Making beautiful Music

KIRK PENTON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:43 AM ET

Wonder if the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra knows the notes to Bach's Cantata No. 138?

Winnipeg Blue Bombers slotback Milt Stegall may or may not become the CFL's all-time touchdown leader tonight with 138 majors, but one certainty is that the WSO will fill the Canad Inns Stadium air with the sweet sound of music.

The WSO, led by assistant conductor Rei Hotoda, will perform the national anthem prior to the game as well as the half-time show. The highlight at the half promises to be the orchestra accompanying a video of last year's Grey Cup highlights.

The WSO delivered a similar performance during a Grey Cup dinner at MTS Centre last November, and it had an impact on those in attendance.

"I just got back from some governors meetings in Toronto, and people still talk about the dinner," Bombers president and CEO Lyle Bauer said. "There was only 1,000 people there to see the WSO in concert with Tom Cochrane, and to have that video and the music orchestrated to that event, our fans are really going to enjoy it."

The WSO will also perform music from The Pirates of the Caribbean as well as the Winnipeg Blue Bomber Fight Song. There may be impromptu tunes as well.

"We've got brass players, so I'm sure that there will be a lot of extemporaneous playing going on as well, too," WSO general manager Erika Beatty (pictured with Bauer) said. "They'll be joining in with the emotion of the fans and the game."

Aside from the WSO's performance, the Bombers also want fans to know about the team's new recycling and fan support programs.

The club has switched to biodegradable cups and is also asking fans to look for blue recycling bins throughout the stadium this season. One lucky fan seen doing his or her part for the environment will be named "Recycler of the Game" and win prizes.

"It will take some co-ordination for it to work properly with our fans," Bauer said. "Hence the awards, prizing and things along those lines for people to buy in. It's something we'll work on and we're actually very proud of."

Meanwhile, the organization's new Soap to Nuts program will aid fans who have questions or concerns during each home game.

Fans can call 788-HELP (4357) for any reason, from finding out the location of the nearest bathroom to letting security know about an unruly fan.

"We wanted to find a quick, fast way for fans to get ahold of us and tell us about their problems so that we can settle it that game, right away," said Shirlee Pretau, the Bombers vice-president of facility and event operations.


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