Chorus Of Approval

As both a radio interviewer and the leader of the Choral Arts Society, Tom Hall knows how to bring out the best in people, songs and stories

May 06, 2007|By Mary Carole McCauley | Mary Carole McCauley,Sun Reporter

ONE HUNDRED THIRTEEN people cram into three rows of chairs lining the long wall of the rehearsal room at Grace United Methodist Church, for all the world like birds on a wire.

But these particular birds have been singing hard for three hours, and their feathers are a bit askew in the heat. A middle-aged man standing on a small, raised stage goes into a half crouch and raises his baton, and members of the Baltimore Choral Arts Society launch into one of the gentler sections of Carl Orff's Carmina Burana.

BALTIMORE CHORAL ARTS SOCIETY / / Carmina Burana at 7 tonight / / Meyerhoff Symphony Hall / / 410-783-8000 or baltimorechoralarts.org

Tom Hall

Age:

52

Residence:

Baltimore

Occupation:

Music director, Baltimore Choral Arts Society; cultural editor, WYPR-FM.

Birthplace:

Teaneck, N.J.

Education:

Bachelor's degree, Ithaca College, 1977. Master's degree, Boston University, 1981. Doctorate, University of Maryland, College Park, 1996.

Awards:

Hall received a 2006 award from the Society of Professional Journalists for best new radio journalist in Maryland.

Personal:

Married to Sun features reporter Linell Smith. A daughter, Miranda, 18.

Hall's 25 years

Some facts from Tom Hall's years with the Baltimore Choral Arts Society:

Size:

120 volunteer vocalists, plus 12 paid singers, participate in three choirs under the BCAS umbrella.

Budget:

Since 1982, the budget has grown from $79,000 to $695,240. The group now boasts a $1.1 million endowment.

Performances:

30 public performances (up from three in 1982) plus 15 lectures and workshops.

Annual audience:

20,000 at the concerts.

Tours:

New York, 1985. European debut, 1987. France, this summer.

Awards:

The Baltimore Choral Arts Society is featured on TV special that received an Emmy Award in 2006.

Recordings:

Christmas with Choral Arts; Rachmaninoff's All-Night Vigil; Mozart's Requiem; Gates of Justice with famed pianist Dave Brubeck.

Collaborations:

The choir has performed with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the National Symphony Orchestra, Sweet Honey in the Rock and P.D.Q. Bach.

MARY CAROLE MCCAULEY

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