As UMass Lowell's River Hawks hockey team takes on the University of Maine Black Bears Saturday night, a will perform the National Anthem and an intermission and post-game concert as part of "CountryFest" night at the Tsongas Center.
Jilly Martin, who is originally from Chelmsford and graduated from UMass Lowell in 2008, works in the school's athletics department during the school year. During the spring and summer, however, Martin relocates to Nashville to work on her singing career.
"I'm really excited to sing at the game," she said. "In Nashville during Predators games, they have local and sometimes even national country acts play during the intermission, so I am really excited to bring that concept to Lowell."
Part of Martin's job in the UMass Lowell athletics department involves coordinating volunteer trips for the athletes to read to elementary school kids.
"That has allowed me to catch up with teachers that I had when I was in grade school," she said. "I got to see Mrs. Crowell this year- who is now at the I had her when she was at ."
The staff at the UMass Lowell athletics department has been supportive of her career, Martin said.
"I'm really excited they have chosen me to perform at their Countryfest game ... It's a great feeling to know that they care," she said.
Martin and guitarist Mike Kelly will also be performing after the game in the Talon Club, which will be open to the public.
"I am just really excited to share this duo with everyone. We have already had the chance to open for Randy Travis and Miranda Lambert together, and we just started working with each other about a year ago," she said. "We have started dabbling in songwriting together, and we have even shot some music videos."
Martin said one of those videos is for a song called "If She Means That Much to You" written by Randy Travis and given to her to record and perform after she demoed it for him in Nashville.
Martin and Kelly will also play Bull Run in Shirley on Feb. 25.
"That night we will be opening for friend and rock band legend, John Fannon of the late 70s early 80s band New England. Overall, I'm just really excited to have this new direction for my music career with the duo, and so happy to be working with someone who has the same ambition, love and passion for music as I do," she said.
Tickets for tomorrow's hockey game can be purchased here or at the Tsongas Center box office. Tickets are $15 for adults, $9 for seniors/children/students, and UMass Lowell students are admitted free.