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National Anthem singer

When Megan Ramhoff was younger, one of the rules at the dinner table was no singing. Even though the family loved music and was filled with talent, they needed a break sometimes.

Ramhoff, a fourth-year in live entertainment production and music, said her love of music and performance started with her family’s constant singing obsession.

“We are basically the singing family in the car,” Ramhoff said. “I’ve always loved music.”

She now sings the national anthem for some Columbus Clippers’ baseball games, performs with the Ohio State jazz and combo bands and recently acquired an internship with CD101.

Ramhoff was contacted about singing the national anthem for Clippers’ games after she recorded a sample CD and sent it to multiple locations in Ohio to set up performances. She said she needed the experience to sing in front of people so she would feel fulfilled.

“I was stuck in a rut and needed to do something with my life,” Ramhoff said. “I have to be involved in music. I have to showcase my talents or I wouldn’t be happy.”

She recorded the sample CD her second year in college while she was still attending Capital University. Ramhoff attended Capital University for two years and then transferred to OSU because she said OSU provided her with more opportunities.

“(Capital University) wasn’t my cup of tea,” Ramhoff said. “I decided to transfer to OSU. It’s bigger and has more choices.”

Ramhoff has sung both classical and jazz music, but at OSU she prefers to work with the jazz ensemble.

Jazz relies heavily on musical chords and the singer has more liberties with the voice, Ramhoff said. But with classical music, singers are taught to sing exactly what is on the pages of sheet music.

“It’s (jazz) a lot more free. You can do what you want with your voice,” Ramhoff said. “You’ve got to be able to hear the chords, but you are free to express yourself. Most people don’t think the vocalist know jazz. The best thing for a jazz singer is to listen to the instrumentalists. Jazz is kinda scary.”

Ramhoff performs in front of the Clippers’ crowd about six times a season, she said. Normally she is scheduled three times, but if someone calls off or can’t make it she is there to fill their spot. For each performance she receives four tickets to the game she sings at. She said she enjoys her time at the game with the friends and family she brings.

“I love going to baseball games,” Ramhoff said. “I get a night out with my friends for free.”

Singing the national anthem at sporting events isn’t something she just wants to do in Columbus. As long as she is in Columbus she said she will be singing at Clippers’ games but she would also like to sing in other cities. Ramhoff said she would like to sing anywhere because it’s a great opportunity to improve her singing performance and voice.

“It’s a thing to make me feel better about my singing voice,” Ramhoff said. “If I’m ever in a city, I’ll be doing it.”

Besides her involvement in music, Ramhoff plays intramural sports and likes to frequently spend nights out at Bodega and Irish pubs.

“I’m obsessed with Irish things. I’m 50 percent Irish,” Ramhoff said. “It’s (Irish pubs) really crowed and my type of thing.”

Fran Litterski, a spring 2011 graduate in music composition from Capital University and member of the Columbus folk-pop band Super Deserts, met Ramhoff at Capitial and has since become good friends with Ramhoff.

Litterski said her boyfriend did the recording for Ramhoff’s sample CD, which made it possible for Ramhoff to get the job with the Clippers. Litterski said Ramhoff performed the national anthem for high school events and she wanted to continue to sing the national anthem for other crowds.

“She had really wanted to sing the national anthem,” Litterski said.

Ramhoff has shifted from singing pop to jazz music but it doesn’t stop her from putting them together, Litterski said.

“I think she kind of likes to mix jazz and pop,” Litterski said.

Lucas Holmes, a fourth-year in jazz studies, met Ramhoff when she became involved with jazz ensemble. Since then the two have been working together to write lyrics and music for a band they hope to start over the summer.

“I help her with some of the jazz stuff … I guess it’s like a song writing team,” Holmes said. “Mostly she comes in and she has a medley and words and I come up with the chords.”

Working with Ramhoff has given Holmes the chance to learn more about Ramhoff and her musical interests.

“That is one of the great things about Megan – she is really into the music,” Holmes said. “She only wants to write music that she is passionate about.”

Through his experience and observation of Ramhoff during jazz ensemble and combo band, Holmes said he is able to hear her passion for music through her singing. Holmes also said Ramhoff’s personality shows through the music she writes and the way she sings.

“Megan is just a really fun person. She is really spunky. It really comes out, not only in the music she writes, but how she sings it too,” Holmes said. “Her passion shows through her singing. She is great to work with.”

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