By Mark Hallum
AT&T is sponsoring concerts for the New York Pops Orchestra’s “Kids in the Stadium” program coming to Forest Hills Stadium July 7.
The Street Charge program, AT&T kiosks which allow concert-goers to power up mobile devices, went live Saturday at the music venue for the first Pops event of the season.
The event will feature artists from Broadway as well as the orchestra which calls Carnegie Hall home.
According to Lisa Vettoso, director of education for NY Pops, Kids in the Stadium is an extension of the Kids in the Balcony program, which allows children from underprivileged backgrounds who attend participating schools to enjoy orchestra concerts free of charge. Over 1,000 students from throughout Queens are expected to attend the show, which will feature Matthew Morrison, the Tony- and Emmy-nominated star of “Glee, “and Megan Hilty, Grammy- and Tony-nominated actress as guest performers as well as the orchestra organizing the event.
“This is a wonderful venue and it’s right in their backyard. It’s an opportunity to say to these families in Queens, you don’t even have to go outside of your borough to be able to experience this world-class entertainment event with Broadway stars and the New York Pops Orchestra,” Vettoso said, adding ticket requests exceeded the 1,000 they were hoping for, prompting the organization to open the event up to 1,500 sponsored attendees.
Requests from Queens schools alone stand at approximately 1,300, specifically from Flushing and Long Island City.
“We think it’s important to expose children to all sorts of things, and music and the arts is one of those. We were excited about the opportunity to sponsor the Pops in a way that allowed us to offer free tickets to students and also to our customers. This afforded us an opportunity to support the Queens community and the New York Pops, which is an iconic brand,” Marissa Shorenstein, New York state president for AT&T said.
The summer of 2016 will be the second year in a row for the Carnegie Hall-based organization to host events at Forest Hills Stadium, which has allowed them to offer free seating to more students than the Manhattan venue, with spots for about 100, Vettoso said.
In honor of Father’s Day, AT&T activated the Street Charge kiosks at Forest Hills Stadium for the first time at a Saturday concert called the Pops for Pop customer appreciation event. This was an outreach program by AT&T, which sponsored 750 people to attend.
Reach reporter Mark Hallum by e-mail at mhall