Chance Encounter Leads To Viral Video Of 'Star Spangled Banner' Duet A Portland State University student was singing the national anthem for her virtual graduation program when a stranger walked by and began to sing with her. That stranger is a trained opera singer.
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Chance Encounter Leads To Viral Video Of 'Star Spangled Banner' Duet

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Chance Encounter Leads To Viral Video Of 'Star Spangled Banner' Duet

Chance Encounter Leads To Viral Video Of 'Star Spangled Banner' Duet

Chance Encounter Leads To Viral Video Of 'Star Spangled Banner' Duet

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/883233413/883233414" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

A Portland State University student was singing the national anthem for her virtual graduation program when a stranger walked by and began to sing with her. That stranger is a trained opera singer.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Madisen Hallberg was invited to submit a video for her virtual graduation ceremony from Portland State University in Oregon. Hallberg is a singer, and she planned a solo performance of the national anthem in a park with a cameraman taking video.

(SOUNDBITE OF VIDEO)

MADISEN HALLBERG: (Singing) Were so gallantly streaming.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

But less than a minute into the song, a second voice joins in.

(SOUNDBITE OF VIDEO)

MADISEN HALLBERG AND EMMANUEL HENREID: (Singing) And the rockets red glare.

GREENE: That's the voice of Emmanuel Henreid, a professional opera singer who goes by the name Onry. He heard Madisen, someone he didn't know, singing and asked her if he could join.

EMMANUEL HENREID: All the sudden, we just started harmonizing. I came in on the verse, and she was kind of surprised a little bit. Like, OK, this is great.

(SOUNDBITE OF VIDEO)

MADISEN HALLBERG AND EMMANUEL HENREID: (Singing) Oh, say does that star spangled...

MARTIN: Portland State use that video of Onry singing with Madisen for its virtual graduation and posted it online, and it went viral. It was by any measure a moment of magic. But it was especially magical right now. Onry is African American; Madisen is white. For him, the experience was a direct contrast to images and videos that portray conflict rooted in racism.

HENREID: This African American male just walking up and singing with this woman who happens to be white. And there's a beautiful moment that happens there.

(SOUNDBITE OF VIDEO)

MADISEN HALLBERG AND EMMANUEL HENREID: (Singing) And the home of the brave.

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