Capitals organizer Bruce Anderson let go after 22 seasons

Bruce Anderson had seen his playing time dwindle in recent years, but the longtime Washington Capitals organist was looking forward to entertaining fans for his 23rd consecutive season when he received a call Tuesday stating that Their services will no longer be needed.

“I’m not bitter,” Anderson, 67, said in a phone interview. “I’m just sad. It was a great experience. They decided to move in a different direction, and that’s fine for me.”

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Anderson, who shared the news Twitter And Facebook, said he was “blown away” by the response from fans, most of whom expressed disappointment with the decision. A Capitals spokesperson confirmed that the team will not be offering live organ music this season.

“We’re constantly exploring ways to transform the in-game experience, including professionally recorded organ songs and cues,” the spokesperson said in a statement. “We thank Bruce for his contribution to the organization and wish him all the best.”

With the Chicago Blackhawks, hockey and organ music have gone hand in hand for most of NHL history. introduction to a living organism At Chicago Stadium in 1929. The Capitals hired an organist at Capital Center at the start of the franchise in 1974, and Ted Leonis was adamant about keeping the tradition alive after purchasing the team in 1999.

,[Washington Sports & Entertainment President Susan O’Malley] Don’t think we need any organs.” Leonis said at the time, “I think we need a limb.”

Later that year in the market for a new instrument, a group of Capitals visited Jordan Kitt’s music store in College Park, where Anderson was serving as director of education. Anderson performed the organ for the team and was invited to play it on the field during a preseason game.

“I’ve been there ever since,” he said.

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In his 22 seasons, Anderson prides himself Ability to mix traditional hockey songs and team chants, including “Let’s Go Caps” along with classic rock, pop and other contemporary music. when Capitals Host World Series Champion Washington Nationals For a game in 2019, Anderson quickly learned “Kalma”, Pedro Capo’s reggaeton hit Served as the team’s unofficial clubhouse anthem. during his title run.

In recent seasons, Anderson has played less and less during games. capitals Hired a new Director of Sports Presentation Prior to the previous season, which led to more changes, including turning down organ music after Washington’s goals.

“I don’t know if this is a trend or not, but some arenas I think they want to make it more technical and EDM,” Anderson said, adding that he found it helpful to work with Capitol’s in-game DJs. Had fun. “I would only get a chance to play under Papa John’s and Chick-fil-A announcements. This took out a lot of creativity. ,

But Anderson, Joe. owns Lutherville Music School In Maryland, never thought about leaving—not when Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin was still playing, anyway.

“I was totally happy doing it, even in a small role,” he said. “I love watching sports and have watched Ovi his entire career. I was expecting that when Ovi retires, and at least on his own terms. But they are not using a living organ.”

Anderson said work 2015 Winter Classic in the National Park And the 2018 Stanley Cup finals are among the highlights of his tenure with the team. He also fondly remembers the time when game-by-play great Mike “Doc” Emerick acknowledged his work. Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Finals At Capital One Arena.

“You know, they go to trouble for playing organ music,” Emerick said, as Anderson played before faceoff. “I like to hear it sometimes.”

In the coming months, Anderson, who lives near Baltimore, plans to do something he once did over the past 22 seasons: go to a Capitals game as a fan-only.

“All the staff out there, especially the game production staff I deal with a lot, are good friends of mine,” he said, “so I definitely want to come down and see them in action.”

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