In Sunday’s (3/21) Baltimore Sun, Tim Smith writes, “The homeless who line up for meals from the Our Daily Bread service center in the shadow of the Jones Falls Expressway might receive something in addition to the physical nourishment one Sunday in May. If current plans pan out, they’ll hear classical music performed live underneath the overpass by the Be Orchestra, a volunteer group of Peabody Conservatory students. This new ensemble—the title comes from its declared mission to ‘be involved, be a part’—is the latest manifestation of an activist spirit that seems to have taken deep hold at the school during the past six years or so. Among recent student-initiated projects launched are Creative Access Music Outreach, which takes volunteer musicians into the community; and Junior Bach, with Peabody composition majors helping middle-school boys write music. … A new elective course at Peabody focuses on nurturing a socially conscious outlook. The class, Community Engagement and Creativity: 21st Century Skills for Professional Musicians, was created by alumnus Dan Trahey, who also coordinates the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s pioneer music education OrchKids program in an inner-city school; and Jill Collier, who arrived in Baltimore after finishing her graduate work in London and works with OrchKids and the Baltimore School for the Arts.”

March 22, 2010