EC’s Mill Theater was home to the world premiere of “We Tear Down Our Coliseums,” on April 1st, the eve of MLB’s opening day. It was performed by the Heisenberg Uncertainty Players, a jazz-group led by former EC student and current school instructor John Dorhauer and featured art by Adam Dorhauer.
The performance was inspired by nine historic baseball stadiums (including Yankee Stadium, Forbes Field and Tiger Stadium, among others) and featured nine independent movements highlighting key characteristics of those stadiums.
The creation of the performance was a labor of love for Dorhauer, a lifelong musician who also identifies as an avid baseball fan.
“I knew I wanted to do music pretty early on. I knew that this was something I was really passionate about and wanted to do in some capacity,” said Dorhauer. “[But] I’ve [also] been a lifelong fan of baseball and was raised with the sport.”
Ballcaps and jerseys were on display both in the Mill and on several of the musicians, as a majority of the roughly 150 in attendance were baseball fans themselves.
The venue was very appropriate for the concert, as many of the musicians are EC alums who played at the Mill during their collegiate days.
“Several of them [the band members] are alum’s of the college, and in fact a few of them were telling me beforehand how weird it was to be coming back to the Mill and playing at the college,” said Dorhauer. “Probably, close to half the band are Elmhurst alum’s and people who have played at the college, but a good number of them I don’t think have ever played at Elmhurst.”
The entire performance serves as baseball history lesson, as Dorhauer takes the audience back-in-time and presents them with his interpretation of the sounds he associates with many unique ballparks.
“When I got the idea for the piece, I knew I wanted to have a good mixture of older and newer [ballparks], of well-known ones and more obscure ones,” he said. “One of the more obscure ones that I found was Muehlebach [Field], which was in Kansas City.”
The seventh movement of the performance, “Muehlebach Field,” followed along the box score of an actual baseball game that took place between the Brewers and Cardinals last season and resulted in the entire audience joining in on the signing of “Take Me Out To The Ballgame” during the middle of the show.
“I wanted for that movement to tell the story of the joy of going to see a baseball game. Fairly early on I had the idea of ‘what if I took a specific game and converted it into a game piece, where different events in the game [from the box score] triggered specific sounds,” added Dorhauer.
The result was a jazz performance that served as a first pitch for the 2017 baseball season.