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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

Music maestro, please

Stephanie Ali, center, a third grader in the OrchKids strings class. Photo: Toya Sarno Jordan/New York Times

The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra has created a free after-school music program that reaches 1,300 students in six schools, reports the New York Times.

 Classes were over, but school was not out: Young string players rehearsed Beethoven in one classroom, while flutists practiced in another and brass players worked on fanfares in a third. Also on offer were homework tutors, an after-school snack and dinner. “Four measures for nothing,” Wade Davis, a cello teacher, called out to his young string section, launching them into Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy.”

Keith Fleming, then a first grader, signed up because he didn’t have anything else to do. “At first I didn’t really like music,” he said. Now a sophomore at the Baltimore School of the Arts, “his tuba skills have taken him to Austria and London.”

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