DENVER — There's a new national anthem singer at Ball Arena, and it may be a voice you already recognize.
Amanda Hawkins is no stranger to Ball Arena, or really any sports arena in the Denver area. She's been singing in them since she was 14 years old, and has kept that dream going for the last 20 years.
Years of practice, writing music and singing resonate in her home. It's where her career as a musician collides with motherhood.
“It’s so hard to find the balance, but once you find it, I’m just grateful for it," she said.
She's grateful she found the balance between her love of music and her two daughters, ages 3 and 6.
"When I had my first daughter, I thought, 'I’m going to switch totally into mom mode,' and that’s what I did. I focused on that for a really long time," she said.
Once she had her second daughter and started getting the hang of motherhood, she decided to come back to music.
"It’s time to get back and show my daughter we can do it all," she said. "You can be a mom. You can have your career. You can have a hobby, and you can figure it out, and I hope that I’m showing them that it’s possible.”
She's living her dream -- one she couldn't have pictured better when she was 14, when she auditioned to sing the national anthem for the Nuggets.
> Watch: In 2001, Amanda auditions to sing the national anthem for the Nuggets
"Oh man. I was a baby," she said, watching the footage. "That footage was my audition, and then I've continued to sing from then on."
Twenty years later, she's still performing in places that would've surprised teenage Amanda.
"It's just weird to see little me in that same spot terrified and having no idea that I'd be spending quite some time there," she said.
Now for the first two minutes of every home game, her voice will ring out as the new primary anthem singer for the Avs.
"This is like the ultimate anthem gig," she said. "That's for sure."
She's got the Avs' burgundy red hair and a voice that's already carried the team through the playoffs.
She's found the harmony between music and motherhood.
> Watch: Amanda performs one of her original songs, "Water"
"I've always wanted a beautiful family, an awesome career, music flowing through my house, and I have that," she said. "I feel super grateful."
Her passion for the Avalanche and music really does drive her to do this, because the national anthem singers don't get paid at Ball Arena.
The last primary anthem singer for the Avs was Jake Schroeder. He just retired, and Amanda picked up the reins.
Amanda said just like Jake, she hopes to continue this gig for the next couple of decades.
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