In a throwback to a different era of stadium/arena music, the Winnipeg Jets have added organ music to the MTS Centre.
Across major sports, organs have always had a nostalgic appeal. Though many venues still incorporate organs into their gameday music selections, many have ditched the traditional sounds in favor of a more contemporary lineup.
In Winnipeg, the original Jets featured an organ as part of their musical offerings at the Winnipeg Arena. That feature was not originally added when the NHL returned to Winnipeg in 2011, but the Jets announced before this season that the organ sound would return, as six MIDI weighted keyboards were installed at MTS Centre.
The Jets tabbed Trevor Olfert to serve as the organist. Olfert’s brings a special connection to the job, as he remembers attending games and hearing the organ at Winnipeg Arena. More from Global News:
“It’s fun to be able to do it, it still feels kind of surreal,” Olfert said. “If I think back to when I was a kid and at a Jets games… I would hang back with my dad to listen to the organ guy play a few songs while everybody left. And now 30 years later it’s me doing it.”
Each night in the upper bowl of the arena, the seasoned musician is responsible for the six keyboards that can produce thousands of sound effects.
Olfert said he’ll play 10 to 12 songs a night, and tunes hit all the decades. The key is to connect the older and younger generations during the game, he said.
In announcement prior to this season, the Jets said that the organ would be installed in a booth behind section 318. It is expected to be a permanent addition to the MTS Centre.