Tonight, the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Tampa Bay Rays meet up for Game 1 of a World Series that will be like no other. For one thing, there will be no home-field advantage…all the games of the Fall Classic will take place at the home of the Texas Rangers in Arlington, TX, one of the many ways that the COVID-19 pandemic has upended the world of sports.
Relying on one location instead of the usual two is an apt metaphor for how our Heifetz Boys (and Girls) of Summer handled themselves this year as well…improvising solutions, leaning in to the technology, and displaying a remarkable ability to innovate, adapt, and grow.
Some of the great “double play combos” of Heifetz All-Stars to visit Nationals Park over the years: [clockwise L-R], Daniel Bae & Sarah Ma, Masha Lakisova & Noga Shaham, Alexander Goldberg & Kiarra Saito-Beckman, Brendon Elliott & Madison Vest, and in 2019, Kayleigh Kim & Esme Arias-Kim!
Case in point: It’s a summertime tradition for us to dispatch a dazzling duo of Heifetz violinists to perform the custom Heifetz arrangement of the “Star-Spangled Banner” before a Washington National home game. We like to think that these stirring performances have had something to do with the team’s good fortunes, advancing to the National League Division Series five times, and winning the World Series in thrilling fashion in 2019.
But when we got the call to step up to the plate this summer, it wasn’t so easy – with our students spread out worldwide for the Virtual Institute and travel restrictions and social distancing in place, there were some real questions as to how to put together a duo on short notice. That’s when returning student Kayleigh Kim of Herndon, VA stepped up to the plate. On short notice and – in baseball pitchers’ parlance, “short rest,” Kayleigh memorized both parts of this knuckle-busting arrangement, and through the wonders of multi-tracking (about which our Heifetz students all learned a thing or two this summer) she hit it out of the park. Credit the outfield- or in this particular case, the safely-socially-distant-adjacent-parking garage-rooftop-perch – assist to the outstanding Washington Nationals video production team!
It’s a timely reminder in these troubled times that in this land of ours, people of many hues and plenty of derring-do all come together to salute the Red, White, and Blue, even in the most challenging circumstances. Best of luck to the Rays and Dodgers, and…. Play Ball!