The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Thursday announced a $1 million gift from philanthropists Robert E. Meyerhoff and Rheda Becker as a dedicated endowment for the OrchKids Program and support its community-based performances.
The OrchKids Program started with 30 students at one school and has grown to serve more than 1,850 students across seven embedded sites in Baltimore plus a summer home at Goucher College. The gift provides funds to expand the program’s scope of services including additional program staff and teaching artists, instrument upgrades, application and tuition fees for summer music camps, and support for students as they matriculate through and beyond Baltimore City Public Schools.
The gift also focuses on increasing the number of community-based concerts in Baltimore and throughout Maryland. In appreciation of the funding and acknowledgment of decades of annual support from Meyerhoff and Becker, the BSO announced every orchestra concert held outside of the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall or The Music Center at Strathmore will be recognized as A Robert E. Meyerhoff & Rheda Becker Community Performance for the next five years.
This recognition begins with the 2023 summer season including Star-Spangled Spectacular celebrations at Oregon Ridge Park and Rash Field, eight stops on the Music for Maryland Tour and a free Symphony in the City concert at The Urban Oasis in west Baltimore.