Institute's presence will be felt — and heard
— here, there and everywhere in February, as hundreds
of students, faculty and alumni are set to join in a global
150th birthday tribute.
Let the cavalcade of concerts begin.
On Feb. 12, 1857, philanthropist George Peabody
founded the institute, the first academy of music to be
established in America. Located in Baltimore's Mount Vernon
Square, the institute began with the idea of bringing
culture to the city's residents and comprised a library,
lecture series and art gallery as well as the academy of
To help celebrate the sesquicentennial anniversary of
the school, the Peabody chapter of the university's alumni
association set out to compile a list of 150 alumni
concerts scheduled for February. The chapter asked alumni
to let them know if they were already set to perform during
the month, and if they weren't, to try to schedule a
concert, big or small.
The response has far exceeded expectations. To date,
Peabody alumni are now set to perform 244 concerts in 31
states and 17 countries.
In addition to the alumni concerts around the country
and abroad, Peabody has plenty in store for those in the
Baltimore area, including two major performances at the
school's Mount Vernon campus.
On Wednesday, Feb. 7, a unique collaboration will
bring the Peabody Concert Orchestra together with members
of the Peabody Jazz Orchestra in the premiere of The Open
Book for Improvising Soloists and Orchestra, composed by
Peabody jazz faculty member Michael Formanek. Featured
soloist in the performance will be Gary Thomas, director
and chair of Jazz Studies. The concert, which also includes
works by Mihaud, Gershwin and Ellington, takes place at 8
p.m. in Peabody's Friedberg Hall.
One week later, the Peabody Wind Ensemble will perform
world premieres of works by three Peabody alumni, Ty Alan
Emerson, David Faleris and Mark Lotz. The concert, to be
held at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 14, in Friedberg Hall,
will also feature works by James Syler, Richard Franko
Goldman and Johan de Meij.
Harlan Parker, director of the Peabody Wind Ensemble,
said that the entire 2007 concert season will feature a mix
of past and present Peabody students to showcase the
breadth and long lineage of talent nurtured here.
That talent will be on full display in February with
the 244 (and counting) alumni concerts that range from
intimate performances in private homes to large orchestras
in major concert halls.
Of note, the George Peabody House Museum in Peabody,
Mass., is sponsoring a tribute concert performed at City
Hall by Conservatory musicians. The mayor and trustees of
the museum will attend the concert, which will be held on
Feb. 16, two days before George Peabody's birthday, an
occasion that the city's residents still celebrate by
visiting his gravesite and having birthday cake.
On Feb. 7, four alums from the voice program will
perform an "I Love Peabody" concert, a night of opera and
musical theater favorites at the University of North
Carolina at Pembroke.
Here at home, three alumni who are also Peabody
faculty artists — Ah Hong, Robert Muckenfuss and
Steven Rainbolt — will present a free recital on the
actual anniversary date, Feb. 12, at 7:30 p.m. in Peabody's
Other alumni concerts include performances by pianist
Andre Watts in Washington state, violinist Bing Wang in
California and violoncellist Zuill Bailey in Wisconsin.
Alumni concerts overseas include ones in Australia,
Belgium, Greece, Japan, Netherlands, Serbia, Spain and
Linda Goodwin, director of ensembles and president of
the alumni steering committee for Peabody, said that this
whole effort began with a simple question: What could
alumni do to help celebrate Peabody's 150th?
"We thought, Wouldn't it be great to do 150 concerts
in the month of February? It has just snowballed from
there," she said. "It's been great to see the show of
support and the amazing response. I would love to see us
hit all 50 states, and I'm doing some last-minute
campaigning to get us there."
In honor of their support and to help spread birthday
wishes, each of the alumni set to perform will receive a
box of candy mints imprinted with a scripted Peabody "P"
and the anniversary slogan "150 Years of Music for the
Even at the end of February, there will be plenty of
concerts still to come.
Featured alumni in the spring include jazz trumpeter
Dontae Winslow in a March 23 appearance with the Peabody
Jazz Lab Band, the violin and piano duo recital of Qian
Zhou and Thomas Hecht on April 17 and cellist David Hardy
as soloist for an April 28 performance of the Peabody
For a full list of alumni concerts, go to
For a list of all Peabody events, go to
To contact the box office, call 410-659-8100, ext. 2, or