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Burnaby singer to hit career high note at Seahawks game

Burnaby
Burnaby's Marie Hui sings the national anthems at Vancouver Whitecaps' home games. But on Sept. 21 she'll perform them at Seattle's CenturyLink Field before the start of a Super Bowl rematch between the Seahawks and Denver Broncos.
— image credit: Jason Kurylo/PuckedintheHead.com

Burnaby singer Marie Hui is used to performing in front of big crowds.

She sings the Canadian and American national anthems before every Vancouver Whitecaps' home game. She's also sung them at Roger's Arena before Canucks' games and at Nat Bailey Stadium for the Vancouver Canadians baseball team.

But the appreciative roar of 20,000 soccer fans in BC Place stadium will seem like a whisper compared to the famous din produced by 60,000 screaming Seattle Seahawks football fans in CenturyLink Field.

Hui's been booked to sing the anthems before the Seahawks' home game on Sept. 21. And it's not just an ordinary early season tilt.

The Super Bowl champions will be playing the Denver Broncos, the team they beat to win the title last February.

"My heart rate is still pumping a mile a minute," said Hui, who learned of her latest gig on Wednesday.

Hui has been singing professionally for more than eight years, even though she has no formal musical training. She's the lead singer in two local bands, Groove&Tonic, a cover band, and LeftCoast, an original funk/soul band. She's performed at the Grand Villa Casino, the Railway Club and the Vancouver Convention Centre.

Hui first caught the ear of the Whitecaps in 2011 when she was amongst 240 singers who submitted performance videos in a contest to find a new anthem singer for the team's home games. She and 12 other semi-finalists auditioned for a judging panel at Empire Field, where the team was based at the time.

Hui's been part of the game day show ever since.

Her path to the Seahawks' gig was somewhat similar as she first came to the team's attention when she performed a parody song called "Soar" for their Super Bowl drive, based on Katy Perry's "Roar." The video received more than 165,000 views on YouTube.

Hui said she was so inspired by the Seahawks' victory over the San Francisco 49ers in last year's National Conference championship game to win the opportunity to play for the Super Bowl, she didn't hesitate when a friend, Clayton Imoo, texted her to ask if she'd perform a song to honour the team.

"I still find myself in awe while thinking about that game," she said.

It took the duo 30 minutes to record the video which they posted a week before the championship.

When the Seahawks recently brought a contingent of players and team officials to Vancouver for a promotional event, they booked Hui to sing the parody song live. Her cover band provided the day's musical entertainment and Hui got a chance to play in a celebrity touch football game as well as sing the anthems before the match.

"I guess the right people were in the crowd that day," said Hui.

Her performance on the 21st will likely be Hui's biggest audience yet, as the Seahawks-Denver game will be nationally televised across North America on CBS.

 

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