Ferndale-raised opera singer Frank Hernandez will set foot on one of the summer's largest stages this week when his vocal ensemble SEVEN performs both the opening and closing songs on the final day of the Republican National Convention.
Hernandez and the six other members of SEVEN will sing the national anthem, opening the day's events Thursday, Aug. 30, in Tampa, Fla. They are also scheduled to sing their signature song "What a Mighty Sound" as the balloons drop that night, signaling the end of the convention.
SEVEN will perform on the most highly anticipated day of the weeklong event. In addition to speeches from U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and a surprise guest that is being widely speculated about, Thursday is also the day Mitt Romney is scheduled to officially accept the GOP nomination.
The seven men will perform in front of a press corps rivaled in size only by that of the London Olympics, and alongside other musical acts, including Taylor Hicks and BeBe Winans and Choir.
"We're seven Americans just honored, really honored to be asked to sing on the biggest stage in the world," Hernandez said. "It's humbling."
Hernandez, who played football for the Golden Eagles, graduated from Ferndale High School in 1988.
"I feel like a school kid winning the national championship," he said. "I never knew I would be performing on this kind of stage coming out of high school and college."
The singer also played football for two years at Wenatchee Valley Community College before enrolling at Whitworth College in Spokane where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in music. Hernandez went on to attend Oberlin Conservatory of Music, in Ohio.
Hernandez said he wouldn't be where he is today if he hadn't been able to cultivate his talent in Bellingham and Ferndale.
An award-winning baritone, Hernandez has performed in operas and with symphonies around the world. He has performed at Carnegie Hall and London's Palace Theater, and has collaborated with such artists as Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo, Renee Fleming and Stephen Sondheim.
He lives with his wife, Heather, in Goodlettsville, Tenn., a small town close to Nashville.
Fans can show SEVEN their support by leaving a comment at thesoundofseven.com.