Brigetta Barrett can blast out a mean rendition of The Star-Spangled Banner. Ahead of the US Outdoor Championships, the Olympic high jump silver medallist tells us just how to do it.

“I love the song. It is a beautiful song, beautifully composed and the vocal arrangements are pretty challenging. Anyone that has a desire to sing in a performative manner definitely has to try to sing The Star-Spangled Banner.

“I first performed the song at a home track meet at the University of Arizona aged 19. I was really scared and Sheldon Blockburger, my coach, kept making fun of me saying you are go to sound like Carl Lewis [who infamously sang a version of the song ahead of anNBA basketball game in the 90s].

“Despite being nervous, it went really well and I received a lot of support from my teammates and other athletes at the meet.

Brigetta Barrett ()

STAR-SPANGLED BANNER: She can sing it, she can wave it

“To sing the national anthem you need to have a good knowledge of dynamics. If you don't, then The Star-Spangled Banner can sound flat and boring. Dynamics is the ability to be able to paint a song. If it is sung well, the song needs to start out softly and then powerful towards the middle before coming down lightly again.

“Vocalists are gifted in different ways. Some vocalists are gifted in feeling the song – understanding the meaning of the words. So with The Star-Spangled Banner, if you understand what was being said at that moment and the emotion of the words and intent of a song, your voice already naturally paints it. We do this with conversation all the time.

“The dynamics are the frosting on the cake. A singer might have the basics for hitting the right notes or in a key that they are vocally comfortable with, but if you don’t put the frosting on the cake, people might not care about the song.

“The song definitely has a toughest line: ‘and the rockets' red glare’. It is often the key moment of the song when those listening will decide whether you have the chops for the song. It is the Olympic final of the song.

“I have performed the song about ten times with my biggest performance coming in front of thousands at the Fiesta Bowl which was played live on ESPN.

“I have never had a moment, thankfully, when I have outright not hit the note. I practise a lot – in the shower, many different places. I feel sorry for anyone who has a room near me leading up to a performance because I practise all the time. I've studied other singers. No-one has sung the song quite like Whitney Houston.

“Beyonce has performed some classical versions of the song. What Beyonce does well with a classical song is she doesn't do anything too fancy with notes – just performs it in a classical style with a little bit of Beyonce flair thrown in.

“If she was still alive I would love to sing a duet with Whitney Houston. I also really respect Brandy, Beyonce and Jennifer Hudson. To sing with any one of them would be priceless.

“If I was to sing it with someone from the world of track and field it would be Aries Merritt – he and I sing a lot together – or English Gardner. She sings, but she tries to keep it secret.”