Alex Barron: Okay. Now, picture this. Madison Square Garden, the world's greatest arena, the stands are packed. It's a sellout crowd, 20,000 people, and on the ice, the New York Rangers are valiantly looking to close out the season on what they hope will be a high note. Suddenly, there's a breakaway. The Rangers, Frank Vatrano, zooms down the ice. It's just him and the opposing goalie, and he shoots, and the home crowd groans. In that moment of frustration and true grief, Ray Castoldi comes to the rescue.
Alex Barron: Castoldi is the organist at Madison Square Garden. His music direction has everything to do with whether you're sitting in your seat or standing up and screaming your lungs out. With the Rangers now out of contention for the Stanley Cup, Castoldi gets to take some time off, and we paid him a visit recently just as the Rangers were closing out their season.
Ray Castoldi: I'm Ray Castoldi. I'm the music director for the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden.
Ray Castoldi: We're up here on the 10th floor of Madison Square Garden, really the 11th floor, because there's one more little stairwell to get up here. We are right up by the ceiling, right up by the Ranger banners, they're hanging in front of us. You really can't get any higher and be inside the building. We're up on this ledge, and we've got the organ here and some DJ equipment and electronic gear, and we're looking out over the ice. That was kind cool. As if on cue, the music starts up.
Ray Castoldi: 1989, different world. I was doing music in nightclubs, and I heard about the garden from a friend of mine. He's like, "You know, they were auditioning someone to play the organ. They wanted to bring the organ back. Now, they need someone who can pick records too, and mix records, as well as play the organ." I was like, "Okay, I'll give that a shot," and I figured I'd do it for years.
Fan: All right. It's getting feisty in there.
Ray Castoldi: I really like my job is to line up the energy of the fans and get them all going in the same direction and maybe get them going to a higher level than they would do on their own.
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