By Greg Mulligan
Brian Prechtl has been a member of the percussion section of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra since 2003 as well as a leader, teacher and mentor with the BSO’s outreach program OrchKids since 2008. The OrchKids program serves over a thousand kids in six schools located in some of the most at-risk neighborhoods in Baltimore. Brian himself reaches over 200 children at three of these schools four times a week.
When asked what this work means to him, Prechtl comments, “We’re trying to give these children a view out of the difficult circumstances that encompass their world-view. We’re also trying to instill values that will serve them in all areas for the rest of their lives – concepts like teamwork, concentration, independence and discipline. We help them understand what can be possible when they channel their energies with a sense of focus and purpose for any task. They learn what they can accomplish as individuals and the power of cooperation that a group can achieve. We also teach them a little something about music, but it’s about so much more than that. We want to unleash the desire to dream big beautiful dreams and the skills that will help them make those dreams a reality.”
Besides his BSO and OrchKids responsibilities, Brian is an accomplished composer. He has composed 25 pieces that have been performed by chamber music groups at the Second Presbyterian Church Candlelight Concerts Series, which features BSO musicians, and at the Grand Teton Music Festival in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. His newest work, “Grand is the Seen” was premiered in November 2015 by the Colorado Symphony Percussion Section and will receive it’s Maryland premiere this spring on the Community Concerts at Second Chamber Music Series. This piece, a setting of a poem by Walt Whitman, is scored for percussion trio and narrator.
Brian’s passion and commitment is clear in all his endeavors. He plays percussion with energy and enthusiasm. His composing reflects that same verve. The love he has for the OrchKids students is clear: when they come to perform at JMSH, he proudly comes onstage with them and speaks ardently about the difference we’re trying to make in the community of greater Baltimore. Brian is just one of the many BSO players that are making a meaningful difference outside the walls of Meyerhoff Symphony Hall.