BSO-Mccoy

For Black History Month, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO) is embarking on an interactive art experience for families. The goal: to display African Americans innovation and contributions related to music through the history of United States.

At the concert at 11 a.m. Feb. 21, the BSO will perform, featuring artists like Duke Ellington, Scott Joplin, James P. Johnson, George Gershwin, and a choice of customary music. But the concert will include much more. According to Annemarie Guzy, the BSO’s director of education, it will be a day’s worth of events and activities for the entire family.

“This concert is going to be so much fun,” Guzy said. It has so much vibrance and a lot of really interactive components. We are going to have singing from the Baltimore City College Choir, and a fantastic soprano Marquita Lister who will be singing three selections for us: two spirituals, and a song from Scott Joplin’s Opera called, Treemonisha. Then we’re also going to have some break dancers and they will be breaking to a peace called, Drums which is by African-American composer James P. Johnson who did a lot of his composing right in the middle of the Harlem Renaissance in New York.”

“We’re looking at Duke Ellington for all that he did in terms of communicating with music,” Guzy said.”He really transformed the musical landscape as we know it right off with his jazz style and he’s very connected with social prejudice like James P. Johnson who really had a profound impact on him. I think it will be really fun for the audience to hear his music in this context of such and thinking of him as an innovator alongside some of our others.”

If you arrive early, a pre-concert series starts at 9:45 a.m. Designed to include family members age 4 and above, there will be figures from the National Black in Wax Museum on display, as well as a break dancing workshop.

You do not want to miss this groundbreaking event that will Black History alive and your family together, while celebrating the inspiring musicians and figures that helped change the future through music. “We love to have a really strong presence in the celebration of Black History Month, which is important to us here at BSO, being Baltimore-based,” Guzy said.

The Family Concert portion is at 11 a.m. Feb. 21 at the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. To purchase tickets simply go to www.BSOmusic.org or call the ticket office number at 410-783-8000.

Charise Wallace contributed to this article.