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TFO adds ‘Be the Thunder’ to free park concert

As Tampa Bay cheers on the Lightning in the Stanley Cup playoffs, we’ll be the only ones bringing it with the awesome force of a full orchestra.

For a special performance, The Florida Orchestra has added the Lightning theme song “Be the Thunder” to our free Pops in the Park concert on Sunday (May 13) at the new Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park in Tampa – barely a puck shot from Amalie Arena, where the Bolts take on the Washington Capitals on Sunday night.

It comes up in the second half of the concert, so expect an extra burst of energy right around 8:40 pm.

Hockey fans will remember “Be the Thunder” from the 2011 season, when the Lightning teamed up with TFO and renowned composer Gregory Smith to record the song. The music video, featuring then coach Guy Boucher leading the orchestra, was beamed on the big screen during Lightning home games that season. TFO and the team also collaborated on events and youth programs.

The orchestra added the song this week as a nod to the hockey team from our TFO team. It helps that the principal music librarian is a huge Bolts fan. Ella Fredrickson knew just where to find the music on the shelf – plus she knows the composer. After a few emails and phone calls and the blessing of the conductor and orchestra, the concert lineup was set.

So if you don’t have tickets to the big game, might as well show Mom some love for Mother’s Day and join the festivities in the new Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park. TFO’s free Pops in the Park concert starts at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, part of Tampa’s two-day Riverfront Rock festival to open the park. In addition to “Be the Thunder,” there’s free symphonic, Broadway and movie music under the stars, including 1812 Overture and an explosive patriotic salute with fireworks. Vince Lee conducts.

This year, our annual concert also celebrates the 50th anniversary of TFO in Tampa Bay as the state’s premier and largest professional orchestra, under the leadership of Music Director Michael Francis.

Right before TFO takes the stage on Sunday, the U.S. Navy Band Southeast will perform a free concert of patriotic music at 5:30 pm.

You can bring a picnic, but there also will be food trucks and vendors with adult beverages on site. The orchestra will collect canned goods for Tampa Bay Harvest, too.

It’s a great opportunity to check out the new 25-acre park, which is three times the size of Curtis Hixon and features a playground, splash pad, public art, sports facilities, picnic areas, and a large rowing center.

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