Winnisquam teacher plays at Fenway a second time
TILTON — Kirk Young has performed patriotic songs at arenas and stadiums in New Hampshire and Maine, and last year, a lifelong dream came true when he sang his way to Fenway Park in Boston to perform “The Star-Spangled Banner” at a Red Sox game on Father's Day.
Young, 44, director of music at Winnisquam Regional High School, lost his father, a Korean War U.S. Army Medic, in 2000. An eight-year U.S. Army Reservist himself, Young was pleased to honor his father with the anthem.
So when he was asked to come back a second time, this time to sing “God Bless America” on Memorial Day weekend, he was overwhelmed.
Young performed the song before a crowd of more than 35,000 at Fenway on Sunday on New Hampshire Day. “The Red Sox are calling me back out of the blue? I jumped at the chance.
“It's always meant so much to me to perform our nation's anthems, but this was so special because it was on Memorial Day. It's a huge honor for me to sing in front of all those people in support of all of our veterans who have fought and died for us. It was an incredible honor.”
A Maine native, Young's love of music and singing lead him to his teaching career, first in a Maine school and for the past 7 years at Winnisquam. He's been busy with his high school's music programs and performances, as well as at Plymouth State University, where he's pursuing a master's degree in music.
His love of singing patriotic songs started at an early age, he said.
In 2011, he followed his dream by entering a “Sing Your Way to Fenway” contest. Although he didn't win, he was invited to sing last year.
“I told them as I left, that it was such a joy, please call me again to do this before I die,” Young said.
They did call.
“It means so much to me to sing these songs, my father meant so much to me, and our people in uniform mean so much,” he said. “I'd do it anytime.”
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