Local Special Olympian sings national anthem ahead of Blues game

ST. LOUIS - It was a star-spangled honor for Special Olympian and Rockwood Summit High School senior Joseph (Joe) Niemeyer Jr.

Niemeyer sang the national anthem alongside fan favorite Charles Glenn before Monday night’s St. Louis Blues hockey game.

Niemeyer, who was born with Down Syndrome, is an inspiring young man of many hats: student, baseball and football team manager, and a Special Olympian in tennis. He even helps out in the school office, making the occasional delivery to teachers before the end of the school day. But singing is his passion.

Of more than 650 contestants who submitted videos to the Blues and the St. Louis Symphony in the search for anthem singer, Joe was one of 34 called to audition at Powell Hall. Charles Glenn was one of the judges.

“Right then, before he ever left the stage, Charles got up and gave him a hug and said, ‘Hey, I want you to sing with me,’” said Joe’s mother, Debbie Jones.

“My favorite part was singing with Charles Glenn. It was fun. Me and him hit the high notes,” Niemeyer said.

And how loud were those cheers?

“Really loud. But when I hit the high notes, I never heard them once,” Niemeyer said.