Detroit, San Francisco Symphonies Root, Root, Root for the Home Team

Saturday, October 27, 2012 - 06:00 PM

In a video on the San Francisco Symphony’s Facebook page, music director Michael Tilson Thomas dons a Giants jacket and cheers on his team in this year's World Series. Over on the Detroit Symphony Orchestra's Instagram account, musicians from the orchestra are sporting Tigers caps and jerseys supporting their team, which is down the first two games of the series to the Giants.

And on Twitter, fans of both baseball teams and symphonies can chime in using the hashtag #classicalworldseries.

In an era when sports fans can pepper — or flood — their Twitter feeds and Facebook posts with praise for one team and trash-talk for the other, social networks add a new and non-stop dimension to root, root, rooting for the home team.

So, while the Giants and Tigers battle it out on the ball field, the orchestras from their respective cities are engaged in their own friendly online rivalry. It’s @DetroitSymphony vs. @SFSymphony and the winner receives a box of local treats from the loser’s city.

"We're big foodies here, so we were into the idea of exchanging goodie baskets," says Jean Shirk, public relations manager for the San Francisco Symphony.

Which delicacies should be included in the loser's box was opened up to the orchestras' fans, who gladly added their favorite culinary points of pride on Facebook and Twitter.

"We first posed the question," says Eric Woodhams, manager of digital media and engagement for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, "in the very rare chance we could lose."

Besides bragging rights, on the line could be Coney Dogs, Better Made potato chips and Vernors Ginger Ale from Detroit, and Giradelli chocolate, sourdough bread and fresh Dungeness crab from the Bay Area. 

The good-hearted competition was proposed to the DSO by music director Leonard Slatkin, a huge baseball fan, who’s away in France but diligently following the series.

“I don’t think we realized how serious he was until he called us from France,” says Gabrielle Poshadlo, public relations manager for the DSO.

Just to make things more interesting, the orchestras’ music directors, longtime friends and colleagues, have upped the ante: If the Tigers win, Tilson Thomas will wear a DSO baseball cap to one of his rehearsals. If the Giants win, Slatkin will do the same wearing a SFS cap. 

“We like to think of each other on the same team, on the classical music team,” says Poshadlo. But this offers a fun way to “have a little competition, a little friendly heckling between the two."

And both are eagerly awaiting each other's care packages.

"We'll be hungry by time the Giants triumph," says Shirk.

Woodhams says not so fast: "We think there's going to be a great comeback this weekend."

Game three of the World Series is in Detroit on Saturday.

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Comments [3]

Stephanie Rosenbaum from San Francisco

That's Ghirardelli chocolate, please!

Oct. 28 2012 01:10 PM
Julie Leininger Pycior from Da Bronx

My Mom was at a DSO concert recently where they played "Go Get 'Em Tigers" as an encore. Yea!

I teach in Da Bronx, but my Michigan family has rooted for the Tigers for a century. GO TIGERS!

Oct. 27 2012 11:21 AM
Randall Hawes from Detroit

I am the bass trombonist of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and also teach trombone at Northwestern University.
The principal trombonist of the San Francisco Symphony, Tim Higgins also is a lecturer there. We have agreed to a wager wearing the other teams' baseball cap for a whole day of teaching in Evanston depending on who wins....I love the city of San Francisco, but GO TIGERS!!

Oct. 27 2012 08:44 AM

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