Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and Baltimore City Public Schools Announce Relocation of OrchKids Program

BSO and City Schools work in partnership to move after-school music program to Lockerman Bundy Elementary School

OrchKids to perform year-end community concert on Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO) and Baltimore City Public Schools (City Schools) today announced the future plans and relocation of OrchKids, the BSO’s year-old after-school program that provides youth in Baltimore City access to music instrumental instruction, tutoring assistance and life-enrichment activities and opportunities. This announcement comes at the conclusion of the program’s successful 2008-2009 pilot year at West Baltimore’s Harriet Tubman Elementary School, which is slated to close at the end of the school year.

As a result of Harriet Tubman’s closure, the OrchKids program will relocate from its current home to Lockerman Bundy Elementary School, located less than one mile from the program’s original site. Almost all of the current OrchKids participants will enroll at Lockerman Bundy, allowing the current OrchKids’ instruction to continue uninterrupted. Lockerman Bundy ranks among the top half of Maryland’s public schools based on Maryland School Assessment scores (source: www.greatschools.net).

“OrchKids provides our kids with an extraordinary opportunity, and its move to Lockerman Bundy will allow substantially more students to benefit from it. We know the tremendous role the arts can play in learning, and the addition of OrchKids to Lockerman Bundy rounds out its existing visual arts program and allows the school to offer its students a solid foundation in the fine arts.” - City Schools CEO Dr. Andrés A. Alonso.

OrchKids served 30 first grade students from Harriet Tubman Elementary School in its pilot year, providing after-school music lessons and tutoring instruction three afternoons each week. The program also exposed students to Baltimore’s cultural and historic treasures through field trips and frequent guest visitors. In its second year, OrchKids will serve most of the current 30 rising second graders from the pilot year, as well as all first and second grade Lockerman Bundy Elementary School students.

“These 30 first-graders are thriving in the OrchKids program. In just one year, they have mastered music fundamentals such as understanding rhythms, sight-singing and made progress toward learning to read music. Thanks to generous donors, each student now has his or her own instrument. The students’ academic progress and classroom behavior has also markedly improved. I hear from their classroom teachers that the tutoring and creative outlet that OrchKids provides directly benefits the students’ overall well-being. I am very happy to see this program grow to benefit even more students.” - Program Manager Daniel Trahey

Boasting a dynamic visual art program called “RAP: Rebuilding Thru Art Project,” Lockerman Bundy already offers a solid arts foundation ripe for nurturing the OrchKids program. Since Fall 2005, Open Society Institute Fellow Jay Wolf Schlossberg-Cohen and Irene Poulsen of Neighborhood Design Center have led bi-weekly after-school arts classes that have transformed the school facility by dressing its walls in bright student-created murals and are transforming youth through positive after-school enrichment.

“We are so excited to partner with the Baltimore Symphony and welcome OrchKids to our school The OrchKids program will enhance the instrumental and vocal music currently offered through the Baltimore City Curriculum and enlarge our music department. Just as RAP classes have brought beautiful, colorful student artwork to fill our hallways and creative opportunities for our students, imagine what a vibrant learning environment it will be when music also floods these corridors!” - Cynthia Cunningham, principal of Lockerman Bundy

The OrchKids will celebrate a successful first year and demonstrate their new skills in a year-end concert on June 3, 2009 at 6:00 p.m. at Harriet Tubman Elementary School. A rehearsal for this concert is scheduled on Wednesday, June 3rd at 9:30 a.m.

COMPLETE CONCERT DETAILS
OrchKids Year End Concert
Harriet Tubman Elementary School
1807 Harlem Ave
Baltimore, Md., 21217

Wednesday, June 3 at 9:30a.m. – Rehearsal
Wednesday, June 3 at 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. – Concert

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