Mayor pledges performance with orchestra

Pops concerts: O'Malley will sing, backed by his Celtic rock band, with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.

January 22, 2000|By Laura Lippman | Laura Lippman,SUN STAFF

How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, practice, practice.

How do you get to Meyerhoff Hall? Campaign, campaign, campaign.

Mayor Martin O'Malley, who has played venues ranging from the Lauraville Fair to Mick O'Shea's, will perform with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in April, accompanied by his band, O'Malley's March.

The deal was struck last month, when Calman J. Zamoiski, president of the symphony board, approached the mayor after his inauguration. "I went up to congratulate him, and I said, `Your first duty as mayor is to agree to perform with the orchestra.' "

O'Malley agreed, but the commitment was a close-kept secret. No one in the orchestra knew of the plan, Zamoiski said, until he announced it from the stage Thursday night, at Yuri Temirkanov's inaugural concert.

"They were thrilled, they were thrilled," he added.

O'Malley is not the first elected official to accompany the BSO. Zamoiski recalled then-Gov. William Donald Schaefer conducting a version of "Stars and Stripes" at some point during his eight years in office.

O'Malley and his band will appear at the April 7 and April 8 pops performances, listed as "Dance, Dance, Dance" in the symphony's schedule.

Jack Everly is to conduct the program, which will include tap, tango, ballet, swing and -- this will be O'Malley's segment -- the Michael O'Hare Irish Dancers.

The BSO's Jonathan Jensen is responsible for the orchestrations for the performance, and O'Malley will sing, according to BSO spokesman Greg Tucker. Comment from the mayor was not forthcoming yesterday, and few other details were available.

However, Zamoiski did share details of the meeting between O'Malley and Temirkanov.

"The mayor was cute. I introduced him to the maestro, and said this is the first time we've had a mayor who's a musician," Zamoiski said. "The maestro was very excited, and Martin said: `I'm not a professional, but the people I play with are.' "

By the way, Zamoiski and his wife, Ellen, contributed to all three leading Democrats during the mayoral primary, so if things had turned out differently, Lawrence Bell might have ended up leading the BSO in a rousing rendition of the song that blared from his campaign trucks, "Ring My Bell."

Or maybe not.

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