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Contributed by Molly O'Shea Polk on 04/24/2012
Dr. Timothy A. Johnson, associate professor of music theory at Ithaca College, will be featured as the narrator for Casey at the Bat (2001), a musical composition by Randol Alan Bass, in a concert by the Ithaca College Symphonic Band, under the direction of Dr. Elizabeth B. Peterson, on Thursday, April 26 at 8:15pm. Transcribed by the composer for band from the original orchestral score, this piece is based on the famous poem by Ernest Thayer that first appeared in the San Francisco Examiner in 1888. Dr Johnson will narrate with bat in hand and in full uniform, an historically-accurate reproduction of a nineteenth-century base ball uniform.
One area of Dr. Johnson's research in music theory focuses on relationships between music and baseball. He has authored three books, including Baseball and the Music of Charles Ives: A Proving Ground (Scarecrow 2004), winner of the Sporting News-SABR Award for Baseball Research. Notable among his many articles is "I Never Get Back: How 'Take Me Out to the Ball Game' Succeeds in Celebrating Failure," The National Pastime (2008). He has presented on the relationship between baseball and music at the Society for American Baseball Research and four times at the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. He presently is organizing a proposal for a panel of presentations for the Hall of Fame on musical versions of "Casey at the Bat," which will celebrate its 125th anniversary in 2013. He is planning to illustrate his own contribution to this panel with a video recording of his performance with the Ithaca College Symphonic Band on Thursday evening.