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January 20, 2011

Free winter concert series at Villa Assumpta begins Jan. 30

UPDATE: One more concert date has been confirmed since I posted this. I've added that information below. 

Here's some nice winter-warming news. A free, mostly classical concert series will begin Jan. 30 and run through March at Villa Assumpta, retirement home for the School Sisters of Notre Dame in Baltimore.


If you'll pardon the personal aside, I have a soft spot for that place. It's where my Aunt Florence -- Sister Baptista -- spent her last years and where she introduced me to Sister Theresine, a musical dynamo who had a long association with the old Baltimore Opera Company before her retirement.

I had some memorable visits there and was always impressed with the atmosphere, the sense of caring, not to mention all the knowledge, experience and ongoing curiosity of the nuns who had devoted their lives to education. I think it's great that the residents will have this musical opportunity and that the public is being welcomed to share it, too.

The Sunday afternoon concert series, called "Hearts for Arts’ Sake," will take place in the Villa's chapel. Organizing the venture is


 pianist Ernest Ragogini, longtime faculty member of the College of Notre Dame of Maryland and director of “Music at CND” concerts. He'll give the first concert on Jan. 30, and, like all the other artists on the lineup, he is donating his services.

Violinist Jose Miguel Cueto, concertmaster of the Concert Artists of Baltimore, will give a recital with pianist Nancy Roldan on Feb. 6.

The series continues Feb. 13 with the Ravel Trio: violinist Simon Maurer, cellist Nancy Baun, pianist Daniel Lau. Soprano Karen Myers and baritone Christopher Douglas Rhodovi, accompanied at the piano with Ragogini, will perform on Feb. 20; tenor Thomas Epps, also with Ragogini, on Feb. 27; the flute choir known as Flutopia Baltimore on March 6; Dundalk Star-Spangled Barbershop Chorus on March 13; readings of poetry by the late College of Notre Dame English teacher Sister Maura Eichner on March 20; and a recital with flutist Anna D’Agostino and pianist Suzanne Geyer on March 27.

All performances are at 2 p.m. Villa Assumpta is at 6401 N. Charles St. For more information call 410-532-5386.


Posted by Tim Smith at 3:19 PM | | Comments (0)
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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