Janesville teacher hoping to sing her way to Wrigley

JANESVILLE, Wis. (WMTV) -- A kindergarten teacher in Janesville is hoping to sing her way to Wrigley Field to fulfill her dream of performing the national anthem at the famous ballpark.

Valerie Schnulle says when she was growing up, she would be tasked with giving her father a recap of Cubs games when he got home from work. From there, her love of the Cubs grew.

In addition to her love of the Cubs, Schnulle also said she loved to sing growing up.

"From a very young age, music pretty much is in my blood," she said. "I play the piano, I play the saxophone. I was in band all through middle school and high school, and then I joined show choir in college. It's just always been something I've done."

Singing is also something she now does in her classroom at Kennedy Elementary School in Janesville.

"I'm in her room everyday with the kindergartners, and I think the littles learn better when it's attached to a song," said Schnulle's co-worker Michele Schroeder. "So, whether she's singing or has music on or is teaching the kids some song to help them learn something, music is a big part of learning."

With her love of the Cubs and her background in music, Schnulle said her number one bucket list item is to sing the national anthem at Wrigley field.

"That would probably be one of the most amazing things that would happen in my life, is if I got to sing at Wrigley," she said.

Now, she's getting closer to that goal.

In the beginning of the summer, Schnulle, Schroeder, and other colleagues went out to breakfast. Schroeder accidentally bumped into someone eating at the next table over. Soon, the tables began chatting, and that's when Schnulle met John Vincent.

"It was one of those connections that, if you're open to it, they're there," said Schroeder.

It turns out, Vincent is a professional singer, who has sung the anthem at a number of professional sporting events, including for Cubs games.

"I sing the anthem, I sing at the Cubs, I sing at a bunch of different events," Vincent said.

When Schnulle shared her dream of singing at Wrigley with Vincent, he had her sing right there in the restaurant.

"She sounded fantastic, I mean, she was great," said Vincent.

That's when Vincent decided he wanted to help Schnulle achieve her dream.

"She had a beautiful voice and I passed it along to them right away, and we got it done. They heard it and they were like yeah, let's bring her in," Vincent said.

Vincent put Schnulle in touch with the South Bend Cubs, a Class A minor league team for the Cubs. On Aug. 1, Schnulle, friends, and family, were on a bus to Indiana, ready to sing the anthem.

"As I was walking down that tunnel that's when I kind of got a little nervous and that's when I kind of was thinking, 'oh my gosh, this is really happening, I really get to sing at one of the Cubs' minor league games,'" Schnulle said.

Schnulle, Schroeder, and Vincent said they were all amazed at just how many pieces had to fall into place for Schnulle and Vincent to meet and connect.

"That's all that matters in life man, if you can make people happy, if you can do something for someone, small acts of kindness go a long way, " Vincent said.

Schnuelle said now she's going to send in the video of her singing at the South Bend Cubs game to the people at Wrigley, in the hopes of being able to sing there.

"Be open to new experiences, not giving up on the hopes and dreams that we had, and knowing that at any time anything could happen," Schnulle said.