BEL AIR – Like many 18-year olds, Piper Bateman recently graduated from high school and is preparing to enter college in the Fall; unlike her peers, she is also preparing to shoot a music video. Bateman, working with Baltimore-based filmmaker Jane Hollon, is finalizing the selection of shooting locations, choosing costumes, and is wrapping-up the many details necessary to prepare for the muic video production of her first single “Finally A Refugee.”
The young musicians that make up the National Orchestra Institute, currently at the University of Maryland, began the first of their three full length evening concerts this past weekend with works that can challenge a professional orchestra, let alone a young orchestra that has been together for only two weeks. Plus they got a jump on a big anniversary coming up next year.
In the coming weeks, the National Orchestra Institute, currently at the University of Maryland, is preparing for several full length concerts, which will include everything from a Mahler symphony to a Mozart concerto. But as a prelude to these full orchestra events, the student broke the orchestra down into smaller components last weekend for an interesting chamber orchestra program.
There was absolutely nothing wrong with the final pops concert of the season by the Baltimore Symphony at Strathmore, as long as you ignored the title.
With several guest artists, the BSO presented “the Magic of Motown.” Motown Records was a legendary record label founded by Berry Gordy Jr. in Detroit back in 1959, and while it covered all sorts of genres, the big hits defined what became known as the highly influential “Motown Sound.” With a seemingly endless supply of talent (the Supremes, Marvin Gaye, the Temptations to name just a few) and tons of crossover hits, that sound dominated much of the 1960s and early 1970s.
The last of the “three B’s,” Johannes Brahms needs little introduction. His works for piano, chamber groups, and orchestra are constantly programmed every season. You would think there is little left to discover, but the recent all Brahms program by the National Philharmonic at Strathmore included some lesser performed works.
And that is Brahms’ choral music. While hardly obscure, Brahms’ works for voice are less frequently mounted these days, except for his large scale German Requiem. Perhaps the problem is getting a decent size vocal group together for a twenty minute piece. But then, Brahms’ signature work is a song – his famous “Lullaby” – but when was the last time you heard that piece sung, as opposed to an instrumental version of the work?