CHICAGO – The 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series™ match-up between the Chicago Blackhawks® and Pittsburgh Penguins® at Soldier Field in Chicago on Saturday, March 1 will feature a line-up of performers with ties to Chicago. Pop/rock band Plain White T's and Blues Brothers tribute band, Blooze Brothers, will take the stage pre-game and during the first and second intermissions, respectively, while longtime Blackhawks anthem singer Jim Cornelison will perform the U.S. national anthem and The Shannon Rovers Irish Pipe Band will provide accompaniment during Blackhawks and Penguins player introductions before puck drop. The game will be broadcast nationally in the U.S. on NBC at 7 p.m. CT/8 p.m. ET.
Joining Cornelison for the U.S. national anthem, alongside Penguins and Blackhawks players, will be eight young players from the Admirals United Youth Hockey Club in Glen Ellyn, Ill., as part of the McDonald's In the Line-up. NHL Foundation has pledged $200 per shot on goal to the Ronald McDonald House Charities, which will be presented at the conclusion of the game.
The pre-game festivities will include a salute to Blackhawks greats Bobby Hull, Tony Esposito, Stan Mikita and Denis Savard and Chicago Bears legends Dan Hampton and Richard Dent.
In the first period, the NHL will honor Major General David J. Conboy, the Commanding General of the 416th Theater Engineer Command. He most recently served as the Deputy Commanding General for the Eighth United States Army in the Republic of Korea. Major General Conboy previously served as the Deputy Program Manager, Office of the Program Manager, Facilities Security Forces in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and as the advisor to the Deputy Chief of Staff of the Iraqi Joint Forces. His awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Services Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Iraq Service Medal, and the Global War on Terror Expeditionary Medal.
The entertainment for the 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series™, 2014 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic™ and 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® is being produced by RK Productions in association with Big Monkey Entertainment.
Jim Cornelison – U.S. national anthem
Jim Cornelison is in his seventh season as the Blackhawks' full-time national anthem singer, having made regular appearances singing the anthem at the United Center since 1996.
Cornelison, a native of Vienna, Va., sang with numerous opera companies before coming to Chicago in 1995 to take part in the Lyric Opera's Apprenticeship Program where he was one of six accepted apprentices among more than 800 applicants. He has performed nationally and internationally with some of the biggest names in opera, such as Plácido Domingo and Zubin Mehta. Known as a heroic tenor for the dark color of his voice but ability to sing in a tenor range, he has sung with opera companies in Bordeaux, London, Brussels and San Francisco, among many other places.
A 1992 graduate of Indiana University's Masters of Music program, Cornelison has received numerous accolades for his singing, including the William Matheus Sullivan Foundation Award and the George London Foundation Encouragement Grant, as well as first place in the American Opera Society of Chicago's 1997 Vocal Competition.
The Shannon Rovers Irish Pipe Band – Player Introductions
The Shannon Rovers Irish Pipe Band (@shannonrovers) was organized in 1926 by Tommie Ryan and a group of Irishmen, most of who emigrated from Ireland in the 1920's. More than 500 individuals have played the pipes and drums as Shannon Rovers over the years. One of the Shannon Rovers' proudest traditions has been leading Chicago's St. Patrick's Day Parade. Beginning with the crowning of the St. Patrick's Day Queen in February through the month of March, the Rovers play more than 125 events each year. In 2009, the Shannon Rovers added another sitting President to the list of dignitaries they have had the honor to play for when they were invited to play at the White House on St. Patrick's Day for President Barack Obama.
Plain White T's – Pre-Game and 1st Intermission
Hailing from the suburbs of Chicago, the pop-rock outfit, Plain White T's (@plainwhitets) began taking shape in 1997 while still in high school.
Over the course of the band's last three major label releases, the Plain White T's have sold more than 10 million singles beginning with their 2006 hook-laden major label debut, "Every Second Counts" which spawned three hits - the platinum-selling "Our Time Now," the gold-selling "Hate (I Really Don't Like You)" and the four-times platinum selling, "Hey There Delilah." The mega-hit single, which rocketed to No. 1 in 13 countries, was the fourth song in history to sell more than 3 million digital downloads and earned the Chicago quintet two Grammy nominations as well as an MTV Video Music Award nomination for Monster Single of The Year; an American Music Award nomination for Favorite Breakthrough Artist, among other honors.
The band followed up with "Big Bad World" in 2008 and again found platinum success with yet another love song, "1,2,3,4," which is approaching double-platinum status. In 2010, the band released, "Wonders of The Younger," which featured a laid-back acoustic sound in the hit "Rhythm of Love." "Rhythm of Love" marks the first time guitarist and songwriter Tim Lopez stepped into the lead singer spot. The track is approaching double platinum sales.
The Plain White T's are getting ready to release their fourth major label album, "American Nights," set for release later this year. In anticipation of the new album, the band recent released a four song EP, "Should've Gone To Bed," and new single "The Giving Tree."
Blooze Brothers – 2nd Intermission
Since 1992, the Chicago-based Blooze Brothers and The Sweet Home Chicago Band have performed to millions of fans throughout Chicagoland and most of the U.S. The 11-piece tribute show – which includes Chuck Little (lead vocals), John Aguila (lead vocals), Sheila Pepple (lead vocals), Gina Knight (drums), Jay Olaszek (bass guitar ), John Kattke ( lead guitar), Tommy Leerschen (keyboards), Dave Picco (alto/bari sax), Andy Blanco (tenor sax), Brian Finn ( trumpet) and Kevin Cline (trombone) - features music made famous by The Blues Brothers, Aretha Franklin, Tina Turner, Chicago and many other legendary Motown and R&B artists. In 2013, the band was invited to represent the State of Illinois the Presidential Inaugural Gala in Washington, D.C.
Geico Auxiliary Rink
Throughout the 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series, 23 boys and girls from 10 Chicago-area youth hockey associations, including Hockey on Your Block, Amateur Hockey Association of Illinois (AHAI), Hornets Sled Hockey Program and Hockey is for Everyone, will scrimmage on the Geico Auxiliary Rink inside Soldier Field.