Summer concerts from the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra will kick off in July.
Every year, the BSO puts on a celebratory Independence Day celebration at Oregon Ridge Park, but this year, patrons will have even more to celebrate, says Tonya McBride Robles, senior vice president and chief operating officer of the BSO.
“We’ve been wanting to be a part of the downtown celebration for many years, but the timing hasn’t worked,” she says.
For the first time, the orchestra will perform in Baltimore City’s Fourth of July event—this year at Rash Field.
“To be connected with the city’s big Independence Day party is really exciting for us,” she adds.
The schedule of Fourth of July events is as follows:
- July 3: Oregon Ridge Park, Cockeysville
- July 4: Rash Field, Baltimore City
- July 7: Boordy Vineyards, Hydes
Beyond Fourth of July, the BSO embarks on a new project beginning this summer: the Music for Maryland Tour.
The three-year initiative will bring the orchestra to all counties in the state’s jurisdiction, part of a strategic plan formed with Michael Kaiser, and bolstered with generous funding from the state.
Traveling throughout the state is part of a long history and tradition of the BSO. Robles recalls seeing her first orchestral performance at Governor Thomas Johnson High School in Frederick County, which “obviously left a big impression,” she says.
This tour is a return to those days—but also an expansion of what’s been done in the past.
“It’s been some time since we’ve had that kind of presence around the state,” she says. “We’re going from Garrett County, which is just about as far west as you can go, to Calvert County—the Eastern Shore—so the breadth of this project is really exciting.”
The first summer of the tour, launching on July 9, will cover Carroll, Calvert, Kent, Howard, Garrett, and Prince George’s counties.
Each theme will touch on a specific point of pride for that community—such as train-inspired music in Garrett County as an ode to John W. Garrett’s quarter-century stint as Baltimore and Ohio Railroad president.
- July 9: Performing Arts Center at Garrett College, Garrett County
- July 22: National Harbor on the Plaza Stage, Prince George’s County
- July 23: Carroll Community College Rotary Amphitheater, Carroll County
- July 30: PNC Waterside Pavilion at the Calvert Marine Museum, Calvert County
- 6: Wilmer Park in Chestertown, Kent County
The BSO strives to be more present outside of concert halls to reach those who don’t always have an opportunity to hear the orchestra—and that means supporting local communities.
Robles says the BSO will help to open the brand-new Performing Arts Center at Garrett College.
“We want to build it with the local communities so it’s a true collaboration,” she says.
Another way to plug into local communities is with the BSO’s free children’s programming. Mini residencies will bring small ensembles with musicians and narrators curated for young listeners that families can engage with in different ways, she says.
Performances range from a middle school-suited program of “Peter and the Wolf” in Garrett County to Music Box programs for ages 6 months to 3 years later on the tour.
Amid touring, the BSO will also stop in the Baltimore area for two Movie with Orchestra programs, including the brand-new “Toy Story in Concert.” It will run at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall on Friday, July 15, at 8 p.m. and Sunday, July 17, at 3 p.m.
The Music Center at Strathmore in North Bethesda will offer a Saturday showing at 3 p.m. on Saturday, July 16.
To close out the summer season, the BSO will present a concert and picnic for members at the Meyerhoff on Sunday, Aug. 7, at 3 p.m. Become a member for $75, and you’ll receive two tickets to the event.
“I think there’s just general excitement that we can have a fuller, more vibrant summer season than we’ve been able to have over the last couple of years,” Robles says.
For more information and dates, visit bso.org.