Casey at the Bat

Casey at the Bat was commissioned in 2001 by the Dallas Symphony Orchestra as a part of their Americana concert series from that season. The work is a colorful and highly descriptive narrative setting of the famous poem, “Casey at the Bat” by Ernest Lawrence Thayer, first published in an 1885 edition of The San Francisco Chronicle.

(The poetry has been slightly paraphrased from the original to replace some arcane terminology.)

This composition was conceived in a distinctly cartoonish style – reminiscent of the orchestral music so masterfully created by Carl Stalling and other great film score writers during the Golden Age of the animated short. In addition to brief quotes from Till Eulenspiegel of Richard Strauss, the melody from Take Me Out to the Ballgame (Tilzer-Norworth) is interpolated throughout the fabric of the piece (although the lyrics are never sung).

The first performance of this work took place during the Spring of 2001, under the baton of Richard Kaufman and featuring Pat Sajak as narrator of the well-known poem.

Audio excerpts from a matchless narrative performance of this piece by Shakespearean actor Sir Derek Jacobi (with the National Symphony of London and the composer conducting) are included below for perusal purposes. The full performance may be purchased as an audio file from Kodanja Records of Dallas, TX.


Picc. / Fl. 3 4 Hn. Harp
2 Fl. 3 Tpt. (C) Pno. / Cel.
2 Ob 3 Trbn. Vln. 1
Eng. Hn. Tuba Vln. 2
2 Cl. (B-flat) Vla.
Bs. Cl. Timp. ‘Cello
2 Bsn. (C’bsn. opt.) 3 Perc. Bass

The composition is available for hire from the rental agent, ECS Publishing.

( dur: 8’ )

View: Casey at the Bat – Full Orchestral Score – first page

Excerpt 1
Excerpt 2
Excerpt 3
Excerpt 4