Take the Orchestra Out to the Ballgame

for Narrator and Orchestra

Daniel Dorff

Text: Narration by Daniel Dorff
Publisher: Theodore Presser Company
Print Status: Rental

Quick Overview

In 2002, I created The Adventures of Mary's Little Lamb for the Philadelphia Orchestra's "Sound All Around" series of narrated chamber music for young listeners. This led to several other commissions for children's works over the next few seasons, including another narrated quintet for an ensemble to include principal trumpet David Bilger, timpanist Don Liuzzi, principal bassist Harold Robinson, English hornist Elizabeth Masoudnia, with Suzanne Son on piano, and featuring Charlotte Alston as narrator. In addition to having an all-star team of world-famous virtuoso principal players, I also realized I also had the heart of the orchestra's softball team, the Philadelphia Orchestra Firebirds, and this gave me the clear idea of a baseball theme for the educational concert piece.

The narrated story is about the orchestra's baseball team having a special chance to play against the local professional team; this idea can be adapted to any orchestra anywhere. The story line leads to a series of stylized variations on "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" so the young listeners can hear how a familiar tune sounds when played in many different moods, which offers good possibilities for pre-concert preparation. In addition, the narrator can lead the audience in holding up "1, 2, 3" fingers every time the "1, 2, 3 strikes you're out" chords happen, which helps the kids to stay engaged and also helps increase their awareness of the variations. The stylized variations feature each instrument and also include inside references for the professional musicians: a xylophone solo like the old classic Nola, a trumpet solo like the Carnival of Venice, etc.

The original version for narrator and quintet was premiered in March, 2003, in 5 performances at Philadelphia?s Academy of Music; the orchestral version was created in April 2011, and premiered the following January at the Brazos Valley Symphony Orchestra in Texas.

Available on Rental

Additional Information

Commission original quintet version commissioned by the Philadelphia Orchestra Association
Composition Date 2002, 2011
Duration 5:00
Orchestration Narr.; 1(=Picc.) 1 1 1 - 1 1 1 0; 1Perc. Str.
Premiere March 29th, 2003. Charlotte Alston Blake (narrator), Elizabeth Masoudnian (English horn), David Bilger (trumpet), Don Liuzzi (percussion), Harold Robinson (Double Bass), Suzanne Son (piano); Philadelphia Orchestra ?Sound All Around? series, Academy o

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