Towson University Night at Oriole Park is still more than two months away, but there was a mini version of a TU takeover at Camden Yards this past Wednesday evening when the O’s hosted the Atlanta Braves. Not only was Towson alum and current Braves’ president John Schuerholz ’62 in town, the game’s national anthem singers were a pair of recent Towson alums.
Mandi Michael ’10 and Lizzy Jackson Fleischmann ’14 M.S. sang a beautiful a cappella version of the “Star-Spangled Banner” just a few moments after recently retired WBAL-TV anchor Rod Daniels, on the mend from a recent total shoulder replacement, threw out the ceremonial first pitch.
All of the pre-game activity followed a 30-minute rain delay, during which Michael and Fleischmann waited patiently with their respective families in a room just a short walk from the home plate entrance to the field. But the unexpected delay didn’t seem to bother the pair of TU alums, who are getting to be regulars as National Anthem singers at Oriole Park.
“Wednesday night was our fourth time singing at Camden Yards,” Michael said. “We are always happy to be asked back. We try to add something new harmonically each time to challenge ourselves.”
“I feel like that was the biggest applause yet,” Fleischmann said of Wednesday night’s overwhelmingly positive crowd reaction.
“We hope one day to sing the National Anthem at a Ravens game!” Michael added.
When Michael and Fleischmann aren’t “wowing” the crowd at an O’s game, both young women are using their Towson University degrees to teach young people. Michael, who earned her TU bachelor’s degree in music education, is now a vocal music education teacher at both Oliver Beach Elementary and Chesapeake Terrace Elementary in Baltimore County. Fleischmann, who earned a master’s degree at Towson in biology, now teaches biology and environmental science at The Catholic High School in Baltimore City.
“I discovered my love for teaching while being a teaching assistant for medical microbiology at Towson,” Fleischmann recalled.
“I love what I do,” Michael added. “I wish I could be at just one school, but I love that I’m able to teach voice. It enables me to combine my two passions: singing and teaching!”