Symphony in the City 2: A Free Community Concert Featuring Wordsmith and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra

The B&O Railroad Museum is proud to present Wordsmith and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Freedom Seekers on the Underground Railroad.  An original song and composition directly inspired by the powerful narratives found in the B&O Railroad Museum’s Underground Railroad exhibit will be debuted. The Museum was designated a National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom Site in 2021 and opened a permanent exhibit, The Underground Railroad: Freedom Seekers on the B&O Railroad in 2022. Experience the fusion of music and history, on hallowed grounds.

The concert will include selections by prominent African-American composers such as Florence Price, Duke Ellington, and Carlos Simon, as well as the world premiere of “Network to Freedom” by BSO artistic partner, Wordsmith.

Commissioned by the Baltimore Symphony, Wordsmith’s powerful new work, in his words,

“Explore[s] the beginnings of American Railroading at the B&O, its impact during the civil war, how it shaped our economy and the roots of the Underground Railroad. The birth of a new way to travel is documented through intimate storytelling, narration, spoken word, powerful choral arrangements, and a cinema worthy score. Unearthed stories from Henry Box Brown, William & Ellen Craft, and more shine a light on the traumatic ordeal’s slaves had to endure to prove their freedom. The B&O Railroad is not just a landmark; it holds a treasure trove of stories that have shaped our country!”

Please join us for a reverent, uplifting, and moving performance paying tribute to Dr. King’s message of equality and unity.

Artists

  • Jeri Lynne Johnson, conductor
  • Wordsmith, spoken word artist
  • Further vocalists TBA

Repertoire

  • CARLOS SIMON “The Block”
  • ELLINGTON (arr. Henderson, red. Blanchard) Three Black Kings
  • III. Martin Luther King
  • BONDS Montgomery Variations
  • VI. Lament
  • VII. Benediction
  • STILL Symphony No. 1, “Afro-American”
  • I. Longing: Moderato assai
  • PRICE Symphony No. 3
  • III. Juba: Allegro
  • WORDSMITH Network to Freedom (world premiere, BSO commission)

Upcoming Events at the B&O

2024

Monthly Tours

Go inside the the B&O No. C-1775 Wooden Bobber Caboose!

July 10, 13 & 14

Tour the B&O No. 7701 “Dreamland Sleeper”

August 14, 17 & 18

June 21

6:30-9:30 PM

Sensory Inclusive Summer Camp

Week 1: June 24-28

The Battle at Monocacy Junction: How the Railroad Saved Washington

June 29 | Lecture @ 1:45 PM

June 30 & July 28

12-1 PM

July 4

10:30 AM – 3:30 PM

July 13

5 PM – 8 PM

WITH GENEROUS SUPPORT FROM:

Janet F.
Morgantown, WV

As you moved through the roundhouse it felt like you were following a cohesive storyline through the early history of the railroad.

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