24. March 2010 · 5 comments · Categories: Links, News

A friend and I were talking about what we do. We aren’t saving the world. We aren’t feeding the hungry. We aren’t helping the poor. The poor, in fact, can’t afford tickets to come hear what we do. I suggested that while we could quit out of guilt, or go play at a soup kitchen, the more well off deserve to be blessed as well (and I do hope that our music blesses them in some way).

But now I read this:

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 lot of this activity is coming up from the grass roots,” says Peabody director Jeffrey Sharkey. “It’s not necessarily being imposed on students. And I think it is a big trend, globally. More musicians than ever before are realizing that it’s not just about who can get into an orchestra. It’s about doing more than just playing an instrument.”

I did puzzle over the quote “It’s not necessarily being imposed on students.” … um … that necessarily makes it seem as if it sometimes IS imposed on them, you know? But anyway, I like the article, and I commend these students.

I read it here.


  1. I work with a string quartet (Carpediemstringquartet.com) that does concerts in nursing homes. They usually do two 45-60 minute concerts in an afternoon about once a month. The programs are generally light music – tangos by Piazolla, Monti’s Czardas, some pieces in a light vein commissioned by the quartet, and ‘Montana’, a quartet by the violist about her home state. The quartet has found it to be a very rewarding experience and the audiences are very appreciative.

  2. Very nice to read this, Randy. Thanks! (Is your name Randy? I didn’t see that name at the site.)

  3. Yes, Randy. I’m not a member of the quartet, just a board member and the one who organizes the nursing home concerts.

  4. Got it! I think it’s wonderful that the group volunteers for this sort of thing!