Friends of the Rockbridge Choral Society
  Vol. 9                                                ONLINE  ONLINE  ONLINE                                      March 2016    
Providing financial support since 1999 for The Rockbridge Choral Society and The Rockbridge Youth Chorale 

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Classical Composers - March Birthdays 

Frederic Chopin - 3/1/1810
Antonio Vivaldi - 3/4/1678
Samuel Barber - 3/9/1910

Johann Sebastian Bach - 3/31/1685


March and the Rites of Spring
    Football is in the rear view mirror. Pitchers and catchers have reported, spring training has begun, and March Madness™ is upon us! Can spring be far behind?
     A couple of snow falls haven't hampered preparations for Mendelssohn's Elijah much, and the chorus is getting back on track to get ready for the April 24, 2016 performance. The Choral Society celebrates its 40 th anniversary this year in a repeat performance of this extraordinary choral work which was the group's first masterworks offering back in 1976. Please mark your calendars to join them at 7 PM on Sunday evening at Wilson Hall, Lenfest Center for the Performing Arts.
Take Me Out to the Ballgame
     Before you scoff at the kinship of baseball and music, consider this. If you've ever been to a baseball park almost anywhere in the US or watched a game by any electronic method you can imagine, you know what happens at the middle of the 7 th inning almost everywhere. It's the 7 th inning stretch. Everyone stands up, stretches, and sings "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" or maybe they just go get a beer. (By the way, at Boston's Fenway, it's "Sweet Caroline" in the middle of the 8th. Go figure.) It's a rite as American as the game. Would you believe that the guy who wrote the lyrics to that song in 1908 had never been to a baseball game? It was another 32 years before he attended his first game!  
      The first time the song was known to have been played at a ballpark was in 1934, at a high-school game in Los Angeles, and researchers think it made its debut at a major-league park later that year. Norworth , while riding a New York Subway train, was inspired by a sign that said "Baseball Today - Polo Grounds". In the song, Katie's (and later Nelly's) beau calls to ask her out to see a show. She accepts the invitation, but only if her date will take her out to the baseball game. The words were set to music by Albert Von Tilzer, who did get to his first baseball game sooner. It only took him 20 years.
      These days, we only sing the chorus. You can check out the lyrics and hear this famous song here, with all the verses sung by Edward Meeker, re corded in 1908.
Mozart to the Batter's Box
        Walk-up music -- and its pitchin' cousin, entrance music -- is the unofficial soundtrack of baseball. The batter's box has become a jukebox, and most players put plenty of thought into the personal anthem that accompanies them to the plate or the pitcher's mound. From hip-hop to country - fans can hear just about anything during a baseball player's 'walk-up' to the plate, except classical. Enter the Texas Rangers' first baseman and designated hitter, Prince Fielder, who strides to the plate to the  Rex tremendae of Mozart's Requiem .    A cursory review of so called 'walk-up' music in the major leagues revealed only this one exception, used by Fielder. Roughly translated, the words are, " Day of wrath, day of anger will dissolve the world in ashes, as foretold by David and the Sibyl. Great trembling there will be when the Judge descends from heaven to examine all things closely." Fielder ended the 2015 season with a .305 batting average and a .387 on base percentage (OBP). For all you baseball sabermetrics gurus, the league averages for these stats were .254 and .317. Conclusion - Mozart is good for batting averages and baseball.
Play Ball!
Happy Spring!
Musical Happenings

3/29/2016   Bluegrass Ensemble
7 PM, Stackhouse Theatre, Elrod Commons,
Washington and Lee University.
 No tickets required.

3/31/2016  University Jazz Ensemble -
The Rite of Spring

8 PM, Wilson Hall, Lenfest Center, W&L.

University Orchestra -
Music of Sibelius, Prokofiev
8 PM, Wilson Hall, Lenfest Center, W&L

4/4/2016  University Wind Ensemble
8 PM, Wilson Hall, Lenfest Center, W&L

4/5/2016  University Singers
kick off their 2016 tour of Ireland
performing polychoral works by Gabrielle, Mendelssohn,
Gjeilo. 8 PM, Wilson Hall, Lenfest Center, W&L
Friends of the Rockbridge Choral Society |
Rockbridge Choral Society
PO Box 965
Lexington, VA 24450