Though there are many peaceful parts of the Baltimore protests, the majority of the protests have been violent. Tearing up the streets and setting things on fire has become the method of madness that protesters are taking to defend the death of Freddie Gray, a man who may have suffered fatal injuries while in police custody. As many unwarranted steps have been taken towards citizens, by police, protesters have grown nothing but outraged. In an effort to possibly bring back more peaceful manners of protest, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra is hoping to calm the massive protests that have arised with the death of Freddie Gray, by hosting a free outdoor concert in support of the community.
An announcement on Tuesday from the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra followed a slew of announcements that concerned how the city was planning on taking care of violent protests. In addition to calling in the National Guard, setting a 10 p.m. curfew, and changing the game times of the Orioles baseball team, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra also announced their plan to host a free concert. The concert will be held Wednesday at 12:00 p.m. ET outside of the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall. Just down the street is where some of the worst violence has taken place, and using the hashtag #BSOPeace, the members announced their hopes that they can deter some of the violence, in exchange for music.
As the orchestra’s Facebook page shows, members believe that citizens of Baltimore “could all use a little music in [their] lives right about now.” The musicians will be donating their time in response to the uprising that has occurred since the death of Freddie Gray. As protests have caused the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra to have to postpone some events, due to safety concerns, they are hoping that the concert will bring a little peace into the town. The orchestra is also currently reviewing other ways that they can respond, for the future.
Many citizens of Baltimore have also been pitching in to try and bring peace to the city. Many protests still remain to be peaceful ones, as citizens hold up signs that reflect their feelings, as they stand in a group. As well, many in Baltimore have been cleaning up the streets after violent protests, in order to keep the city clean from the massive looting problem that has been occurring during the unruly protests. After seeing all of the things that have happened in Baltimore lately, the orchestra director used a quote toward the end of their announcement. It was one by Leonard Bernstein in which he said, “this will be our reply to violence: to make music more intensely, more beautifully, more devotedly than ever before.”
As music has proven to be a useful tool to bring together groups of people, perhaps the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s free outdoor concert will be successful in bringing calm to those who are hoping to get justice for Freddie Gray, with protests. Director Marin Alsop wrote on Facebook that she was heartbroken for the city, and as members of the orchestra join her in supporting the community they are hoping to help in the best way that they can.
By Crystal Boulware