He’s not a professional singer, and he says he doesn’t warm up before he comes out to sing the national anthem, whether it’s at an empty Little League ballpark or a football stadium with 80,000 crazed Redskins fans. But you wouldn’t have known any of that by the way D.C. Washington ignited the FedEx Field crowd before last week’s Cowboys game, and the Redskins have tapped him again to stir things up before the playoff game against the Seahawks this Sunday.
Washington, 57, is a military contractor and retired Army officer who lives in Woodbridge, married with three kids. His first name is Dwight, but he’s always been called D.C. He has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music education, but never turned pro because “I like to eat too much.”
For many years, he has sung at Immanuel Bible Church in Springfield, where he’s currently the acting choir director, and a fellow member convinced him to send a CD of his singing to the Redskins about eight years ago. He’s been doing the anthem at FedEx periodically ever since, as well as several times a year for the Nationals and D.C. United.
Last Sunday, “I led worship for three services at Immanuel,” he said. “That’s how I warmed up.” He said he sang the anthem the same way he always does, but this particular version seemed to really take off. “Usually nobody’s in the stadium, or it’s half-full,” Washington said. “But this time there was a huge crowd. The electricity in that stadium was unbelievable. The combination of the people there and the way I do it turned it into a legendary performance.”
And here it is. Turn it up:
H/T: S. Sachs, Burke, Va.