The sounds of the season filled the ears of hundreds of elementary school kids at the Straz Center on Tuesday for the Steinbrenner Family Foundation's 25th annual children's holiday concert.
New York Yankees owner and Tampa resident George Steinbrenner, who died in 2010, began the annual event to introduce underprivileged youths to symphony music, performance art and the theater.
The concert, featuring The Florida Orchestra and Ballet Theater International, is presented by the Steinbrenner Family Foundation and Yankees.
Children from the third to fifth grade from area schools are invited.
Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia read “A Visit From St. Nicholas” (“ 'Twas the Night Before Christmas”), a tradition carried on through the years by Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf, wrestlers Randy “Macho Man” Savage and Hulk Hogan, baseball's Dwight Gooden and Tino Martinez, and others.
As usual, each child received a present, passed out by members of the Steinbrenner family, Sabathia, and local sheriff's deputies, police officers and firefighters.
The concerts, which are closed to the public, will be repeated for children at Clearwater's Ruth Eckerd Hall and St. Petersburg's Mahaffey Theater later this month.