The UMBC Wind Ensemble, directed by Brian Kaufman, teams up with The Sounding Board, Emmy nominated composer and violinist Daniel Bernard Roumain, singer-songwriter Diana Lawrence, UMBC’s Cleftomaniacs, and other special guests to present an interactive musical event that will explore how we can navigate the current polarization in America. Music, multimedia, and spoken-word serve as catalysts for an interactive discussion with performers and audience members moderated by Tom Hall, host of WYPR’s Midday.
The Sounding Board creates productions that integrate music with multi-media and commentary from noted public figures to inspire new perspectives and cultivate dialogue on today’s most pressing social issues. Performing music from Bach to hip-hop & addressing events from Guantanamo Bay to race issues in America, TSB provides a down and dirty look at current events with live music, special guests, and on-the-spot audience input. Past participants have included Pulitzer-prize winning composer & author Gunther Schuller, genre-bending composer and violinist Daniel Bernard Roumain, and luminaries from distinguished institutions including the United Nations, the Boston Mayor’s Office, The Boston Globe, The National Defense University, Tufts’ Fletcher School, Northeastern University and New England Conservatory.
Tom Hall joined the WYPR staff as the Host of Choral Arts Classics in 2003. After ten years as the Culture Editor and then host of Maryland Morning, in September, 2016, Hall became the host of Midday, the highly rated news and public policy program that features interviews with elected officials, community leaders, and thought provoking authors, artists, researchers, journalists, and scholars from around the world. He is also the Host of In the Bromo and What Are You Reading? on WYPR. In addition, he has served as the host of the Maryland Morning Screen Test, and the WYPR/MD Film Festival Spotlight Series. In 2006, as the Music Director of the Baltimore Choral Arts Society, Hall received an Emmy Award for Christmas with Choral Arts, a special that aired on WMAR television, the ABC affiliate in Maryland, for 21 years. He has been a guest co-host of Maryland Public Television’s Art Works, and in 2007, he was named “Best New Broadcast Journalist” by the Maryland Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. In 2009, the Baltimore City Paper named him “Best Local Radio Personality.” In 2016 and again in 2017, he was recognized as “Best Talk Show Host” in the Baltimore Magazine Reader’s Poll. Hall was appointed the Music Director Emeritus of the Baltimore Choral Arts Society in 2017.
Daniel Bernard Roumain’s acclaimed work as a composer and performer spans more than two decades, and has been commissioned by venerable artists and institutions worldwide. “About as omnivorous as a contemporary artist gets” (The New York Times), Roumain (also known as DBR) is perhaps the only composer whose collaborations traverse the worlds of Philip Glass, Bill T. Jones, Savion Glover and Lady Gaga. Known for his signature violin sounds infused with a myriad of electronic and urban music influences, DBR takes his genre-bending music beyond the proscenium. He has been nominated for an EMMY for Outstanding Musical Composition for his work with ESPN; featured as keynote performer at technology conferences; and written large scale, site-specific music for public parks. DBR made his Carnegie Hall debut in 2000 with the American Composers Orchestra performing his Harlem Essay for Orchestra, a Whitaker commission. He went on to compose works for the Boston Pops Orchestra; Carnegie Hall; the Library of Congress; the Stuttgart Symphony, and myriad others. DBR’s commitment to arts education has garnered long-term relationships with countless universities, orchestras, and performing arts centers. DBR earned his doctorate in Music Composition from the University of Michigan.
Diana Lawrence is a Chicago-based pianist, singer, composer and music director. She has three albums to her name, both solo and with her band, Diana & the Dishes. As a singer/songwriter, Diana has been called a “drop-dead show-stopper” (Music Connection Magazine) and compared to the likes of Ben Folds, Fiona Apple and Regina Spektor (Chicago Sun-Times). As a composer and music director, her impressive list of credits includes a multi-playwright collaborative musical, Next Stop, performed at the 2013 Garage Rep After-Party; and her more recent musical, Mill Girls, showcased at the 2015 First Look Late Night. Lawrence also regularly composes for The Second City, a renowned comedy institution, as well as Storycatchers, an organization that helps youth in the juvenile justice system tell their stories through musical theatre. She has also worked as a music director and pianist for organizations such as ComedySportz, the Chicago Children’s Choir, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, and Porchlight Music Theatre, among many others. Known for her ability to perform a wide variety of musical styles and with performers of all kinds, her work has also included singing for many years with the Chicago Symphony Chorus, regular gigs with jazz combos and pop bands, and improvising as a pianist for theatre, dance, comedy, and performance poetry.
The UMBC Wind Ensemble has given performances with internationally celebrated guest artists including Glee pianist and music director Brad Ellis, Emmy-nominated composer and genre-bending violinist Daniel Bernard Roumain, The American Brass Quintet, Canadian Brass veteran Joe Burgstaller, international tuba artist Oystein Baadsvik, Cleveland Orchestra trombonist Shachar Israel, Marine Band co-principal oboe Trevor Mowry, former Marine Band clarinetist Randall Riffle, and UMBC Professor of Violin Airi Yoshioka. The ensemble seeks to regularly perform music by living composers; the group recently recorded its debut album, which includes music the ensemble has premiered by Brad Ellis, Daniel Bernard Roumain, UMBC composition faculty Anna Rubin and Janice Macaulay, and 2016 American Prize Ernst Bacon Memorial Award finalist and UMBC alum Samuel Winnie.
Admission is free, but tickets are required and are available online.