By Roderick M. Wilbon, Sports Editor
On October 15, the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra and The Saint Louis Blues presented the Athletes of the Orchestra. The media support of the concert was provided by St. Louis Public Radio 90.7 KWMU and NineNetwork. Athletes of the Orchestra is a concert and event, part of the family series of concerts at the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra. It is a celebration of sports, athletes, and family time.
The evening started with an hour of kids play time. The symphony had stations setup for each instrument group so that children could try them out. The string station included: cello, violin, and viola. The woodwind station: included clarinet, flute, saxophone, and bassoon. The brass section included: trombone and trumpet. Finally, the percussion section included: tambourine, maracas, cymbal, and snare.
Lee Mills is the conductor for the afternoon event. Mills is a resident Conductor of the Brazilian Symphony Orchestra and winner of the Solti Foundation U.S. 2014 Career Assistance Award. Mills is an internationally recognized as a passionate, multifaceted, and energetic conductor. He has led performances with the Brazilian Symphony Orchestra that have been hailed as having a “Sonority of unequalled liveliness and quality,” said Andre Effgen from Movimento.com. Mills has also conducted with the National Symphony Orchestra (USA), the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Sao Paulo State Symphony Orchestra, and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.
Louie the bear from the St. Louis Blues helped introduce the songs for the orchestra. Louie the bear is blue, loves hockey, plays the saxophone, and loves blues music. This is why the home of the St. Louis Blues is perfect for him. On October 10, 2007 Louie was introduced to Blues fans and on November 3 Blues fans gave him the nickname and his own game jersey. Louie had quizzes between the songs for the kids to pick the right musical instrument. The right answers from the crowd garnered the goal sound heard from all St. Louis Blues goals.
The songs that the orchestra played were: “The Star-Spangled Banner,” “Festive Overture,” “Rigaudon from Le Tombeau de Couperin,” “Unter Donner und Blitz,” “Casey at the Bat,” “Frolicsome Finale from Simple Symphony,” “Canzon per sonar septimi toni a 8, No. 2,” “St. Louis Blues March,” and “Olympic Fanfare and Theme.”
Martin Kilcoyne of Fox 2, Sports Anchor since 1997 narrated the “Casey at the Bat” song. Kilcoyne a St. Louis native, went to CBC high school and attended Marquette University. Kilcoyne has covered Brett Favre’s win in Super Bowl XXI, Mark McGwire’s homer pursuit of Roger Maris, the St. Louis Rams improbable run to the Super Bowl XXXIV title, and the Cardinals World Series win in 2006.
After the concert Louie, the President of the St. Louis Blues Chris Zimmerman, Lee Mills, and many Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra members met with fans, friends, and family. The Blues had a merchandise table set in the lobby and many people and children spent time taking photos with Louie. It was a great event, for fans of Classical music and sports fans alike. For more info on the Family Concert Series see https://www.slso.org/en/tickets/family-concerts/.