The Orioles will host "Nashville's Music Row Comes to the Ballpark" - an exclusive, on-field performance at Ed Smith Stadium - on Saturday, March 26. Every dollar raised at the charity event will directly benefit the Sarasota Family YMCA's Youth Programs and Music Health Alliance. The performances will begin at 8:45 p.m. showcasing a cross-section of Nashville's vast songwriting community including Songwriter Hall of Fame writer, Nashville legend, and Grammy award winner DESMOND CHILD, renowned multiplatinum writer of hundreds of hit singles BOB DiPIERO, country radio hit songwriter JUSTIN WILSON, and emerging Nashville newcomer MARGARET VALENTINE.
Veteran MASN broadcaster JIM HUNTER will serve as emcee for the charity event, which will feature a meet and greet with Nashville songwriters and Orioles players and a pre-show VIP cocktail reception at 7:30 p.m. Following the pre-show activities, Child, DiPiero, Wilson, and Valentine will perform in a country-style songwriter round, a concept made famous in Nashville and seen on the hit television show "Nashville." This intimate setting will give fans a behind the scenes look at how the songs were written, while allowing them to get up close and personal with stars of the stage and the diamond in support of two terrific causes.
"The Orioles are serving as a catalyst to bring together a vibrant group of songwriters and athletes from different corners of the entertainment world and at different stages of their pursuit of excellence - all united in a single charitable endeavor," said Mid-Atlantic Sports Network President and Chief Operating Officer and Orioles Executive Vice PresidentJOHN ANGELOS. "The City of Sarasota, much like its sister city of Baltimore, is home to a vibrant arts and entertainment culture. Bringing world-renowned writers from Nashville's historical Music Row - the cradle of the music entertainment industry - to Sarasota is a perfect match for this inaugural charitable event."
The performance benefits the Sarasota Family YMCA's Youth Programs and Music Health Alliance. The Youth Programs encourage sportsmanship, self-improvement, and team building, and strive to create a better future for underserved children. Each year, the Sarasota Family YMCA serves more than 50,000 people. Music Health Alliance is a nonprofit organization that provides access to healthcare for the music industry. Over 76 percent of music professionals across the nation have limited access to healthcare because they are self employed or part of small businesses. Music Health Alliance's services protect, direct, and connect music professionals with medical and financial solutions for all genres of music. Since its launch in 2013, Music Health Alliance has secured over $10 million in life-changing healthcare resources and enabled access to doctors, medicine, health insurance, and financial assistance for more than 4,100 individuals.
"Through this special partnership with the Orioles, we have a unique opportunity to raise awareness and funds to provide critical support to programs for children in need," said YMCA Foundation President JENNIFER GRONDAHL. "These programs make a real difference in the lives of Sarasota youth by providing a safe place for children to learn, grow, thrive, and to develop into healthy, confident individuals."
"Fame does not always equal fortune in the music industry, as well as for many athletes, so it's awe-inspiring to see the Orioles bring together hit-making songwriters, athletes, and corporate partners for the greater good," said Music Health Alliance Founder/Executive Director TATUM HAUCK ALLSEP. "This event will take everyone behind the scenes for an up close and personal look at the stories behind the songs and the songwriters who brought these stories to life."
Media interested in covering the event should RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org. Interviews with the artists and songwriters, as well as with representatives from the Orioles, Sarasota Family YMCA's Youth Programs, and Music Health Alliance will be available on site. Requests for photographs may be submitted to the media contacts listed below.
Each year, the Orioles also host an "Arts in the Ballpark" series at Ed Smith Stadium. This initiative offers free and low-cost, family-friendly arts and entertainment experiences in a ballpark setting. In the past, the series has included the "Orchestra in the Outfield" program and an "All-American Family Day & Concert." Upcoming "Arts in the Ballpark" events include "Jazz in the Ballpark," on April 9, when the Jazz Club of Sarasota will perform for the first time at Ed Smith Stadium and "Outdoor Pops: Triple Play," the third annual outdoor Pops performed by the Sarasota Orchestra on May 14. Tickets are still available for both events at www.orioles.com/Sarasota
In the six years since the Orioles moved Major League Spring Training to Sarasota, more than 640,000 fans have enjoyed Orioles games at Ed Smith Stadium. The club now generates more than $81 million in economic impact annually to the greater Sarasota area. Whether hosting youth activities, participating in charitable causes or partnering in efforts to boost the local economy, the Orioles are active in Sarasota County all year long, proving that their commitment to the club's southern home goes far beyond baseball.