Three-time Grammy winner Wyclef Jean and Soulful Symphony founder and composer Darin Atwater have reimagined the Preakness’s musical elements to reflect a more modern interpretation.
Atwater will arrange, orchestrate and oversee the performance of the musical moments at the 145th running of the Preakness tomorrow, October 3, including the National Anthem, Riders Up, and the iconic Call to Post.
Wyclef Jean will lend his experience and creativity to revamping Riders Up, the signal to the jockeys to mount their horses. Jean, Atwater, and Soulful Symphony will also use the time and platform that would have been provided for the “Maryland, My Maryland” performance to reimagine the musical traditions of the Preakness with a fresh piece.
“Maryland, My Maryland” has been widely recognized as sympathetic to the Confederacy and inappropriate. A legislative effort to replace it as the state song or change its lyrics has been attempted nine times.
Call to Post, the iconic signal of the start of the race, will be presented as a contemporary mash-up in collaboration with Brian Newman, American jazz musician and Lady Gaga’s bandleader, and the Maryland Jockey Club’s trumpet duo, Sam Grossman and Beth Dixon.
“These reimagined versions of some of the Preakness’ long-standing values — whether it’s creating a unique piece of music that documents Maryland’s rich, varied history and diversity or incorporating musicians from the city — are a celebration of
Baltimore,” said Atwater in a statement.
The Preakness traditionally coincides with National Military Day — the third Saturday of May — and the Preakness will therefore honor and celebrate branches of the United States military. Beginning the morning of the race, the program will start with the Presentation of Colors by the United States Cyber Command, National Security Agency/Central Security Service Joint Service Color Guard, and the singing of The Star-Spangled Banner by the United States Navy. The Joint Service Color Guard will present the Woodlawn Vase, transporting the trophy to the winner’s circle.
Concluding the military program will be the second Presentation of Colors by the Marine Cryptologic Support Battalion before moving into Soulful Symphony’s performance of the National Anthem to kick off the broadcast.
Fans will experience the race live on NBC/WBAL from 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
For more information about Preakness, visit www.preakness.com.