Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia is proud to announce that Wayne Messmer, Alpha Lambda (Illinois Wesleyan) ’72, will be presented the National Citation at the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago, Illinois. The presentation will take place at a reception sponsored by the Sinfonia Educational Foundation on Friday, December 21 starting at 7:00 pm.
Brother Messmer is a musician, entrepreneur, actor, author, business owner and motivational speaker. He has over 25 years of professional radio broadcasting experience, musical theater, voice-over, jingle singing, commercial work and public speaking to his credit. He has been the announcer at two Major League Baseball All-Star games played in Chicago: at Comiskey Park in 1983 and Wrigley Field in 1990. His renditions of the United States and Canadian national anthems at the 1991 NHL All-Star Game in Chicago Stadium was seen worldwide and by allied troops overseas after the start of Operation Desert Storm.
As an actor, Messmer received critically acclaimed reviews for his stage performance of the one-man show, Damien, The Leper Priest of Molokai. He also had a feature character role in the Universal Studios film release, The Babe, starring John Goodman.
Messmer is a founding partner of the Chicago Wolves Hockey Team, where he still maintains and active interest as the organization’s Senior Executive Vice President. They place their focus on impacting positive behavioral change in the schools, in businesses and in the community.
He is perhaps best known for his spirited rendition of the Star-Spangled Banner. He served as the celebrated soloist for the Chicago Blackhawks for thirteen years and the Chicago White Sox from 1982-1984. He has been the featured soloist since 1985 for the Chicago Cubs. Known as the “Voice of Wrigley Field” he also fills the role as field announcer at Wrigley Field. A reader’s poll of North Shore Magazine once listed Messmer as their favorite Chicago personality, second only to Michael Jordan.
In April of 1994, Messmer’s voice was nearly silenced when he was shot in the throat as a victim of a random act of violence. The story of his dramatic fight for life and legendary comeback continues to inspire people across the country. He resumed singing at the first-ever Chicago Wolves Hockey game October 14, 1994, an incredible six-months and five days after being shot, point-blank in the throat with a 9mm gun. On Opening Day in April of 1995 he triumphantly returned to his role at Wrigley Field. He attributes his comeback to many months of long, hard physical therapy and rehabilitation, as well as his determination to fight to save the God-given gift of his singing and speaking voice. His autobiographical book, The Voice of Victory, invites the reader to share the details of how his foundational values of faith, family, friends and forgiveness, can be successfully applied in our everyday lives to lead us to personal freedom.
Wayne and his wife Kathleen live in the Chicago suburb of Glenview, IL.