I am very excited about an opportunity where I have been selected to perform. On Tuesday, June 26th, I will be playing the Star Spangled Banner in Citizen’s Bank Park, for a Philadelphia Phillies vs. New York Yankees Baseball game. I will be doing so as a member of Ken Brader’s Holiday Brass Quartet. I am very excited for this and cannot wait to be on the field. If you know me, you know that I am a life long Yankees fan so when this opportunity came and we were given the Yankees game to play, it was a joy to behold!
As you may have read from my other blog posts, the quartet has performed the past 2 years at a home game of the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs, which are the AAA affiliate of the Phillies. That is always a special experience and, even though it is minor league baseball, is still a cool thing to be on the field by home plate to play. When we performed in September 2017, I inquired to the events coordinator who booked us, what would we need to do to be selected to perform for the major league team. He instructed me to wait until January and then check out their website for info about it. Well, I found the site and it required me to fill out an application and more importantly, include several videos of us performing. Well, considering we had a good video of playing in the previous September, I felt our chances would be ok. To my surprise, on February 16th I received an email from the Phillies congratulating us on being selected to perform. I had figured this might be political and you more or less needed a connection or had to know someone to be asked to perform. But, that was not the case. They had liked our arrangement and sound and wanted us to be there. Now, we needed to review the schedule and select find a date to play.
The Phillies required you to visit the schedule and select 5 dates. From these dates they would select your day and you would have to play for that game. You couldn’t just send in one date and that was it. As I checked the schedule, I realized that this was the year that the Yankees would be going to Philly for a three game set (June 25-27). So, I quickly selected our five dates with June 26th being a favorite and replied. A few days later I was pleasantly surprised to read the email that they gave us June 26th to perform. As you can probably assume, I was thrilled. It has been probably 5-6 years since I have been to a major league baseball game let alone a Yankee game. Going to the Bronx for a Yankees home game really isn’t an ideal situation. The travel to the Bronx, parking, food, etc. is just really costly and something I didn’t feel is worth the money to spend. But, now it is much easier to travel to Philadelphia and as a perk, we are given preferred parking for free! We do have to buy our tickets, but, the parking alone is worth it. So, to have a chance to go see the Yankees in person but not have to deal with the cost and travel to go to New York is something I am extremely looking forward to.
It will definitely be a great experience for us. I can remember being in high school when each year the band played the national anthem in the outfield at the old Veteran’s Stadium in Philadelphia. But, that was always on a hot Sunday afternoon and our tickets were usually in the 700 level high up in the outfield’s nose bleed section. We were told that most likely the anthem would not be live on television, only showed on the ballpark screens. But, we would be able to have a copy for ourselves. Who knows if we may be on TV at all or maybe even partially. But, it is still a great experience to perform as well as knowing that once that is over, I can sit back and enjoy watching Aaron Judge, Didi Gregorious, Gary Sanchez and the rest of the New York Yankees all thanks to the Phillies!!