For the last three decades, the Oakland A’s have pumped recorded music into their ballpark to enhance the fan experience on game days. A few years ago, when team officials decided they wanted live music during home games, they considered the cost of installing an organ in the Oakland Coliseum – and balked.
But when management learned that a Yamaha Tyros4 arranger workstation keyboard could pinch hit for a classic organ while providing hundreds of modern instrument sounds and styles — and that Dan “Fingers” Rodowicz could help get the crowd going during games, they let him try his hand. Since then, Rodowicz and the Tyros have been delighting fans and players alike with their musical stylings at select home games.
“Tyros is a great instrument for ballparks because it incorporates old school organ sounds along with more hip, contemporary effects,” said Rodowicz, Western Regional Sales manager, Keyboard Division, Yamaha Corporation of America. “It combines the magic of a live organ experience with the added surprise of recreating popular hits that sound remarkably true to the original. It really helps create a more enjoyable and memorable experience for the fans.”
Beyond acclimating to the acoustics and echoes of playing in a large “doughnut shaped” stadium, Rodowicz also needed to learn the ropes in terms of MLB music “etiquette.” All in-stadium musicians are required to follow Major League Baseball rules regarding music, including strictures against playing when a batter is in the box and avoiding songs that insult the umpires, such as “Three Blind Mice” or disparaging the visiting team.
While Rodowicz relies on crowd pleasers by Michael Jackson or Huey Lewis and The News, he does have the leeway to play, say, “Bad Day,” by Daniel Powter, when an opposing pitcher gets pulled.
This season, Rodowicz, who grew up a Phillies fan, will perform at 20 A’s home games.
For several years, The Arizona Diamondbacks’ musical director Bobby Freeman has used the Tyros for in-game entertainment at the team’s stadium, Chase Field. He also relies on the Tyros when he performs at community relations appearances on behalf of the team.
“People applaud when Dan is introduced, clap along when he plays a tune, and yell ‘charge’ at just the right time,” Troy Smith, the A’s senior director of marketing, told a local newspaper. “I can’t claim that we’ve sold more tickets or hot dogs, but I am certain that fans have a lot of fun when Dan is playing.”
For more information about Yamaha products, write Yamaha Corporation of America, P.O. Box 6600, Buena Park, CA 90622-6600; call (714) 522-9011; email firstname.lastname@example.org; or visit http://www.yamaha.com.
Yamaha Corporation of America (YCA) is one of the largest subsidiaries of Yamaha Corporation, Japan and offers a full line of award-winning musical instruments and sound reinforcement products to the U.S. market. Products include: Yamaha acoustic, digital and hybrid pianos, portable keyboards, guitars, acoustic and electronic drums, band and orchestral instruments, marching percussion products, synthesizers, professional digital and analog audio equipment, Steinberg recording products and Nexo commercial audio products. YCA markets innovative, finely crafted technology products and musical instruments targeted to the hobbyist, education, worship, professional music and installation markets.