OrchKids, the outreach program set up by Marin Alsop, was selected as a recipient of the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program (NAHYP) Award at the White House last week. The Awards are the signature program of the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities spearheaded by First Lady Michelle Obama and OrchKids were one of 12 recipients honored for generating positive youth outcomes.
Inspired by Venezuela’s El Sistema, 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 neighbourhoods. Under Marin Alsop’s artistic leadership and direction, OrchKids is the cornerstone of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s efforts to expand the Orchestra’s relevance within the broad and diverse Baltimore community.
In a ceremony in the East Room of the White House, First Lady Michelle Obama presented the award to OrchKids Artistic Director Dan Trahey and eighth grader Asia Palmer, who has participated in OrchKids since 2008.
Marin commented: “I am thrilled about this extraordinary award from the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities. Looking back over the last five years, I couldn’t be more proud of the progress our OrchKids have made throughout their time in the program. I am confident that they will continue to make great strides in the future.”
The news comes ahead of another exciting opportunity for the BSO OrchKids who, as well as Marin Alsop and 32 musicians from the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, will perform at the BSO Ravens’ Thanksgiving Day home game against the Pittsburgh Steelers on November 28, nationally broadcast on NBC.
This is the first time the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra has partnered with the Ravens and marks their first appearance at M&T Bank Stadium. Talking about the collaboration at the press launch a few weeks ago, Marin said: “We have been wanting to work together with the Ravens, I am so glad that we are finally able to collaborate with our home team and Super Bowl champions this Thanksgiving. We like to think of the BSO as the third major league team here in Baltimore and Purple Fever runs deep amongst the musicians, staff and board at the BSO. It is truly a thrill to be able to perform on the Ravens’ turf and be part of a national broadcast.”
To watch a video of OrchKids performing at the Ravens’ practice at the M&T Bank Stadium after the press announcement click here.
For more information on Marin’s work with OrchKids and other outreach work click here.