Baltimore Symphony Youth Orchestra and OrchKids Collaborate for a Special Concert at The Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage, February 6th

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Baltimore Symphony Youth Orchestra and OrchKids Collaborate for a Special Concert at The Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage, February 6th

Baltimore, Md. (January 21, 2015) – The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra is excited to announce a special collaborative concert with its flagship community education program, OrchKids™ and its Youth Orchestra, on the world renowned Millennium Stage at The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. on Friday, February 6th from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m.  Under leadership of OrchKids Artistic Director Dan Trahey, Bucket Band Director Brian Prechtl, BSYO Conductor  Mary Poling and OrchKids Conductor Eli Wirth, 65 children, spanning pre-kindergarten through ninth grade, will perform together for a special concert that will feature a mix of classical, jazz, pop and spiritual-inspired pieces. The ensemble will be accompanied by Chi-chi Nwanoku, Principal Double Bass and a founding member of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and Endymion Ensemble, on the orchestral version of Rihanna’s “Stay.”

As part of the Kennedy Center’s “Performing Arts for Everyone” initiative, visitors can enjoy free local, national, and international artists on the Millennium Stage, which is located indoors in the Kennedy Center’s Grand Foyer. No tickets are required, though seating is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis.

The BSO’s education programs have a history of receiving national recognition. Recently, in November of 2013, OrchKids was a recipient of a 2013 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award, the signature program of the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities.

“This event marks another highlight of the accomplishments that our education programs have made over the years,” said BSO VP of Education and Community Engagement Carol Bogash.  “First because this is the largest collaboration of our BSYO and OrchKids programs that we have ever had, but also because they will be playing to a national audience at one of the most prestigious venues in the country. This experience provides lessons beyond music education. It helps to enhance the students’ self-esteem, shows the impact of hard work, and proves that anything is possible when you put your mind to it!”

About OrchKids

OrchKids™ is a year-round during- and after-school music program designed to create social change and nurture promising futures for youth in Baltimore City neighborhoods. In partnership with the Baltimore City Public School system, OrchKids provides students with instruments, academic instruction, positive role models, field trips, daily healthy meals and more. Marking its seventh year in 2014-2015, OrchKids serves 825 students spanning pre-kindergarten through ninth grades across five Title I schools in West and East Baltimore.

Under Music Director Marin Alsop’s artistic leadership and direction, OrchKids is a cornerstone of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s efforts to expand the Orchestra’s relevance within the City’s broad and diverse community. In 2008, Maestra Alsop directed $100,000 of her MacArthur Genius Prize as seed money to launch the program, and remains an active participant as a mentor to the students, in joint public performances, and in advancing community and funding partnerships. Extraordinary sustaining support for the OrchKids program is provided by Robert E. Meyerhoff & Rheda Becker. In November 2013, OrchKids was awarded a National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award.

About the Baltimore Symphony Youth Orchestras
Under Artistic Director Ken Lam, the Baltimore Symphony Youth Orchestras (BSYO) comprises three orchestral ensembles of 210 elementary, middle and high school students from across Maryland and Pennsylvania. Students commit to weekly rehearsals and have opportunities to collaborate with and be mentored by BSO musicians and Music Director Marin Alsop, including side-by-side rehearsals with the BSO, coaching from BSO musicians, master classes with world renowned artists, intensive chamber music classes and performance opportunities, and access to exclusive BSYO events at the Meyerhoff. The BSYO serves as ensemble-in-residence at the state-of-the-art George Washington Carver Center for Arts and Technology in Towson, Maryland.

Chi-chi Nwanoku
Chi-chi Nwanoku studied at the Royal Academy of Music and with Franco Petracchi in Rome. She has become one of England’s most sought after double bass players, and has developed a worldwide reputation as one of the finest exponents on her instrument today.

Her first professional position was as Principal double bass with the London Mozart Players, and since then she has performed and recorded as principal and soloist with many of Europe’s prestigious chamber orchestras and ensembles. These include the Academy of St Martin’s-in-the-Fields, English Baroque Soloists, London Classical Players and the Orchestre Revolutionnaire et Romantique.

She is Principal Double Bass and a founder member of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and Endymion Ensemble, is Professor of Double Bass Historical Studies at The Royal Academy of Music, and gives Master classes as a visiting Professor at Conservatoires worldwide.

She was featured as a soloist on a BBC 2 television series ‘Strings, Bows and Bellows’, and Channel 4 television’s ‘Shooting Stars’ in 1994/5. She presents a weekly program Radio Three Requests on BBC Radio 3 every Sunday 2-4pm. Chi-chi was a jury member of ‘Classical Star’, featured on BBC 2 TV in 2007. Her extensive discography includes three recordings of Schubert’s ‘Trout’ Quintet, with Domus, Hausmusik and Trio Fontennay with Nabuko Imai (viola), for Virgin, EMI and Teldec respectively. There are also recordings of the Schubert Octet, Beethoven Septet, Rossini String Sonatas (a Quattro) and Boccherini ‘cello sonatas (with Richard Lester/Hyperion).

She has made many symphonic recordings as orchestral principal.  In October 2000 Hyperion label released Chi-chi’s first solo recording to critical acclaim. This includes three double bass concertos by Vanhal and Dittersdorf, with the Swedish Chamber Orchestra; Hyperion CD 67179.


Friday, February 6, 2015—The Millennium Stage, The Kennedy Center, Washington, D.C.


Dan Trahey, Artistic Director

Brian Prectl, Bucket Band Director

Eli Worth, Conductor

Baltimore Symphony Youth Orchestras

Mary Poling, Conductor

Chi-Chi Nwanoku, Principle Double Bass

Admission is free and open to the public, though space is limited.

The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra is funded by an operating grant from the Maryland State Arts Council, an agency dedicated to cultivating a vibrant cultural community where the arts thrive. 

The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra is supported in part by funding from the Montgomery County government and the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County. 

The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra is also supported by the Citizens of Baltimore County and Baltimore City.



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