Musical saw rendition of ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ transfixes American baseball game fans

9 June 2022, 15:41 | Updated: 4 July 2022, 12:40

Caroline McCaskey performs the American National Anthem at a Red Sox vs. Oakland A's game
Caroline McCaskey performs the American National Anthem at a Red Sox vs. Oakland A's game. Picture: MLB

By Sophia Alexandra Hall

Two-time international musical saw champion, Caroline McCaskey, performed the American national anthem during a baseball game, introducing a host of sports fans to the uncommon instrument.

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The American national anthem, The Star-Spangled Banner, is a staple when it comes to sporting events in the USA.

Regardless of the sport, be it American football, baseball, or basketball, playing the anthem is a sign of pride and patriotism for many Americans, and being asked to perform said music at such an event is a distinguished honour.

At a recent baseball game between the Boston Red Sox and Oakland A’s, award-winning musician Caroline McCaskey was asked to play The Star-Spangled Banner to signal the start of the game.

While the anthem is most commonly sung, it can also be performed on a variety of instruments, from the electric guitar to the trumpet. However, it’s fair to say many of the fans waiting for the start of the baseball game weren’t expecting McCaskey to walk onto the pitch holding neither of these instruments, but instead, a musical saw.

Listen to the haunting performance below.

Read more: When Beyoncé sang the US National Anthem a cappella to combat miming criticism. And absolutely nailed it.

Caroline McCaskey plays the U.S. national anthem with a saw

Originally a classical trained violinist, violist, and composer, McCaskey took up the musical saw aged 13. A musical saw is usually a hand saw which is bowed using a bow from either a violin, viola, cello, or double bass to produce sound.

McCaskey is a two-time winner of the International Musical Saw Competition, and in 2012 she received critical acclaim when she performed the violin solo from Offenbach’s Orpheus in the Underworld with the San Francisco Symphony, on the musical saw.

Alongside the violin, viola, and musical saw, McCaskey also plays the cello and theremin, and in 2019 the multi-faceted instrumentalist won the title of US National Scottish Fiddle Champion.

"The Star of Hope" (excerpt) from the opera Cinderella by Alma Deutscher, on musical saw

If you fancy having a go at playing The Star-Spangled Banner, or any other piece of music for that matter on the saw, McCaskey has an online course where she’ll teach you the basics for under £30.

With her baseball field performance encouraging many viewers to learn more about the instrument, maybe we’ll be seeing a whole lot more musical saw national anthem renditions in the future.