Kelley Jakle to Sing Will Rogers 5k/10k National Anthem

By Sue Pascoe

For many, getting out of bed early on the Fourth of July to run the Palisades Will Rogers 5K & 10K Run is not something they would willingly do. Now those people have another good reason, besides exercise, to rise early, because actress and singer/songwriter Kelley Jakle will sing the National Anthem.

And how did the race organizers convince a beautiful 28-year-old, with five films to her credit and “Pitch Perfect 3” set to open in December, to sing here? Well, Kelley is the niece of John Jakle, one of the original Ridge Runners, and this is the 40th anniversary of the race that group founded.

Kelley Jakle will sing the National Anthem at the start of the Palisades Will Rogers 5K & 10K Run
Kelley Jakle will sing the National Anthem at the start of the Palisades Will Rogers 5K & 10K Run

Jakle played Alice in “42,” which starred Harrison Ford. The film about Jackie Robinson had special meaning for this talented actress because it featured the heroic role played by her great-grandfather, Brooklyn Dodgers General Manager Branch Rickey, who broke baseball’s color barrier by signing Robinson and who later (at Pittsburgh) drafted the first Hispanic superstar, Roberto Clemente.

Growing up Sacramento, Jakle was part of the Sacramento Children’s Chorus, which toured in England and France. She sang the National Anthem at the start of swim meets (she competed in competitive soccer, basketball and swimming as a youth) and local parades.

Jakle was soon asked to sing the National Anthem for the Sacramento River Cats (Triple-A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants) and the NBA’s Sacramento Kings. In 2006, she sang the anthem at a San Francisco 49ers game. She’s been a regular in Dodger Stadium for the past five years.

While in high school, Jakle starred in several stage productions, including “Urinetown,” “The Princess Bride” and “The Laramie Project.”

She attended USC and in 2007 joined the a cappella group, SoCal VoCals, which won the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella in 2008 and 2010. In 2008, Jakle produced her first CD, “Spare Change,” which contained five original songs. She was also a vocalist with a band, By the Way.

In 2009, she and a group, The SoCAls, participated in NBC’s “The Sing-Off,” but were eliminated in the third episode. The next year, Jakle again competed in the show with a new group, The Backbeats, consisting of singers from USC, UCLA and BYU. The group finished the competition in third place.

After graduating from USC, Jakle was cast as a member of the Barden Bellas in the 2012 mega-hit, “Pitch Perfect.” After the movie came out, fans on were effusive in their praise of Jakle. “Kelley is absolutely stunning. Fantastic smile and gorgeous, sparkling eyes. Great dancer with tons of personality.” A Montana resident noted, “She came to my hometown and worked with our two high school choirs.” (

Jakle started working in Montana because of the Get Fit Great Falls organization, which works to instill a healthy lifestyle with youth. She also volunteers with the nonprofit Camp ReCreation in Sacramento that works with the developmentally disabled.

In 2015, Jakle was cast in “Pitch Perfect 2” as Jessica. Filming on the second sequel in that franchise wrapped just a few weeks ago. A movie trailer has been released.

Jakle headlined Carnegie Hall with DCINY (Distinguished Concerts International New York) in 2015 and 2017. She also starred in “Marilyn! The New Musical” last year at the Alex Theater in Glendale. You can see more on her YouTube channel (

Even if you don’t have plans to run in the race, it might be worth coming over to Alma Real and Toyopa around 8 a.m. on July 4 to hear Jakle sing—and oh, yeah, watch the start of the race at 8:15.

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