Orioles' charity concert in Sarasota expanded to include weekend full of musical, wellness events

Music and Orioles baseball go together, from the pregame rendition of the national anthem to crowd-pumping between-innings tunes to "Thank God I'm a Country Boy" during the seventh-inning stretch at Camden Yards. And who doesn't like to hear "Orioles Magic" as a celebratory nod when the Orioles win at home?

Furthering the special connection between music and the national pastime, the Orioles will host the third annual Nashville's Music Row Comes to the Ballpark - a one-of-a-kind, all-access event taking charitable donors behind the scenes of the sports and music worlds to enjoy an exclusive concert event with Orioles players and Nashville songwriters and artists.

The four-day weekend of charitable activity begins on March 1 with a cocktail reception at the team training facility at the Ed Smith Stadium complex in Sarasota, Fla., at 6:30 p.m. Eastern time, followed immediately by an intimate concert event on the field, as Orioles manager Buck Showalter and the 2018 Orioles players and coaches come together with Billboard hit-making Nashville songwriters to help local charities.

All proceeds raised at the charity event will benefit Girls Inc. and the Music Health Alliance. The event is presented by the Orioles in partnership with the Greater Sarasota Area Chamber of Commerce, MASN, the Arts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County, and Visit Sarasota.

Margaret-Valentine.jpgPerformed in the intimate songwriter round format made famous in the hit television show "Nashville," the music portion of the evening will be hosted by Dreamlined Entertainment songwriter Margaret Valentine and is headlined by Grammy-nominated songwriter of seven Billboard #1 hits Lee Thomas Miller; songwriting duo The Warren Brothers, hit writers for Tim McGraw, Faith Hill and many others; and Disney Music's hit songwriter, Tina Parol. Nashville singer and songwriter Jenae Cherry Brach, whose husband is Orioles pitcher Brad Brach, will perform as a special guest along with other Nashville luminaries.

Further demonstrating their commitment to their year-round Florida home, the Orioles have expanded the one-night musical performance of years past to a weekend full of activities designed to highlight music education, girls mentoring, and kids and family wellness that will feature two artist-oriented workshops for local youth hosted at Ed Smith Stadium on Saturday, March 3, and a wellness workshop on Sunday, March 4.

"This year, we are expanding this unique collaboration of our friends from around the sports, music and entertainment worlds with our local civic, charitable and government partners as our ballclub creates an entire weekend of music, sports and youth-oriented initiatives that will bring artists and athletes together to serve the community and raise funds for two incredible organizations - Girls, Inc. and the Music Health Alliance," said John Angelos, Orioles executive vice president.

"Our annual Nashville songwriters benefit concert supported by our music education, girls empowerment and artist and wellness workshops for local kids, is just one example of the Orioles' determination to serve as a year-round catalyst in bringing together a diverse group of athletes, artists, charitable organizations and community stakeholders who are all giving back in meaningful ways."

On Saturday at 10 a.m., a group of female artists, led by Valentine, Cherry Brach and Parol, will teach participants from Girls, Inc. how to discover and develop their inherent strengths and voice through the platform of songwriting in a Girls Empowerment Workshop. At 11:30 a.m., the three artists will offer a Youth Music Mentorship Workshop for musically interested children from Any Given Child, an organization that assists communities in developing and implementing a plan for expanded arts education in their schools, ensuring access and equity for all students. The trio will speak with the participants about the power of music, before breaking up into groups to explore songwriting processes.

On Sunday, the Orioles will wrap up the four-day weekend charitable initiative with a Community Youth Wellness Yoga Workshop for 100 youth following the 1:05 p.m. Orioles game at Ed Smith Stadium, with the children participating in an on-field yoga session led by Ali Smith of the Holistic Life Foundation.

Girls Inc. is a nonprofit organization that equips girls to navigate gender, economic and social barriers and grow into healthy, educated and independent adults by delivering research-based, age-appropriate, after-school and summer educational and sports programs designed specifically for girls. Girls Inc. is dedicated to inspiring all girls to be strong, smart and bold.

Music Health Alliance is a nonprofit organization that provides access to healthcare for individuals in 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. In its first five years of service, Music Health Alliance has saved more than $30 million in medical bills and reduced premiums and served more than 8,000 people in the music community.

In the eight years since the Orioles moved major league spring training to Sarasota, more than 885,000 fans have enjoyed Orioles games at Ed Smith Stadium. A recent independent analysis commissioned by Sarasota County Government concluded that the Orioles generate approximately $89 million in annual economic impact back to taxpayers and residents. By marketing Sarasota to fans in the mid-Atlantic region, operating a year-round athletic training facility, producing entertainment and sporting events, partnering with charitable causes, and hosting and often subsidizing youth sports tournaments and activities, the Orioles demonstrate an abiding commitment to their Florida home that goes far beyond baseball. For details, visit www.orioles.com/sarasota.

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