Hearing the sounds of the organ bellowing through the ballpark is as much a part of baseball as hearing thousands of fans cheer when the bat smashes the ball into the outfield. With that in mind, Willis Music (with locations in Kentucky and Ohio) and Yamaha teamed up to bring exciting new sights and sounds to the Cincinnati Reds and Great America Ballpark. With a new Yamaha Tyros4 keyboard in the Reds’ control room, a Yamaha NP11 and a festively decorated Hammond Concorde organ on wheels, fans are seeing and hearing some entertaining changes that have definitely kicked up the fun factor.
“Willis Music welcomes the opportunity to combine Cincinnati’s rich, musical heritage with our hometown Reds,” said Kevin Cranley, Willis Music Co. President and Owner. “The Reds made it clear that they value having music as part of the total fan experience,” he explained. “We turned to our trusted partner, Yamaha, and, together with the Reds, we’ll be able to give fans an even better way to enjoy and experience a ballgame.”
Yamaha was happy to be a part of this, explained Nate Tschetter, Yamaha Product Manager. “Yamaha has a long history as a musical instrument manufacturer. We’re actually only a few months away from our 125th anniversary,” he explained. “Like Yamaha, Willis Music and the Cincinnati Reds share a similar traditional history, with Willis Music being one of Cincinnati’s oldest family-run music stores and the Cincinnati Reds being professional baseball’s oldest team.” He continued, “Thanks to Willis Music, we were able to fuse tradition and technology by augmenting the Reds’ traditional ballpark organ sound with one of Yamaha’s most advanced keyboards, the Tyros4.”
Early in the season, Tschetter came to Cincinnati to train Reds’ Keyboardist John Schutte on the Tyros4. Since then, Schutte has been enjoying its many features. “It is so versatile that I don’t know if I can pick one part about it that is my favorite. But the DJ and I have iPads that we use as MIDI controllers to play samples and SFX that we loaded on the Tyros. I think that’s pretty cool,” said Schutte, who is playing for the third season for the Reds. He added, “I plan on exploring more and more on the Tyros4 as the season goes on. I’ll be having some fun with that little toy, guaranteed.”
Cranley stated that Willis Music strongly believes that everyone should be able to enjoy music and its benefits. This is a feeling that Yamaha shares, as well. And Schutte, along with the hundreds of thousands of fans who hear him play, know first-hand how true that is.