FAMED TENOR CORNELISON TO SING NATIONAL ANTHEM TO OPEN SUNDAY’S RACING AT O’REILLY AUTO PARTS ROUTE 66 NHRA NATIONALS

JOLIET, Ill. (July 9, 2011) – Jim Cornelison, the famed tenor who sings the Star-Spangled Banner prior to all Chicago Blackhawks games, will perform the national anthem to kick-off Sunday’s 11 a.m. eliminations for the O’Reilly Auto Parts Route 66 NHRA Nationals eliminations at Route 66 Raceway.

Vienna, Va. native Cornelison has gained much notoriety and celebrity for his anthem performances throughout Chicago, as he has also performed the anthem before Chicago Bears and Chicago Bulls playoff games.

Known as a heroic tenor for the dark color of his voice with the ability to sing in a tenor range, Cornelison ( http://bit.ly/nmVX25 ) sang with numerous opera companies before coming to Chicago in 1995 to take part in the Lyric Opera’s Apprenticeship Program where he was one of six accepted apprentices among 800 applicants. A 1992 graduate of Indiana University’s Masters in Music Program, Cornelison has received numerous accolades for his singing and has performed nationally and internationally with some of the biggest names in opera, such as Placido Domingo and Zubin Mehta.

Tickets for the O’Reilly Auto Parts Route 66 NHRA Nationals at state-of-the-art Route 66 Raceway, where the fastest cars in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series compete at speeds of more than 300 mph, are available by calling (815) 727-RACE (7223). Tickets can be purchased online at www.route66raceway.com .

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