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November 26, 2010

Marin Alsop among volunteers serving meals to homeless on Thanksgiving

Baltimore Symphony Orchestra music director Marin Alsop joined students, faculty, staff and friends of the University of Maryland School of Medicine in the 21st annual "Project Feast" on Thanksgiving Day.

The event, held at Booker T. Washington Middle School, provided dinner for homeless and disadvantaged persons in West Baltimore. Clothing and non-perishable food items were also given out during the day. Free eye and blood pressure tests were offered as well. 

Alsop was joined by

her partner, Kristin, and their young son, Auden, who helped serve the pies. (UPDATE: Since posting this blog entry, I received an email from Marin about their experience on Thursday: "Kristin, Auden and I joined our friends, the Bishai family, at Booker T. Washington school to serve meals. Auden especially enjoyed teaming up with Graham Bishai on the pie cart. We were honored to be included and met many wonderful people there.")

The conductor's participation was not announced in advance. I learned about it from UM personnel who were also taking part and were greatly impressed by Alsop's dedication and spirit during the day. They have posted online a chronicle of the day's activities and posted several photos.

From the start of her tenure with the BSO, Alsop made it clear that she would be a part of the community, not a transient artist. She has demonstrated that commitment in many ways, including her generous seed money for the BSO's extraordinary OrchKids education project at a West Baltimore school. That was enough to qualify Alsop as a real mensch; her Thanksgiving donation of time and energy reconfirms this status.

PHOTO OF MARIN ALSOP; AND PHOTO OF GRAHAM (son of Dr. William Bishai, co-director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Tuberculosis Research) AND AUDEN (son of BSO music director Marin Alsop) COURTESY OF ED FISHEL/UM OFFICE OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Posted by Tim Smith at 12:45 PM | | Comments (3)
Categories: BSO, Clef Notes


Thanks for posting this... Marin is such an inspiration to me!

She rocks!

What a woman! Makes you want to be always near the vibes.

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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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