The Baltimore Ravens have announced that not only will the Baltimore Symphony and their OrchKids Bucket Band perform at the Ravens’ Thanksgiving-night half-time show at their game with the Pittsburgh Steelers, they have pledged to give $15,000 to the OrchKids program. Seeing such support from a football team for a symphony orchestra gives me hope.
Several years ago when I did a spotlight on the Memphis Symphony, I was heartened to learn that the Memphis Grizzlies (their NBA team) had donated to the orchestra to support their drum circles work, because of the Grizzlies’ interest in Boys & Girls Clubs. I remember feeling amazement that a professional sports team would support a symphony project.
The Ravens offer is on a much grander scale, but I would love to think it’s a new trend, as orchestras design programs that bring inner-city kids to music, and get them inspired and “fired up!”
Here’s a link to a video from the Baltimore Sun showing the OrchKids Bucket Band performing on the field for the Ravens players, with Jacoby Jones and Terrence Cody joining in the performance. You can see BSO Percussionist Brian Prechtl leading his Bucket Band on the field in this video (he’s on the far left of the drummers). Brian has been with OrchKids since its inception in 2008; his energy, enthusiasm, and mentoring skills are amazing!