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The man with the booming voice

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Charlie Bame-Aldred is the public address announcer at Matthews Arena. Photo by Brooks Canaday. 

Charlie Bame-​​Aldred did not sink a shot in the men’s bas­ket­ball team’s buzzer-​​beating win over Boston Uni­ver­sity in November. But he did play a part in the thrilling vic­tory, firing up fans as the public address announcer for North­eastern athletics.

“Huskies win, Huskies win,” he screamed, after sopho­more guard Demetrius Pol­lard sank an improb­able last-​​second shot from beyond the arc, prompting fans to storm the court in frenzy.

“It was a phe­nom­enal moment,” recalls Bame-​​Aldred, the booming bass-​​baritone of six North­eastern sports, including men’s hockey and bas­ket­ball. “Matthews Arena was so loud and so much fun.”

His dis­tinc­tive voice has been heard by thou­sands of fans since he joined the North­eastern fac­ulty in 2007, before which he was the voice of Wash­ington State Uni­ver­sity base­ball and women’s volleyball.

The story of how he became a public address announcer begins at Wash­ington State’s base­ball field on a par­tic­u­larly chilly day. “I was sit­ting in the cold with the wife of an assis­tant coach who told me I should figure out how to get a com­fort­able seat in the press box,” Bame-​​Aldred recalls. “I thought that I could be the PA announcer and I kept asking the sports infor­ma­tion director until he acquiesced.”

He was assigned to women’s vol­ley­ball and even­tu­ally received an endorse­ment by the base­ball coach, who char­ac­ter­ized his announcing style as “inter­esting and fun.” As a result of the high praise, Bame-​​Aldred never again had to watch the Cougars play in the cold, but the energy, enthu­siasm, and excite­ment he con­veys through his low-​​lying bari­tone is not con­fined to the announcers box.

“I view my classes as per­for­mance art,” explains Bame-​​Aldred, an exec­u­tive pro­fessor of accounting in the D’Amore-McKim School of Busi­ness. “Being loud doesn’t do it; there has to be some mod­u­la­tion in your voice depending on the point of emphasis.”

To keep his voice in shape, he drinks tea and eats cough drops, and says, “There’s usu­ally a bag of Ricola right next to me.”

And yet his iconic calls are not the only way in which he sup­ports Northeastern—he is also a rabid sup­porter of the red and black and believes the men’s bas­ket­ball team will qualify for the NCAA Tournament.

“They’re a really tal­ented group that finds a way to win in the face of adver­sity,” he says.