Cornelison Set for Return IMS Performance in May 2018
Famed Blackhawks Performer To Sing ‘Back Home Again In Indiana’ before 102nd Indy 500
Watch Video of Cornelison Performing in 2017 at IMS
INDIANAPOLIS, Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2017 – His voice thrilled hundreds of thousands of fans at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and millions more across the globe on Race Day in May 2017, and now he’s back for more. Jim Cornelison will return to sing “Back Home Again in Indiana” before the 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil on May 27, 2018.
Cornelison is known to sports fans everywhere as the powerful and exclusive voice behind “The Star-Spangled Banner” at Chicago Blackhawks’ home games. He took the “Back Home Again in Indiana” mantle last May, generating widespread praise and social media buzz from fans in Indianapolis and beyond.
“Jim perfectly captured the powerful emotion behind one of Race Day’s most iconic moments, and barely a day has gone by without a fan asking us to bring him back for next year’s race,” IMS President J. Douglas Boles said. “We’re happy he’s returning to IMS and we’re grateful to our friends with the Blackhawks’ organization for working with us to make this happen.”
Cornelison is a 1992 graduate of the Master of Music program at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University and has been the popular singer of the national anthem before all Blackhawks’ home games at the United Center in Chicago since the 2008-09 season. His soaring vocals and spirited style have welcomed millions of network viewers to the Stanley Cup Finals over multiple championship runs for the team.
“Last year was such an amazing experience, and I can’t wait to come back to Indy,” Cornelison said. “I already have Race Day circled on my calendar!”
Cornelison will become the first performer to sing “Back Home Again in Indiana” in consecutive years since the retirement of Jim Nabors in 2014. Nabors sang the tune 36 times during Indy 500 pre-race ceremonies between 1972-2014.
The popularity of Cornelison’s powerful performances has led to him singing in front of national audiences at many other sporting events, including a 2012 Ryder Cup golf match, Arlington Million horse race, Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race, ESPN’s “College GameDay” before an Indiana-Ohio State game in August 2017, ESPN’s “Friday Night Fights” and two USA Rugby matches, the first vs. New Zealand All Blacks and the second vs. Australia at Soldier Field. He’s also made television performances on “TODAY,” “The Colbert Report” and “Harry Connick Jr. Show.”
Cornelison’ s widespread appreciation and popularity in Chicago is also evident on his resume. He has performed before games for every major Chicago professional sports team, including the Chicago Bears’ home opener since 2010.
Cornelison, a tenor, sang with numerous opera companies before becoming one of six accepted apprentices from more than 800 applicants for the Lyric Opera’s Apprenticeship Program in Chicago in 1995.
He has performed nationally and internationally with some of the biggest names in opera, including Placido Domingo and Zubin Mehta, and with opera companies in the United States, United Kingdom, Belgium, France and many other locations.
Washington state native Cornelison has a strong commitment to the U.S. Armed Forces and to charitable organizations. He serves on the advisory board of the Illinois Patriot Education Fund, is the honorary squadron commander of the USAF Band of Mid-America and an honorary member of YPO-Gold. He regularly participates with charitable organizations such as Dreams for Kids, the USO and veterans’ support groups.
2018 tickets: Tickets for the 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500 go on sale on Wednesday, Nov. 1. The entire Month of May schedule and ticket purchase options can be found on www.ims.com. Kids 15 and under are free to all 2018 racing events at IMS when accompanied by an adult General Admission ticket-holder.