeded normally through pre-game presentations and announcements.

“There is a script for the general pre-game announcements with the lineup and start announcement for each team,” said Michael Basford, Ohio State field hockey sports information manager. “At this point it looked like another normal game day. “

After the queue announcements, it was time to stand up for the national anthem, as is customary for all Ohio State sporting events.

“Everyone get up and at this point our fan experience unit worker is on the computer. The computer is what signals all the pre-game music and everything that goes with that nature, ”Basford said. “They get the official signal to start the anthem – and nothing happens.”

As that constant pre-game staple failed to fill the pitch, Basford said spectators were starting to get excited.

“It’s 30 seconds without the music and when you stand up for the national anthem, those 30 seconds feel like 30 minutes,” Basford said.

The computer failed to play the preloaded national anthem. The next option in their troubleshooting methods was to use Spotify and play the anthem from the computer.

Unfortunately, the press box located at Buckeye Varsity Field is the only press box on campus that does not have Wi-Fi access.

At this point, Keith Frische, a member of the Ohio State Athletics Audiovisual Scoring System team, suggested using a phone dongle to stream the anthem.

“I was like, ‘Why don’t you use the phone dongle? “We still have him with us and he was on the AP table earlier,” said Frische.

The dongle was nowhere to be found.

As the situation worsened even more, Frische offered a final solution.

“I looked at Caroline [Brentz], who was in charge of the event, and Mike Basford and said, “Well, I could sing it,” Frische said.

Suddenly, the national anthem sounds. But rather than the classic Ohio State Marching Band playing, it was Frische’s voice that echoed through Buckeye Varsity Field.

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Frische working on the audio card at the Ohio State Football Press Conference Oct. 5 with Ryan Day and three players. Credit: Mackenzie Shanklin | Photo editor

Prior to working with the Ohio State AVS team, Frische attended Capital University, where he was at the Conservatory of Music.

Frische, who has a degree in music technology, completed four years of lessons in singing, music theory, and instrumental skills such as the piano.

“My degree in music technology is why I now have my job working with audio systems, sound systems and all the production behind music,” Frische said.

Familiar with the spotlight, Frische has performed with backing vocals as far back as he can remember.

“I was really impressed with myself,” said Frische. “I haven’t sung the national anthem since my last year of high school almost 10 years ago.”

The audience cheered after the performance as if that was what was planned for the anthem.

Basford said he was thrilled to hear about Frische’s unknown talent and can’t wait to hear it again.

“We were incredibly lucky that he was with us that day, our own personal singer,” Basford said. “He will have to be present at all our games in the future in case we need our singer again.”

Frische said it was a great experience to sing in front of a crowd again.

“It was a fun time. I would really sing again if they needed to, ”he said. “Maybe next time I’ll have time to prepare for the occasion.”


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