Impact statements: Baltimore Symphony OrchKids program marks ten years

Posted on: May 9, 2018

“From the outside, Lockerman-Bundy Elementary School looks forbidding, a tan monolith built in the 1970s,” writes Michael Cooper in Tuesday’s (5/8) New York Times. “Inside on an afternoon last month, though, it was a different story…. Young string players rehearsed Beethoven in one classroom, while flutists practiced in another and brass players worked on fanfares in a third. Also on offer were homework tutors, an after-school snack and dinner…. It was just another afternoon at OrchKids, the free after-school program that the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and its music director, Marin Alsop, started a decade ago with just 30 children in a single school. The program now reaches 1,300 students in six schools…. Ms. Alsop … got the program off the ground by pledging $100,000 of her own money … to encourage other donors…. The first student to enroll in the program was Keith Fleming, then a first grader…. He is 15 now, and [attends] the Baltimore School of the Arts, where he is a sophomore…. The program was partly inspired by El Sistema, Venezuela’s free music education program.” Says Kimberly Hill-Miller, the principal at Lockerman-Bundy, “Every time they step out, they’re a positive image of our city.”

Posted May 9, 2018

Pictured: Stephanie Ali, center left, a third-grader in the OrchKids strings class; top, fourth-grader Deonta Carter; and a practice before the OrchKids tenth-anniversary concert. Photo by Toya Sarno Jordan / New York Times