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Local to sing anthem at Red Sox game

By Staff | Feb 18, 2009

The Boston Red Sox are in town and one local resident is particularly happy.
For the ninth year in a row, Ray Cahoon will sing the national anthem Feb. 28 when the Boston Red Sox take on Northeastern University of Boston.
“It’s an honor and a privilege, and it’s exciting,” he said. “You do have to audition every year, and the organizer from last year gave me a good recommendation to sing this year.”
Not only is the singing itself exciting, Cahoon said he loves staying for the game.
“Being part of the enthusiast crowd is awesome,” he said.
Cahoon turns 79 in August.
“I feel good,” he said.
He performs regularly around the area. Currently Cahoon is doing different venues like retirement communities and nursing homes.
“My act is known as The Musicmaker,” he said. “It’s basically singing and entertaining and a lot of fun.”
Cahoon has performed at Shell Point, and his most recent performance was at Caloosa Harbor retirement home.
“I sang a program of varied selections, including Neil Diamond, Frank Sinatra and Elvis,” he said.
But singing a piece like the national anthem, especially in front of a big crowd, is a whole different experience.
“You have to start out at the right pitch in order to hit the high note at the end,” he said.
Cahoon said he does not get nervous about hitting the high note “because once you start, there’s nothing you can do about it.”
Cahoon has been a North Fort Myers and Buccaneer Estates resident for 19 years and is originally from Gloucester, Mass. A semiprofessional singer, as a vocation he worked as a bank manager.
He said when he moved to the area nearly 20 years ago, they were just clearing the land for the current stadium.
Cahoon said he enjoyed singing for many years with his late wife, mainly in Boston. There they performed with the Handle and Hyden Chorale Society.
“That’s the oldest chorale society in the country,” he added.
Cahoon said he really enjoys working with the Red Sox organization.
“They’ve been very cooperative and make me feel at home, and they are my favorite team,” he said.
Another annual event Cahoon enjoys is the yearly entertainment show at Buccaneer Estates.
“I also enjoy singing karaoke,” he said.
Concerning the new stadium planned for the Sox in the future, Cahoon said, “It’s going to benefit Fort Myers tremendously.”