HARRISBURG -- Those who wish to sing always seem to find a song.
Chuck Mummert seems to always find a field, too, where he can sing "The Star-Spangled Banner." He's performed our national anthem for almost a dozen different regional sports teams.
"Its just absolutely fun for me," said Mummert. "For people to sit and listen to me for 45 seconds, its kind of a high."
His great set of pipes also work on another stage -- as mayor for the Borough of Elizabethtown, Lancaster County.
Combine his civil service with the right song and you have 'The Singing Mayor.'
Mummert started singing the national anthem before sporting events 15 years ago, after studying music. Since then, he says he's performed for the Hershey Bears; Harrisburg Senators; and the Central Penn Piranha minor league football team, among others.
Before opening recently for the Harrisburg Heat of the Professional Arena Soccer League, 'The Singing Mayor' checks his notes; practicing both the high and low ones.
His rhythm almost ran out, though, six years ago; when he says he suffered a massive stroke. Mummert wasn't sure then if he'd ever talk properly again, much less sing. "When I was laying in the bed; right after the doctor announced I had a major stroke, I was concerned," recalled Mummert. "'Would I ever sing again? Would I ever work again?'"
That deep, booming voice back with a lot of practice and rehab, thankfully.
Is Mummert ever nervous before singing? Never, he says (he's performed the anthem hundreds of times and says he's only forgotten some of the words just once). Not only does he come to each game with a lot of experience; he also brings his wife, Linda.
She says her and her husband enjoy the free tickets to the game when he's done singing.
"Its amazing how many places (he's performed)," said Linda. "He sings at nursing homes; he does other types of programs.
"But this is one of the favorite things for him to do."
Doing "The Star-Spangled Banner" to Chuck Mummert means this: do it quickly. "People do not pay money to hear me sing the national anthem," said Mummert. "They paid money to see a sporting event -- and that's been my philosophy the whole way through."
Chuck Mummert hits the right tone next to any American flag.
This is the one mayor who proudly serves -- and sings.