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December 2, 2010

Baltimore musicians organize benefit concert to support anti-bullying efforts

The issue of bullying in schools never seems to go away, and the consequences of unchecked bullying never seem to lessen. The much-publicized suicides earlier this year of several gay teens harassed by classmates drove this point home in a particularly powerful way.

In response to the persistent problem, Baltimore area musicians have put together a benefit concert on Sunday "to raise awareness about bullying in schools and abate the hate," says conductor Gordon Green, who co-organized the event with violist Robin Fay Massie.

Proceeds will benefit two national organizations dedicated to the cause: the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) and Youth Frontiers.

The program features Musicians of Mercy, an ensemble Massie co-founded last January to help raise money for victims of the earthquake in Haiti. Dozens of volunteers have stepped up to help with the event onstage and off.

In a cool touch, Green has chosen popular works by great composers who happened to be gay, including

Copland's "Fanfare for the Common Man," Barber's "Adagio for Strings," and excerpts from Tchaikovsky's "Swan Lake." Music by Handel (probably gay) and Brahms (didn't play for that team) will also be performed. There will be some jazz, too, from vocalist Integriti Reeves.

The concert, titled "Stand for Love," is scheduled fore 5 p.m. Sunday (Dec. 5) at Baltimore's First Unitarian Church. Although there is no admission fee, a suggested donation of $15 is requested.

If you can't attend, you can mail a contribution to: Abate the Hate Benefit, c/o First Unitarian Church, 1 W. Hamilton St., Baltimore, MD 21201 (make check payable to First Unitarian Church of Baltimore; write "benefit concert" on the memo line).

Posted by Tim Smith at 12:16 PM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Clef Notes


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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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