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Banner day for local A's fan

SRVUSD spokesman to sing 'Star-Spangled Banner 'at upcoming A's game

"Oh, say can you see" school district spokesman Terry Koehne singing the national anthem at an upcoming A's game?

You don't have to visualize it -- you can actually see the affable public face of San Ramon Valley Unified at the Aug. 7 home game against the L.A. Angels. It'll be part of the San Ramon Chamber of Commerce's Day with the A's, an annual event.

"It won't be Whitney Houston by any means, but I hope I won't embarrass myself too badly," said Koehne. He added he's been practicing "in the car and in the shower, when I'm by myself. My wife is encouraging me to take a couple of voice lessons."

The chamber has been doing an annual day with the Oakland Athletics for years, and every year the organization is offered a different promotion, from box seats to a catered pre-game networking mixer in the Eastside Club.

Koehne admits he was taken by surprise when he was tapped to sing in front of a stadium full of people.

"My original response was, 'Heck, no. Do you know how hard that song is to sing?' but this is one of those bucket list things, so I'll do it," he said.

Although the chamber wanted him to sing, Koehne still had to go through an audition.

"I had to submit a tape, Koehne said. "They came back and said, 'We'll let this guy do it.'"

But the whole thing started with a dare.

"A year ago or so, at the piano bar in Danville -- it was one of those things. My cousin dared me to go up and sing with the piano player," he said. "I think I sang 'Mustang Sally' or 'Sweet Caroline.' I can't remember."

Kat Fanning, the administrative assistant at the chamber was there, saw Koehne sing, and remembered. The rest is history.

Anthem honors aside, Koehne has a long history with the A's.

"I am a big baseball fan -- in fact, I used to work for the A's radio station and did the 'A's pre-game show' back in the early '90s. And the Oakland Coliseum was like a second home to me as a kid. So I think it will be fun -- hopefully I remember all the words," he said.

He said it's all in fun, but hopes people will turn out to support the chamber, not to hear him sing.

"Quite honestly, that's the reason I agreed to do this," he said.

Asked if he was nervous about the prospect of singing in front of the fans, and possibly even on TV, Koehne said, "Not yet."

Game time is 7:05 p.m., but go early if you want to hear Koehne hit the high notes.

Tickets are $20 for chamber members, and more information is available at the chamber's website.

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