THE BALTIMORE SYMPHONIC BAND
Under the Direction of Christopher Wolfe
Water Music | George Frederick Handel
1812 Overture | Peter Tchaikovsky
Baltimore Harbor | James Hosay
The Star Spangled Banner | Brian Balmages
Carnival of the Animals | Camille Saint-Saens
Poetry by Ogden Nash, Narrated by Dr. Sandra Kurtinitis
There Is a Road | Derrick Wang
Anchors Aweigh | Charles Zimmerman
Lady Sings the Blues | Billie Holiday
God Bless the Child | Billie Holiday
Soprano – Katyrah Davenport
Accompanist – Monica Otal
The Raven | Edgar Allan Poe
Narrated by Barry F. Williams
Nevermore | Brian Balmages
Bugle Call Rag | Eubie Blake
Hairspray | Marc Shaiman
Christopher A. Wolfe has been the Music Director of the Baltimore Symphonic Band (BSB) since its founding in 1981. A lifelong resident of Baltimore, Mr. Wolfe studied clarinet and conducting at the Peabody Conservatory of Music, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in music. He holds a master’s degree in music education from Towson University as well. His conducting teachers have included Haszlo Halasz, Leon Barzin, and Anthony Gigliotti. In 1982, Mr. Wolfe took second prize in the National Conducting Competition in LaCrosse, Wisconsin. He has also won the C.D. Jackson and Albert Spaulding “Outstanding Musician” awards at Tanglewood in Lenox, Massachusetts. Among the artists he credits as having shaped his musical style and understanding is jazz musician Benny Goodman.
The BSB is affiliated with The Community College of Baltimore County Essex, where Mr. Wolfe is a professor of music in the School of Liberal Arts. Mr. Wolfe feels very strongly that the band exemplifies the essence of the community college concept, fostering the education of local residents as performing musicians and through the band’s musical programs.
In addition to his leadership of the BSB, Mr. Wolfe holds the position of assistant principal clarinetist of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and plays E-flat clarinet with that world-renowned musical institution. An advocate of music education and outreach programs, Mr. Wolfe participates in the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s Master Class Program, which offers personalized instruction for local student musicians. He also is the founder of the Greater Baltimore Youth Orchestra and has served as its artistic director.
Derrick Wang is a composer, lyricist, and librettist unlocking artistry in unlikely places.
He is the composer and librettist of the opera Scalia/Ginsburg, inspired by the opinions of U.S. Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Antonin Scalia.
Scalia/Ginsburg was first introduced to the public by National Public Radio’s Nina Totenberg in 2013, when Mr. Wang was invited to present selections at the Supreme Court before Justices Ginsburg and Scalia. At its 2015 world premiere at Lorin Maazel’s Castleton Festival, Scalia/Ginsburg was hailed by both arts critics and legal commentators as “brilliant…gorgeous” (DC Theatre Scene), “funny, exceedingly clever” (Above the Law), “laser-accurate…top-notch” (Classical Voice North America), and “tuneful…accessible…smart…a triumph” (The American Interest). The Los Angeles Times wrote: “Could we please make it a constitutional requirement that no one can be sworn into office in the White House or Congress without first having seen Scalia/Ginsburg?” In 2017, Scalia/Ginsburg received its sold-out second production in a revised version at The Glimmerglass Festival, where acclaimed tenor William Burden starred in the role of Scalia. The Wall Street Journal praised the “engaging” opera’s “musical wit,” and Opera Today described Scalia/Ginsburg as “enchanting” and “a perfect…jewel.”
A 2015 version of Mr. Wang’s libretto to Scalia/Ginsburg, containing over 200 footnotes to legal and musical precedent, was published in the Columbia Journal of Law and the Arts, with prefaces by Justices Ginsburg and Scalia. Selections from the libretto were republished as a chapter in Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s 2016 book My Own Words, with Mr. Wang narrating and performing an adapted version of this chapter in the audiobook. Scalia/Ginsburg is also cited in Justice Ginsburg’s foreword to the 2017 book Scalia Speaks: Reflections on Law, Faith, and Life Well Lived.
Mr. Wang’s work has drawn significant attention to opera in the national and international press — as the subject of a front-page article in The Wall Street Journal, a three-page illustrated feature in the Süddeutsche Zeitung [Germany’s largest national subscription daily newspaper], and articles and interviews in outlets including the ABA Journal, Associated Press (AP), Bloomberg, Deutsche Presse-Agentur, Dziennik Gazeta Prawna [Poland], The Economist, The Los Angeles Times, MSNBC, The New Republic, Opera Today, Der Standard [Austria], and The Washington Post. His work has received further coverage in The New York Times, AARP The Magazine, and the ABC television program Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?.
As a composer, Derrick Wang has received awards from musical organizations including ASCAP and BMI. His compositions, presented by artists and groups including the American Modern Ensemble, Castleton Festival, Glimmerglass Festival, Maryland Opera Studio, Opera Saratoga, Philharmonia Orchestra of Yale, Washington National Opera, and Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, have been heard in venues from New York to Shanghai, and his orchestrations have been performed at Carnegie Hall and Juilliard.
As a librettist and lyricist for opera and theater, his words, set to his own music, have been performed at venues including the York Theatre, Ars Nova Theater, Joe’s Pub (New York Public Theater), Center Stage (Baltimore), Harvard University, and Yale University. He has also served as a Resident Artist (Composer & Librettist) at American Lyric Theater.
As a scholar and speaker on law and the arts, he has addressed select performing-arts audiences, legal organizations, and educational institutions in the United States and abroad. Recent appearances include presentations for TEDxBroadway, the Judicial–Congressional Dialogue at the Library of Congress, the Second Circuit Judicial Conference (co-sponsored by Columbia Law School), National Constitution Center, Stanford Arts Institute & Stanford Law School, and the University of Chicago Institute of Politics.
He also serves on the faculty of the Peabody Conservatory of The Johns Hopkins University, where he designs and teaches an interdisciplinary curriculum on law and music.
As an attorney, he is Of Counsel at Thomas & Libowitz, P.A., where he advises creative clients in all industries as they launch, run, and grow their ventures. He has also spent time at premier Silicon Valley startup accelerator Y Combinator, where he shadowed a group of over 100 startups while researching the creativity of tech entrepreneurship.
Born in Maryland, he graduated from Gilman School while studying piano at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University. He received his A.B. magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, in music from Harvard University and his Master of Music (M.M.) degree in Composition on a Richardson Scholarship from the Yale School of Music. He also received his J.D. on a Houff Leadership Scholarship from the University of Maryland Carey School of Law.
Barry F. Williams is the Director of the Baltimore County Department of Recreation and Parks. Previously, he had been Director of the Workforce Development office in Baltimore County. Mr. Williams also had a long tenure in the public school systems working in a variety of positions, including principal and Area Executive Officer.
He has been President of Concert Artists of Baltimore for the past ten years and serves on numerous non-profit boards, including the YMCA. He has been President of the Workforce Investment Network (WIN); First Vice-President of the Baltimore County Chamber of Commerce; and currently serves on the St. Frances Academy school board. He is a cantor and lector at his church, and is often asked to provide narrations for programs and audio visual presentations. Williams completed his undergraduate degree from the University of Maryland and is a graduate of Loyola College (now Loyola University Maryland) where he earned a Master’s of Education in Administration and Supervision.
Barry is married and the proud father of two sons and the grandfather of two.