Arts District

BSO, Indie Bands Perform Together In New Concert Series

Collaboration between WTMD and BSO aims to expose audiences to new music

The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and WTMD want you to expand your musical horizons starting this fall.

The symphony and the local radio station are banding together to produce a new concert series called Pulse, a one-of-a-kind experience where BSO musicians and indie bands will perform both together and separately, featuring music with common thematic elements. It’s an experiment in crossing musical genres and introducing audiences to music they might not otherwise hear.

“It’s a real opportunity for BSO audiences to hear indie bands, and for fans of that music to be exposed to the symphony,” said Scott Mullins, WTMD’s program director. “It’s another way to connect audiences and music, which is what we do.”

Symphony musicians will play the first set, so to speak, with classical pieces including works by Baltimore native Philip Glass, John Luther Adams, Igor Stravinsky, and Aaron Copland. Next up, the bands Dawes, the Charm City’s own Wye Oak, Dr. Dog, and The Lone Bellow will play their tunes.

The concerts, which begin Sept. 24 and run through April, will conclude with the symphony musicians and bands playing together. Tickets are now on sale on the symphony’s website, and WTMD will broadcast all the shows live.

The idea is a unique one—Mullins said he’s not aware of this type of concert occurring anywhere else—and the product of a year’s worth of study and collaboration. He said at first it was a bit of a challenge to find bands who would take the plunge, as many were not used to performing in a concert halls or with large ensembles. But the ones who have signed on are excited—several of Wye Oak’s songs are even being orchestrated.

“It’s one of our most ambitious undertakings,” he said.