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

B&O Unlocked: Behind-the-Scenes Access Inside the Collection

March 13, 16 & 17: SEH No. 4 “St. Elizabeth”

Black History Month Free Film Screening

Hidden Figures – February 23

B&O’s 197th Birthday Party

February 25 @ 11 AM

Games with Trains

Saturday, March 2 @ 10 AM – 7 PM

Easter Weekend at the B&O

March 29-31

Sensory Inclusive Summer Camp

Week 1: June 24-28

WITH GENEROUS SUPPORT FROM:

2020
Award

Voted Washington Parent's Best Museum Winner 2020

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