By: Morgan Cuthbertson, Senior staff writer
There’s rarely a Towson home game that doesn’t start with Randall Murrain singing the U.S. National Anthem and the Black National Anthem “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” Murrain is in his 11th year singing at Towson, but he was familiar with the university before then too.
“No matter what happens, my heart will always want to come back here,” the former Towson student said. “I’m really grateful to this organization and the university for giving me the opportunity.”
Murrain hopes to continue singing for Towson Athletics for as long as possible. With this role, it’s more than just going to a game to sing and perform. Staff know him, coaches know him, players know him, and that’s what means a lot to Murrain.
“What’s my favorite part of it? All of it,” Murrain said. “It’s really just the case of being there, and being a part of it, and being a part of something, and I just love it. I really do.”
He started out singing for the softball team one spring when their sound system wasn’t working. After performing with just the softball team for multiple seasons, Murrain’s name was passed around to perform at other sporting events. He was known as the softball team’s “secret weapon.” Before he knew it, he was doing soccer games, lacrosse games, and everyone knew who he was.
“I was on the Gold Route Shuttle getting ready to go home for the day and I ran into a couple of players on the Towson University softball team and they invited me to come to a game. The season had just started. I went to a game and I was instantly hooked.”
Murrain quickly became immersed in the softball culture, and before long, the softball team felt the same about him.
“It’s not game day unless we see him,” said Lisa Costello, Head Coach of the Softball team. “That’s how we get started every day.”
After singing exclusively for the softball team for around five years, Murrain now performs at 80%-90% of Towson’s home sporting events, singing for multiple athletic teams each week. Despite performing for almost every varsity sport that Towson has to offer, Murrain says one sport still has a heightened significance to him.
“Softball is my first love,” Murrain said. “That’s where I started so that’ll always be my first love, but you know, I enjoy every sporting event that I go to. It’s always exciting. It’s always great and I get a little bit of a bond with the athletes, and I feel like there’s a really good friendship there that I have with a lot of them and it’s just a good feeling.”
Murrain, living in the Baltimore area since 1989, has been singing since he was five years old. He was a part of the Maryland State Boychoir for 11 years and still sings at his church, where he has been singing for the past 22 years. He attended the Baltimore School of the Arts in high school, where he graduated in 2005 before continuing his education at the Community College of Baltimore County from 2005-2010. Murrain graduated with a degree in Fine Arts, and then started as a student at Towson in 2010.
The softball team knows how passionate Murrain is about singing and performing. Costello described him as the team’s “super fan,” as they know how passionate he is about singing for Towson athletics, especially softball.
“He’s always full of energy and always willing to be there,” said Ryan Paul, Athletics Marketing and Engagement Manager. “He’s very outgoing, outspoken, and full of excitement when it comes to bringing people to the games.”
Paul helps Murrain prepare for his performance by making sure he has everything he needs before game time. Paul usually gets to talk and catch up with Murrain once a week, usually at a home sporting event. Murrain sometimes will bring his mom and grandma to a game, so Paul makes sure to set them up with tickets as well.
Now that he is on Towson’s official payroll, Murrain gets a list of all the games for each month and blocks out which games he can go to. He tries to perform at as many as he can. The only time he misses a performance is if there is an overlap of games.
Oftentimes, Murrain stays for the game he performs at, whether it’s talking with athletics staff in the press box at soccer games or sitting behind the volleyball team, switching sides with the team in between sets.
Murrain said that when he prepares for games, he sees each one as an opportunity to get away from reality and do his own thing.
“When I get there we kind of suss out everything, see if there is anything technical that needs to be done, and I run it,” Murrain said. “I find a quiet place to run it, to figure out how I want to do it, what I want to do, and then I kind of let everything else fall away.”
Performing for and being a part of Towson Athletics means everything to Murrain. The relationships he has built through the opportunity are irreplaceable as he wouldn’t trade them for anything in the world.
“One thing that I see and that I love is that with every team that I watch play, there’s always hope,” Murrain said. “It doesn’t matter if the team is down, they never consider themselves out. If they’re up, they don’t rest on their laurels. There’s always perseverance, there’s always strength, and Towson Athletics is synonymous with strength and hope and perseverance, and it’s a powerful thing to see and I am really grateful to be a part of it.”