OrchKids uses music as a vehicle for students to develop musical and social skills that are transferable to all areas of their lives including creativity, self-expression, and teamwork. Marin Alsop, Music Director Laureate of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and OrchKids Founding Director, shaped OrchKids into the cornerstone of the BSO’s community engagement efforts across the city with her artistic leadership and direction. OrchKids was founded in 2008 with 30 students at one elementary school with seed funding from Marin Alsop and Founding Donors Rheda Becker and Robert E. Meyerhoff.
OrchKids now works with seven schools in Baltimore City, serving over 1,800 children from Pre-K through 12th grade during school, after school, and in weeklong workshops.
In collaboration with several community partners, OrchKids provides music education, instruments, academic assistance, meals, mental health resources, connection to social services, as well as performance and mentorship opportunities -- all at no cost to students and their families. OrchKids is an acknowledged leader in the El Sistema movement throughout the world.