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May 13, 2010

Baltimore Symphony's OrchKids project to get mention on 60 Minutes

In a welcome splash of national publicity, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra's groundbreaking OrchKids project at Lockerman Bundy Elementary in West Baltimore will get a look from "60 Minutes" on Sunday during a segment about the Los Angeles Philharmonic's wunderkind music director Gustavo Dudamel.

He's a product of Venezuela's famed no-child-left-music-less program called El sistema, which he plans to emulate in L.A. and would like to see embraced everywhere. Bob Simons' "60 Minutes" report will include a visit to the BSO's own El sistema-inspired OrchKids, launched a couple years ago with seed money from music director Marin Alsop.

About 150 students, from pre-K to 3rd grade, take part in the program, which has proven

remarkably successful from every angle. Just spend a couple minutes watching the kids taking instrument lessons or participating in group ear-training exercises and you feel there really is hope for the future of classical music after all.

No way to know for sure how much ended up on the CBS cutting-room floor, but any exposure for the project on "60 Minutes" has to be good for OrchKids, the BSO and, of course, Baltimore.

BALTIMORE SUN STAFF PHOTO OF AN ORCHKIDS CLASS

Posted by Tim Smith at 4:24 PM | | Comments (3)
        

Comments

I can't wait to watch!!

Bravo! OrchKids is a great initiative that shows what can be done when an orchestra and conservatory work together. What is not often noted about OrchKids is that it is staffed by faculty from the Peabody Institute. Pictured above is Peabody faculty member Eric Rasmussen.

I think this is a brilliant program and I hope it continues.. We need the arts now more then ever!

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About Tim Smith
Born and raised in Washington, D.C., I couldn't help but develop a keen interest in politics, but music, theater and visual art also proved great attractions. Music became my main focus after high school. I thought about being a cocktail pianist, but I hated taking requests, so I studied music history instead, earning a B.A. in that field from Eisenhower College (Seneca Falls, N.Y.) and an M.A. from Occidental College (Los Angeles). I then landed in journalism. After freelancing for the Washington Post and others, I was classical music critic for the Sun-Sentinel in South Florida, where I also contributed to NPR. I've written for the New York Times, BBC Music Magazine and other publications, and I'm a longtime contributor to Opera News. My book, The NPR Curious Listener's Guide to Classical Music (Perigee, 2002), can be found on the most discerning remainder racks.

I joined the Baltimore Sun as classical music critic in 2000 and, in 2009, also became theater critic, giving me the opportunity to annoy a whole new audience. In 2010, my original Clef Notes blog expanded to encompass a theatrical component -- how could I resist calling it Drama Queens? I hope you'll find both sides of this blog coin worth exploring and reacting to; your own comments are always welcome and valued (well, most of them, at least).

Think of this as your open-all-hours, cyber green room, where there's always a performer or performance to discuss, some news to digest, or maybe just a little good gossip to share.
Note: Tim Smith now writes about the fine arts at baltimoresun.com/artsmash. This blog will be kept in place as an archive for an indefinite period. Please visit the new location to get the latest Mid-Atlantic arts coverage.
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