A free concert in honor of Carl Dietrich of Columbia, associate professor of music at Western Maryland College and former chairman of themusic department, will be conducted at 7:30 p.m. Friday in Baker Memorial Chapel in Westminster, Carroll County.
The performance will be led by trumpeter Christopher L. Tranchitella, a 1980 graduate of WMC and holder of the trumpet position for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Orchestra in Washington.
Dietrich, who will retire at the end of the academic year, was a longtime teacher to Tranchitella.
Tranchitella, accompanied by pianist Roy Hakes and soprano Lisa Reagan Edwards, will perform selections by Telemann, Neruda, Scarlatti, Arutunian, and others.
Dietrich, a Howard County resident, is well-known throughout the Baltimore area for his eclectic playing, teaching, and conducting abilities.
Trained as a music teacher at the Peabody Conservatory, he was head ofthe music department at the McDonogh School when he was asked to join WMC's music faculty in 1967 as a brass teacher.
At the same time, he was also teaching music at Sudbrook Junior High in Pikesville, Baltimore County. There, he founded a massive 75-piece student orchestra with a 40-piece string section.
He also conducted and was musical director for the Baltimore Comic Opera Co., a singer for the Bach Society of Baltimore, and a trombonist for the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and the Baltimore Opera Co.
After years of playing viola for the Columbia Chamber Orchestra, he accepted its conductorship and transformed the 25-piece chamber group into an 80-piece symphony orchestra.
Dietrich's career at WMC is just as storied.
He founded the college's first jazz band, along with a brass quartet and quintet.
Many of his students, including Tranchitella, have gone on to full-fledged careers in the music field.
At the May 18 commencement, he will receive an emeritus award recognizing his years of service tothe college.
Tranchitella, a resident of Mount Airy, began receiving music lessons from Dietrich at age 10 and continued with him through his college years.
Tranchitella also serves as director of music at Mount St. Joseph High School in Baltimore. Previously, he was afaculty member at Shenandoah Conservatory of Music in Virginia.
Information: (301) 857-2599.