Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Launches Musical Instrument Drive

rsz orchkids credit bill dennison (87)

 BSO OrchKids Collaborate with WMAR TV for Musical Instrument Drive

rsz orchkids credit bill dennison (87)Baltimore, Md. –The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s (BSO) Orchkids program today announced the start of its second annual Musical Instrument Drive, which runs from Monday, December 5 to Wednesday, December 21, 2011. Donated instruments will benefit OrchKids, the BSO’s after school music program that serves youth in select schools in both West and East Baltimore. Community members are asked to bring orchestral musical instruments in good to fair condition to predetermined drop-off locations. Music & Arts will provide instrument repair on donations when necessary at no cost. A one hundred instrument goal has been set for this holiday season. Please see below for instrument donation information.

Each holiday season, WMAR TV sponsors its Kindertime Toy Drive. In connection with this tradition, the news station has also called for musical instruments to benefit OrchKids as a new component of this annual event. WMAR TV will team up with WEAA FM (88.9) to promote the drive on the air and on their websites over the four weeks as well as serve as drop off sites.

About OrchKids
OrchKids is a year‐round during and after‐school music program designed to create social change and nurture promising futures for youth in Baltimore City neighborhoods. Under Music Director Marin Alsop’s artistic leadership and direction, OrchKids is a cornerstone of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s efforts to expand the Orchestra’s relevance within the City’s broad and diverse community. In collaboration with several community partners, including Baltimore City Public Schools, OrchKids provides music education, instruments and performance and mentorship opportunities at no cost to Baltimore’s neediest youngsters. The program is inspired by Venezuela’s El Sistema, the music program that in 30 years has transformed the lives of hundreds of thousands of children in that country’s most impoverished areas. Like El Sistema, OrchKids is intended primarily to address the most pervasive social challenges affecting underserved youth, using music to cultivate fundamental life skills such as self‐expression, cooperative learning, discipline and creativity. With assistance from The Family League of Baltimore City and the University of Maryland Baltimore County’s Shriver Center, the BSO has implemented several assessment tools to track if OrchKids participants are achieving social, academic and musical outcomes.

For the 2011‐2012 school year, OrchKids serves more than 350 pre‐K through fifth grade students at Lockerman Bundy Elementary School, Mary Ann Winterling Elementary School and New Song Academy in West Baltimore and most recently, Highlandtown Elementary/Middle School, #215, in East Baltimore. Under OrchKids Director of Artistic Program Development Dan Trahey, students receive classroom music instruction during the school day twice weekly and in afterschool sessions five days a week from 3:30‐6:00 p.m. A typical after‐school session includes classroom music instruction, group instrument lessons, tutoring assistance and even a nutritious meal, courtesy of East Side Entrees. OrchKids frequently have the opportunity to take field trips to local organizations and regularly attend Baltimore Symphony Orchestra concerts.

Holiday Musical Instrument Drive
Monday, December 5 – Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Instruments may be dropped off at the following venues, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
     • WMAR TV—6400 York Road
     • WEAA FM—Morgan State University, Communications Building, Third Floor, Hillen Road
     • Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall—1212 Cathedral Street (from Nov. 30 – Dec. 22), and
     • Highlandtown Elementary/Middle School, 3223 East Pratt Street (entrance on Clinton Street, through 4 p.m.)

Photo credit Bill Dennison