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July 13, 2010

Baltimore Symphony's 'Rusty Musicians' outreach comes to Meyerhoff Hall in September

One of the biggest hits the Baltimore Symphony had last season wasn't part of the regular subscription series, classical or pops. It was a new outreach project dubbed "Rusty Musicians with the BSO," offered over two nights in February. It drew more than 600 amateur instrumentalists to Strathmore, where they sat alongside BSO members and dug into some hearty repertoire with conductor Marin Alsop.

The response was so great in numbers and enthusiasm that the orchestra soon began planning a similar offering at at Meyerhoff Hall. The Baltimore area "Rusty Musicians" adventure has just been announced. It will be held

on Sept. 21. Anticipating the same sort of turnout experienced at Strathmore, the BSO has divided the evening into four sessions, each beginning on the hour (6, 7, 8 and 9 p.m.), in order to accommodate everyone. During each session, Alsop will guide the combined pro and amateur forces through Brahms’ "Academic Festival" Overture and the finale of Stravinsky’s "Firebird" Suite.

Participation is open to anyone from the age of 25 on who can play a string, woodwind, brass or percussion instrument. There's a $10 registration fee. If you're interested in breaking out that old fiddle or clarinet and playing a fun gig with the BSO, registration is open online. Acceptance notices will be sent out by Aug. 2. The public is invited to attend the sessions; tickets will be $10.

To give you a taste of what's in store, here's a video plug the BSO put together during the Strathmore event last winter:

Posted by Tim Smith at 11:44 AM | | Comments (0)

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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 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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