Weekly Feature

2018-09-13 / Front Page

OP native to sing anthem at Bills’ first home game


Caitlin Koch Caitlin Koch It’s been about four years since Caitlin Koch stepped onto the turf at New Era Field with a microphone in hand. This weekend, the Orchard Park native will do so once again, to sing the national anthem for the Buffalo Bills’ first regular-season home game.

“I felt like I was kind of out of touch with the [Bills’ organization], since I don’t live in Buffalo now,” Koch, 28, said. “And when they offered me a game in general, and then nevertheless opening day, I was absolutely stunned.”

Her last time singing “The Star-Spangled Banner” on the Bills’ home turf was in 2014.

Although she moved to Nashville in 2015, Koch said she still regularly watches the games since she grew up in Orchard Park.

“It’s such a huge honor to perform the national anthem at any event,” she said. “But to do it for your hometown and home team, it just takes it to a whole other level.”

Koch graduated from Orchard Park High School in 2007. She said she was classically trained by private teachers throughout high school.

Since moving to Tennessee, Koch said she still finds time to come to Buffalo.

“I go home quite often for performances and family occasions,” Koch said, noting that her parents and brother still live in the area.

Koch said she also returns to Orchard Park to teach voice lessons at Bello Studios, where she trained in the past.

About a year ago, Koch said, she signed with Amax Talent in Nashville as an actress and model.

According to Koch, she performed on the TV show “The X Factor USA” in 2011. Afterward, she began her career in singing and songwriting. Koch said she now has a manager who lives in the United Kingdom.

“[My manager] has been able to get me meetings with major labels over the past year and a half,” Koch said. “I toured Europe last year — nine countries in seven weeks.”

Koch said she has previously sung the national anthem three times for the Bills, including a rendition of “God Bless America.”

Koch will perform “The Star-Spangled Banner” a fourth time for the Bills on Sunday at 1 p.m. before the team takes on the Los Angeles Chargers.

Koch said she plans to stay and watch the game at 1 Bills Drive alongside her family.

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