Five for Fighting to Join N.C. Symphony in Concert This Coming Spring

Raleigh, N.C. -- Acclaimed singer and songwriter John Ondrasik, best known by his stage name Five for Fighting, joins the North Carolina Symphony onstage for the first time ever on Saturday, April 2, 2016, at 8 p.m., in Meymandi Concert Hall in downtown Raleigh. Tickets for the one-concert only performance go on sale Monday, Aug. 3, at 10 a.m. at www.ncsymphony.org.

The performance will include fan favorites like "Superman (It's Not Easy)," "The Riddle," "Easy Tonight" and "100 Years," performed with stunning live orchestral arrangements, led by conductor Eric Roth.

Ondrasik began his journey at three-years old. "Johnny," as he was called back then, could barely span four white keys with his small hands. His mom was a piano teacher and after giving him the basics she allowed him to walk away from formal lessons at thirteen, a freeing moment. From that point on, he was playing because he wanted to play; writing music because he wanted to write.

He exploded onto the music scene with the release of "Superman" in 2000 on "America Town." Mixing inspiration plus an intense work ethic, Ondrasik had become an overnight sensation in only twenty years.

"Superman" continued to embed itself in the nation's consciousness with the events of 9/11, as Ondrasik joined other superstar musicians for the fundraiser, "The Concert for New York," a 2001 event dedicated to first responders affected by the events of September 11th.

Fast-forward three years with Ondrasik still searching for that second #1 Billboard hit. Recording in his studio, an 8' x 4' closet, and working on his third album, "The Battle for Everything." His wife, Carla, had been a music publisher before leaving the business to devote her time to their two children, Johnny and Olivia, but he didn't ordinarily bounce his songs off of her.

This time he did, and he held his breath as she listened and wept. "I immediately knew that I was either onto something, or my career was over." As it turns out he was onto something, another #1 Billboard hit, the now-standard "100 Years." Since, Ondrasik has ranged well beyond work in the studio to the world beyond.

Ondrasik has compiled five albums to give away to United States troops, with over a million distributed containing hit songs and bits from superstar musicians and comedians, in addition to Five for Fighting music.

"The coolest part of the CD for the Troops project was that everyone from Melissa Etheridge to Brooks and Dunn got on board. It's been an effort where writers from the across the political spectrum have contributed songs to thank our troops."

Ondrasik is an avid hockey fan -- the source of the term for his "band" title, referencing five penalty minutes given to a player guilty of fighting. Further evidence of Ondrasik's marvelous collision between sports and music is all around: writing for Sports Illustrated and his beloved Los Angeles Kings website, performing at NFL, NHL, NASCAR events, and appearing on ESPN's flagship show, "SportsCenter."

Career Highlights Include:

· Over 2.5 million records sold.

· Six major album releases including platinum albums, America Town, The Battle For Everything, Message for Albert, Two Lights, Slice, and Bookmarks.

· Grammy-nominated single "Superman" Platinum, #1 Adult Top 40, #2 Hot AC, Top 10 at Top 40.

· "100 Years" single 2x Platinum, spent 12 weeks at #1 at Hot AC.

· "Chances" featured in Oscar winning film The Blind Side, Certified Gold, Top 15 at Hot AC & "The Riddle" #4 at Hot AC.

· Scored or licensed hundreds of songs for film/television.

· Ondrasik has compiled five albums to give away to United States troops, with over a million distributed containing hit songs and bits from superstar musicians and comedians, in addition to Five for Fighting music.

· Ondrasik in an avid hockey fan - writing for Sports Illustrated and his beloved Los Angeles Kings website, performing at NFL, NHL, NASCAR events, and appearing on ESPN's flagship show, SportsCenter.

· Ondrasik broke new ground by creating a video charity website - Through the site, over a quarter of a million dollars was raised for Augie's Quest, Autism Speaks, Fisher House Foundation, Save the Children, and Operation Homefront.

Tickets to Five for Fighting range from $38-$76, and will be available to the public Monday, Aug. 3, at 10 a.m. For more information, go to the North Carolina Symphony's website at www.ncsymphony.org, or call 919.733.2750 or toll free 877.627.6724. Meymandi Concert Hall is located in the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts, 2 E. South St., in Raleigh.

Founded in 1932, the North Carolina Symphony gives more than 200 performances annually to adults and school children in more than 50 North Carolina counties. An entity of the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources, the orchestra employs 66 professional musicians, under the artistic leadership of Music Director and Conductor Grant Llewellyn, Resident Conductor William Henry Curry, and Associate Conductor David Glover.

Headquartered in downtown Raleigh's spectacular Meymandi Concert Hall at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts and an outdoor summer venue at Booth Amphitheatre in Cary, N.C., the Symphony performs about 60 concerts annually in the Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill and Cary metropolitan area. It holds regular concert series in Fayetteville, New Bern, Southern Pines and Wilmington -- as well as individual concerts in many other North Carolina communities throughout the year -- and conducts one of the most extensive education programs of any U.S. orchestra.

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