St. Louis Blues organist transitions from the ice to the diamond
ST. LOUIS - While the St. Louis Blues missed playoffs for the first time in seven seasons last week, team organist Jeremy Boyer is not taking a break from his musical passion.
Boyer transitions from the ice to the diamond this week, shifting over to Busch Stadium to serve as a part-time organist for the St. Louis Cardinals for the sixth straight season.
“I don’t play every game for the Cardinals, but just enough to keep me busy over summer,” Boyer said. “I love playing baseball too, and I take advantage of it whenever I get the chance.”
The baseball setting is familiar for Boyer, who has performed part-time for the Kansas City Royals and played for the Cardinals minor league affiliate Memphis Redbirds three years after college.
Boyer’s first experience performing music at baseball games came while attending Southeast Missouri State from 2000-2004, when he proposed his own position as an organist.
“I asked the baseball coach to play, and he invited me down to the stadium to play and after a game or two they loved it,” Boyer said. “I caught on, and I played every SEMO game for at least the four years I was there. SEMO was a good fit, and it was fun to play for D1 baseball.”
In the mid-2000’s, Boyer started taking lessons from Ernie Hays, a long-time St. Louis sports organist he admired as a child.
“Whenever I would watch the games, I would try to mimic what Ernie would do at the time,” Boyer said. “Eventually I got to work with Ernie and study under him. It was awesome to learn some of the neat tricks behind the scenes with him, then one day get the chance to play and learn it live.”
Boyer took the torch as the Blues organist in the 2007-08 season. Since then, he has been behind the organ for seven playoff runs. He said he enjoys the opportunity to interact with fans and provide energy for crowds of nearly 20,000 people.
“Seeing a lot of the fans walk by, they’re really surprised to know, 'hey there’s somebody playing really alive playing that organ,'” Boyer said. “It’s not a recording. It’s alive, it’s happening in real time.”
Boyer has one major career goal in mind.
“To get to the Stanley Cup Finals would be amazing, and I’d love to be behind the keyboard whenever the Blues win their first cup,” Boyer said. “I can’t think of anything that would be more awesome than that.”