Bruhlman Sets The Tone With A Decade Of Anthems
In the moments prior to puck drop, a familiar electricity fills the arena.
The starting lineup stands on their respective bluelines, and the anthem singer steps to the ice to complete a rendition of “O Canada.”
At Chatham’s Memorial Arena, prior to Chatham Maroons games, for the last ten years that moment has been produced, and song sung by Chatham’s Alexis Bruhlman. For Bruhlman, it’s been a family affair since she was born, including her great grandfather, who owned the team in the 1980s.
“My family has always had strong ties with the Chatham Maroons,” Bruhlman explained. “I’ve always always had a passion for singing. I used to compete for years before I even began with the Maroons. They were looking for a new national anthem singer and asked if I would want to sing. And they’ve kept me around ever since.”
That was a decade ago, when Bruhlman first started singing for the Chatham Maroons at age nine.
She still clearly remembers that first anthem.
“This tiny little nine-year-old on the ice with these huge hockey players was very intimidating. But I had my whole family in the crowd, and all of the fans cheering when I was done. I remember feeling on top of the world.”
“Singing for the Maroons has always been so special to me, it’s something that not many people can say that they’ve done. The Maroons family has always treated me like one of their own, and it’s been an honour to be a part of this team for a decade now.”
Now studying to be a paramedic at St. Clair College, and working for Zimmer Air Service in Blenheim, Bruhlman has sung prior to hundreds of Maroons games, regular season and playoffs, but she still gets nervous, and still enjoys the experience.
“I still get nervous from time to time, especially when there are events or awards before the game. I always want to perform my best and start the game off on a good note. Everyone in that arena have always cheered me on from day one, making these past ten years so special to me.”
In December, the Maroons recognized Bruhlman’s ten years of service with the organization. She believes in giving back, and plans to continue singing and setting the tone for Chatham Maroons games for the foreseeable future.
“It’s become a tradition for me, every Sunday night I get to sing for our Chatham Maroons. The maroons volunteer with so many other organizations within Chatham Kent, and I think it’s important to see young people volunteer in the community as well.”
The next time you attend a Chatham Maroons game, and are asked to please rise and remove your hat for the singing of our national anthem, be sure to add extra applause for Chatham’s Alexis Bruhlman.