CHARLES CITY, Iowa — Iowa-native Harrison Sheckler wanted to find some way to combine his love for baseball and his love for music to celebrate the beginning of the 2020 baseball season on July 23.
Not too long later, Sheckler had brought together multiple Major League Baseball stars, symphony performers, and over 200 baseball fans to take part in a virtual rendition of baseball's song, "Take Me Out to the Ballgame."
Sheckler, who's working on his masters in piano performance at the Brooklyn College-Conservatory of Music, put together a virtual choir earlier this year because he wanted to collaborate with some of his choir friends while they were social-distancing during the pandemic.
The project turned out to be a larger hit than Scheckler could have imagined, with over 300 people from 15 countries signing "You'll Never Walk Alone" from the musical Carousel. The video currently has 1.1 million views on YouTube.
After the overwhelming success of the first project, Sheckler wanted to take the virtual-choir-format to his other love: baseball.
"I wanted to create another opportunity to collaborate, and what better way to combine my two loves of baseball and music together," Sheckler said. "What better way to combine music with baseball than the seventh-inning stretch 'Take Me Out to the Ballgame'?"
Sheckler completed his undergraduate studies at the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, which was only two miles away from the Cinncinati Reds' Stadium, Great American Ball Park.
He was a frequent supporter of the Reds and became friends with some of the players on the team, including former pitcher Bronson Arroyo.
Arroyo just so happened to be a lover of baseball and music as well. He is a musician and even has his own band, The Bronson Arroyo Band.
"I reached out to him via Instagram and told him the idea," Sheckler said. "He said he loved the idea, and that's how it got started."
Sheckler and Arroyo got in touch with not only numerous players and broadcasters to join in on the project, but also a large number of fans to put together the new rendition of the baseball classic.
The pandemic has affected everyone in the world, baseball fans included. Sheckler said that it was amazing being able to give those fans a new baseball experience from the comfort of their own homes.
"You have fans that don't get to cheer on their favorite teams in person," he said. "They have to do it from their homes. We wanted to create this opportunity for fans to join in and sign with some of their favorite baseball players and affiliates.
The video, which Sheckler said couldn't have been done without audio producers Armin Meyer and Grant Bayer, already has 11,000 views on YouTube.
You can follow Sheckler create more virtual choirs and on his journey to piano-mastery on his twitter here.