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Marketing Coordinator Meghan Stephan is a classically-trained singer whose performance venues have ranged from intimate church weddings to professional football games. In today’s interview, she shares her early forays into music, her experience auditioning for The Voice, and an unexpected link between singing and her marketing career.
Check this out.
What sparked your drive to pursue singing at such a high level? How did you get the idea to audition for the Buffalo Bills?
I have all brothers, so at my house it was just sports all the time. I would go to football games, and I would see these anthem singers. I remember in third grade, I went to my first Bills game. That was also the first year I was allowed to audition for the school musicals. I had danced my whole life, so I knew I at least could be in a musical and dance.
No one in our family had musical abilities. My mom always jokes that she doesn't know where it came from. She was like, "I think you can hold a tune so maybe we should throw you into voice lessons.”
I was classically trained, so I learned a bunch of different genres and languages, which was really fun. I trained with the same voice teacher all the way through college. She was an amazing, beautiful opera singer. And I'm not a high singer like she is, so her teaching me how to sing in lower registers was really fun to learn.
How exactly does one get started singing the national anthem for professional football teams?
When I was in fifth grade, my basketball coach was getting deployed. We always played the anthem before our game, and my mom suggested I learn the anthem and sing it before he left. So I did, and it went pretty well! After that, I started auditioning for college teams and semi-pro teams in Buffalo. I was still really young. I wasn’t ready for something so big.
Then in high school, my mom encouraged me to audition for the Buffalo Bills. So that is a ripe 17 year old Megan in that video. The first year, they give you a preseason game to start with to make sure you don't choke. They gave me a second game the following year, and it kind of started happening from there.
And since then, are there other things you’ve auditioned for and performed?
High school is when my mom started pushing me more—like if you want to sing, let's go for it. So I got an agent, which was really interesting, and I actually got to audition for High School Musical the movie.
That was a really fun experience. Me, my mom, and my grandma went to Orlando to audition. It was a week-long process. My grandma ran into Nick Lachey and just made him her friend for the day. He had no choice. It was very entertaining.
I’ve also auditioned for The Voice before. I've made it pretty far! I had to get through the producers, and then they take you for video recordings. The process is really gruesome, and it's crazy, and it's very long. These days I sing as more of a hobby.
And you actually got your first marketing internship from singing, right?
That’s right. The second time I sang for the Bills, they asked me if I needed anything. I was just starting college, and I said, “actually I need an internship. Do you guys have marketing internships?” So I weaseled my way in and got an interview. I was a video production intern and also did marketing and social media.
And then during one of the games when I was interning, the singer got sick. They usually have a backup list of people they'll call, but they thought, “Meghan's here. She's done it. We can just have her do it.”
So I'm in my Bills internship uniform, and they put me out on the field. That was a fun day of work!
That hasn’t happened here yet so far. We haven't had to try out someone as an emergency anthem singer. Anyway, nowadays, you've turned into a wedding singer. Tell us about that.
My husband and I are both musically inclined people. He taught piano lessons and plays guitar. He's not one for performing, but I kind of lured him in. Friends and family started asking me to do weddings, and instead of paying someone to play piano, I was like, “why don't you try?”
The first one, I swear he probably blacked out the entire time. But he’s been getting more comfortable with it, and he loves doing them now. We do a lot of wedding ceremonies on the weekends. We actually did one this past weekend. It was all Halloween themed, so we sang some spookier music which was really cool.
Wedding singing is really fun because we get to learn all different kinds of music. I learn what people like, and then there are some generic songs that we get to repeat during different weddings. It's a really fun hobby that we get to do together, and it makes us practice during the week after work which is fun.
Favorite song to perform at a wedding?
Well, the bride usually just wants instrumental music when they walk down the aisle. But there are rare occasions where they want someone to sing, and when they do I feel so honored. Whatever the song request is, I love it because it's such a big moment. Everyone's watching her walk, so being a part of that is really special.
Now for the same seven questions we ask everybody.
What’s your favorite word?
Your favorite sound?
Anything that's in harmony, like birds chirping.
Your favorite superpower.
I would say super strength.
Oh yeah, that'd be helpful. Favorite emoji?
The purple devil emoji that's smirking. 😈 That one's my favorite.
Save or spend?
Spend. I'm a spender.
Who's your hero?
My grandma Lou Lou. She's the best.
And what's your personal slogan?
"Go with the flow."
Awesome. Ladies and gentlemen, Meghan Stephan. Thank you so much for the interview.
And if you’d like a chance to meet more great people like Meghan, check out our latest job openings here.
About the Author
Maile McCarthy, Contributing Writer and Illustrator, has a passion for helping people bring their ideas to life through web and book illustration, writing, and animation. In recent years, her work has focused on researching the context and differentiation of technical products and relaying that understanding through appealing and vibrant language and images. She holds a B.A. in Philosophy from the University of California, Berkeley. To contact Maile, visit her on LinkedIn.