Homegrown Tenor Sings Puccini at Peabody, by Matt Ward

Baltimore native Daniel Sampson drinks a lot of water.

“So far today, it’s before noon and I’ve already drank more than half a gallon,” Sampson said, laughing, in a recent interview.

Sampson, 26, is a singer—a tenor—so, he has to take care of his voice day in and day out. Right now, he’s a section head in the choir at Zion Church of the City of Baltimore (near City Hall), he’s getting ready to play the role of Rinuccio in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi, and he’s pursuing a master’s in voice at Peabody Conservatory. It sounds like an intense program, but Sampson comes across as a calm, upbeat, even-keeled. For his instrument to work its best, he says, he has to be.

image courtesy of Edward S. Davis

“For me, the two keys are hydration and relaxation,” Sampson says. “I try to make sure that I feel good, and then I just try to relax and not get too worked up about things.” Recalling a recent conversation with a Peabody classmate, he adds: “If things are going really bad for him, he can put his clarinet down and walk away for a few hours and come back to it. For me, I live with my voice. It’s also just a lot of love an acceptance, too. You have to accept: this is where I am, this is where I am today. But that’s what technique is for, too, to make sure your voice is pretty dependable.”

Sampson is working to hone that technique with husband and wife team Stanley Cornett (voice teacher) and Eileen Cornett (opera coach). “The way the conservatory is set up,” Sampson explains, “is you spend a lot of one-on-one time with your teachers and your coaches. You find a problem and they give you ideas how to fix it, then you come back hopefully better the next day than you were the one before.”

Asked whether the small campus at Mt. Vernon ever starts to feel like a fishbowl, populated as it is with high caliber musicians who inevitably have to compete for positions, Sampson explains his antidote: he lives in Federal Hill—so, at the end of the day, he is able to separate himself a bit. On campus, though, he tries to be happy for the successes of his classmates, and hopes they’ll return that vibe when he does well. “The environment is very collegial here,” he explains. “That doesn’t mean that it’s not intense. You’re being pushed to do things that you’ve never done before, you’re being pushed to be at the highest level that you can possibly be. For me, I’m not competing against anyone else here—I am bettering myself.”

Sampson grew up in the Baltimore neighborhood of Hunting Ridge, not far from the city/county line in Catonsville. His parents, both lawyers, did not play music, but some uncles did. His earliest musical memory is of listening to the choir at Morning Star Baptist Church. “I didn’t necessarily participate in the music ministry,” Sampson says. “I just watched.” In high school at Loyola Blakefield, he sung in the choir and performed in musicals. He got his bachelor’s in music education and voice from Loyola University New Orleans; then, after graduating, he stayed in New Orleans, teaching music at a Catholic School before taking a job as music director at church. When he decided he wanted to go to grad school for voice, he applied to Peabody. Coming back home to Baltimore, Sampson says, was important.

“It helps that my family’s here,” he says. “I lived in New Orleans for seven years, and I had to plan out for a very long time when I was going to see my family. And now if I want to go home for dinner at my parents’ house, I can just get in my car and be there in 20 minutes.”

Long term, Sampson sees himself teaching at the university level. But, he likes performing, too. So far, he’s been Monostatos in The Magic Flute and Lamar in Godspell; he’s been a soloist in Vivaldi’s Magnificat and Leonard Bernstein’s Mass. When we spoke for this article, he was getting ready for a nine-hour rehearsal ahead of his appearance next weekend in the Puccini opera at Peabody.

“We’ve been prepping for this for quite a while,” Sampson says. “I’ve been looking at this role on an off since at least the summertime. Now that I know it really well, it’s all about making sure that everything lines up with the voice. It’s really about endurance.”

Peabody Conservatory’s production of the three-part Puccini opera, Il Trittico, will take place Thursday through Sunday, March 7 through 10. Admission is free.

Dear Baltimore Community Members and Artists,

We are writing to personally invite you to a small group conversation about the arts and culture context of Baltimore, and the infrastructure needed for arts and culture to grow and thrive. We want to discuss what’s working, what’s missing, and what solutions would enable creatives to realize their visions of success.

Krista Green from the Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts is part of a Steering Committee looking at these question from many angles. We are inviting artists, arts services, spaces, funders, events, programs, institutions, community orgs, and connectors to share their perspective.

On September 18th from 12pm-2pm, Krista will host a listening session with Arts Spaces at the Bromo Seltzer Arts Tower (21 S Eutaw St). Our discussion will last 60 to 90 minutes. We do ask that everyone plan to arrive promptly at noon so that we have time for networking and informal discussion at the end. 

