HSO Partners with Baseball Hall of Fame and New Britain Rock Cats for “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” April 6 at The Bushnell

HSO Pops Concert to Recount the History of Baseball through Music, Pictures, and Video

HARTFORD, March 14, 2013 – Just in time for MLB Opening Day, the Hartford Symphony Orchestra will perform Take Me Out to the Ball Game on Saturday, April 6, 2013 at 7:30 p.m. at Mortensen Hall at The Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts. Led by guest conductor Robert Thompson, this baseball musical match-up will recount the history of America’s national pastime through more than 2,000 archival photos and videos from the National Baseball Hall of Fame and music including “Slide, Kelly, Slide” and “Let’s Keep the Dodgers in Brooklyn” with vocal soloists Misty Castleberry and Forrest Mankowski;  music from The Natural and Field of Dreams; a baseball sing-along; a special performance of “Casey at the Bat” featuring celebrity narrator and former ESPN anchor J.W. Stewart, and more.

Baseball and music have been indelibly intertwined since the sport’s inception. Nearly one hundred songs were written about baseball between 1858 and 1900 alone, and the major collections of baseball music in the USA contain nearly one thousand works written about the sport, commencing with the first known piece of baseball music, J.R. Blodgett’s “The Baseball Polka”, composed in 1858. At this World Series symphonic event, the HSO, led by Baseball fanatic and Grammy nominated musician Robert Thompson, will tell the story of baseball in the United States through music, from the first game to today.

To add to the fun, the New Britain Rock Cats mascot, Rocky, will greet audience members and the Rock Cats also will bring their speed pitch and other games for concert-goers to play in the lobby.

Music Director and producer Robert Thompson grew up in Hawthorne, New York, the resting place of Babe Ruth. Robert’s claim to fame is that he played trumpet at George Steinbrenner’s daughter’s wedding, for which George gave him two crisp one-hundred-dollar bills which Robert in turn blew on Yankees tickets. Robert is a two-time Grammy-nominated producer and musician, having toured and performed with an array of artists and groups, including the Moody Blues, Yes, The Temptations, The Four Tops and many others.  Thompson has conducted the Chicago, Seattle, Detroit, San Diego, Houston and Phoenix Symphonies among others. Robert has served as a Dean of music at SUNY Purchase College, received the University of South Florida’s Distinguished Alumni Award, and holds a doctorate in music from the Eastman School of Music, University of Rochester.

J.W. Stewart worked as an ESPN anchor from 2000-2012. During his time at “The Worldwide Leader in Sports,” J.W. demonstrated his versatility by hosting a variety of shows — SportsCenter, Baseball Tonight, NBA Fastbreak, College Gameday Scoreboard, College Basketball Final and ESPNEWS.

Calendar Listing:
with Robert Thompson, guest conductor; J.W. Stewart, narrator; Misty Castleberry and Forrest Mankowski, vocalists
Saturday, April 6, 2013 ? 7:30 p.m.
Mortensen Hall ? The Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts
Ticket Information: Tickets range in price from $20-$67.50.  Student tickets are $10 and $25 tickets are available for patrons age 40 and under. To purchase tickets or for more information, please contact HSO ticket services at (860) 244-2999 or visit www.hartfordsymphony.org.

The HSO 2012-2013 Pops Series is presented by United Technologies Corporation, with additional concert support from Hartford Hospital and Prudential Retirement. The Hartford Symphony Orchestra’s 2012-2013 season is sponsored by Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center. The Hartford Symphony Orchestra receives major support from the Greater Hartford Arts Council, the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, and the Department of Economic and Community Development, Connecticut Office of the Arts which also receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.

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The Bushnell: 166 Capitol Ave. Hartford, CT 06106