f you’ve tried to sing along to the U.S. National Anthem in the past, you know it’s hard to hit all the right notes.
So imagine doing that in front of a large group of people!
At age 17, a high school junior named Isaac Bryant gave it a go – and he wasn’t even planning on performing.
It’s a tough job, but someone’s got to do it
To be fair, Bryant’s goal is to be a singer. You don’t just let anyone belt out “The Star-Spangled Banner” at a public event.
But his solo came about in an interesting way – at a high school wrestling match at Ohio’s Mechanicsburg High School. Apparently, there was no one other to sing the anthem.
“They needed somebody to sing the national anthem, so I’m like, ‘I’ll do it’,” said Bryant.
With a little prodding from a friend, the teen went for it – and he gave an impressive performance by anyone’s standards.
“I just sang from the bottom of my heart,” he said.
Luckily, someone was there to record the event (and the Facebook video – which now has over 1 million views – is available down below). It’s hard to tell when something is going to resonate with people, but the teen’s gesture certainly hit that sweet spot.
“I feel blessed and I really thank God,” Bryant said, “because it is lightning in a bottle, and it doesn’t happen a lot. And I think the reason that it is going viral is because it is real, and people understand it and there’s a lot of people that are in the military.”
Of course, once the video went viral, the news channels came calling in his small Ohio town, where the teen grew up loving country music (Hank Williams, in particular).
A bigger stage
Not long after his impromptu performance, Bryant got a surprise from his mom. She told him to get ready to head to John Glenn International Airport.
“She said you are going to be on Fox & Friends Wednesday morning, and we are leaving tonight,” the teen recalled to ABC 6/FOX 28 News.
It was the first time Bryant had ever performed the National Anthem in public, and his solo performance was earning him a chance to sing on a larger stage. But first, he put on another unexpected show at the airport.
On a guitar handmade by his grandfather, he gave onlookers something to talk about on their flights.
Later, he was invited to sing the anthem again, this time in Washington D.C., for Medal of Honor recipients.
Keeping the faith
“At this point this is all a dream come true,” Bryant said about his viral fame.
He’s also particularly proud that his moment came while singing a patriotic song. And he shared a message for those disillusioned with current events.
“I love America if you are losing faith in America, keep the faith,” he said.
These days, Bryant is pursuing a career in country music while he studies at Ohio State, where he’s currently a sophomore.