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SATURDAY, OCTOBER  20  ·  5 – 9 pm

JOIN US IN INAUGURATING THIS NEW LADEW TRADITION

Ladew is delighted to announce Garden Glow, a magical evening featuring illuminated sculpture, glowing jack o’ lanterns, 
live music, local vendors of food and spirits, special exhibits of creatures of the night, and fall festival fun.

Proceeds from Garden Glow will support Ladew’s environmental and arts education programs for children.
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Come join us for a free day of art, creativity and fun in Carroll Park, Baltimore. This is a chance to interact, make and express yourself at dozens of stations designed to bring out your inner designer and art creator.

There will also be music, fun and lots of opportunity to interact and meet new and wonderful people who want to share their love of art and Baltimore.

Do you have an art project or workshop you would like to bring to Figment? Send us your submissions at: https://bit.ly/2HlaTeg

We invite EVERYONE to bring their art. Please do remember that Figment is an event for everyone when deciding on subject matter for your project (while material can be adult-oriented, it should not be child-inappropriate).

To find out more about this years Baltimore Figment, please visit http://baltimore.figmentproject.org/

https://spark.adobe.com/page/djtJTD43H2HLT/

 

2018 Baker Artist Award Finalists:

FILM:
Charles CohenDina FiasconaroJonna McKoneMiceal O’DonnellMargaret Rorison

INTERDISCIPLINARY:
Erick Antonio BenitezAbraham BuricksonGraham Coreil-AllenJeffrey L. GangwischFred ScharmenStewart Watson

LITERARY:
Leslie HarrisonDora MalechJen MichalskiTimmy ReedJung Yun

MUSIC:
Judah AdashiLafayette GilchristLura JohnsonBonnie JonesVon Vargas

PERFORMANCE:
Christine FerreraRyan JohnsonMeshelle, The Indie Mom of ComedyLisi Stoessel

VISUAL:
Laura AmussenNoa HeyneChristine NeillDavid PageRachel RotenbergAmy SheraldSusan Waters-Eller

The 2018 Baker Artist Awardees will be announced on a special episode of Maryland Public Television’s Artworks program, which will air on May 18, 2018.

Finalists have also been invited to participate in a variety of showcases that will take place throughout Baltimore in the coming months. Stay tuned!

DESIGNING THE PARKWAY 

Wed. Oct. 25, 2017 

SNF Parkway Theatre

5 W. North Ave. Baltimore

A conversation and behind-the-scenes look at the rebranding of the Maryland Film Festival and how Baltimore’s grandest movie theater was turned into a 21st-century landmark. 

With:

Ziger/Snead Architects

Post Typography

& Southway Builders

Moderated by Elizabeth Evitts Dickinson

Presented by AIA Baltimore and AIGA Baltimore as part of Design Month 2017

Sponsored by Indigo Ink

Happy hour at 5:30 PM

Event starts at 6:30 pm 

 

Students: free

AIA or AIGA members: $5

General public: $10

Advance tickets: http://www.aiabaltimore.org/events/designing-the-parkway/

The Parkway Theatre’s unique architecture and design approach celebrates the building’s 100 years of opulence, decay, and reinvention. The stunning transformation of this grand theater contrasts modern interventions with a century of history, resulting in a ‘rescued ruin’ where layers of the past coexist with the future.

Architects Ziger/Snead and designers Post Typography, along with Southway Builders share stories and the process behind the theater’s provocative design and the challenges of bringing this abandoned movie palace back to life as a year-round home for contemporary cinema. Explore one of Baltimore’s most unique architectural landmarks while enjoying a cocktail, craft beer, and some popcorn. 

 

 

Call and Response: Art Between Artists

Featuring the Work of Sallah Jenkins and Alma Roberts

Baltimore, MD, April 16, 2017 – The upcoming fine art exhibition Call and Response: Art between Artists will take place at the Eubie Blake National Jazz and Cultural Center 847 N. Howard Street Baltimore, Maryland 21201.  The exhibition will run between May 7th and June 24th, 2017.  This exhibition is not to be missed!

Call and Response is an exhibition of fine artworks by ceramic artist Sallah Jenkins and painter Alma Roberts. Through a collaborative process, these artists bring refreshing interpretations to the “call and response” idiom of musical liturgy. The interplay of their artwork creates a contemporary discourse deeply rooted in the African American experience. The art included in the exhibition results from “Conversations” between the artists.  As one artist gives the call the other responds through their art and vice versa; thus, operating in the true “call and response” tradition.

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