Event to benefit the Sarasota Family YMCA's Youth Programs & Music Health Alliance
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.
* Child is a Songwriter Hall of Fame writer, legendary artist, producer, and celebrity whose list of accolades includes Grammy awards, 70 Top 40 singles, and songs that have sold over 300 million albums worldwide. Child has worked with various high-profile artists including Aerosmith, Bon Jovi, Cher, Joan Jett, Ricky Martin, Kelly Clarkson, and Selena Gomez. His long list of popular hits include "I Was Made for Lovin' You;" "I Hate Myself for Loving You;" "Livin' on a Prayer;" "You Give Love a Bad Name;" "Bad Medicine;" "Dude (Looks Like a Lady);" "Angel;" "What it Takes;" "Poison;" "The Cup Of Life;" and "Livin' la Vida Loca."
* DiPiero, one of Nashville's most prolific country songwriters, has had 15 No. 1 songs and countless chart-topping hits. He also has composed over 1,000 songs recorded by artists, such as Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Reba McEntire, George Strait, and Shenandoah. In 2011, his song "Coming Home" from the Country Strong movie soundtrack was nominated for both an Oscar and Golden Globe Award for "Best Original Song in a Motion Picture," and in 2014, the Country Music Association (CMA) presented DiPiero with the CMA Chairman's Award.
* Wilson is one of the hottest up and coming writers in Nashville. In the two years since signing his publishing deal with Magic Mustang Music, he has scored over 20 cuts and singles such as "Later On" (Swon Brothers), "Tomorrow Tonight" (Craig Campbell), and "Better in Boots" (Tyler Farr). Wilson wrote his first No. 1 single with Michael Ray, "Kiss You in the Morning," and earned his second No. 1 song a few months later with Randy Houser, "We Went." Other cuts by artists such as Joe Nichols, Jackie Lee, Parmalee, John King, and more are proof that Wilson is going to be a force in songwriting for years to come.
Writing in Nashville since 2014, and now working with Writers Loft Publishing, Valentine has opened for several popular, national touring artists, including Grammy Award winner Ed Sheeran, as well as Ryan Cabrera, Jamie Cullum and Eric Hutchinson. She has also performed original songs at Nashville's 24th Annual Tin Pan South Songwriter Festival and at the Carolina Country Music Fest.
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 president John 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."
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.