For the 180 years that Baltimore City College has stood as the “Castle on the Hill,” a legacy of musical excellence has been maintained. Initiated years ago with the triumphant voices of the male glee club, the legacy of singing has continued with the development of an elaborate SATB choral program that has garnered a reputation as one of the finest high school ensembles in the region.
The Baltimore City College High School Choral Program consists of approximately 112 students ranging from grades 9 through 12. The choir takes pride in performing music from the classics of Handel and Praetorius, to the spirituals and works of Dawson, Hogan, Gibbs, Ellington and Smallwood. In an effort to reach all members, according to their abilities, The Full/Mixed Chorus has been divided into several groups and ensembles. They are: The Concert Choir, an auditioned group of about 50 students that serves as the main performing group; The Singin’/Swingin’ Knights Ensemble, consisting of 25 students with advanced levels of music training who perform literature written for small ensembles from the Renaissance period to the present; The Knights and Daze Show Choir who perform jazz, pop, and show literature with choreography; and The Male Glee Club.
As members of a challenging preparatory school, the choir members must balance a rigorous schedule designed to develop their academic and music skills.
From 1987-2013, the Baltimore City College Choir was under the direction of Linda R. Hall. Under her leadership, musicianship and cultivation, the Baltimore City College Choir enjoyed an outstanding reputation, both nationally and internationally, and received numerous awards and accolades. The choir performed at such prestigious locations as the White House, Carnegie Hall, and many international locations: some include France, Italy and Spain.
In July 2013, Marcus D. Smith became Choral Director of the Baltimore City College Choir at the personal recommendation of Linda R. Hall upon her retirement. Mr. Smith is an alumnus of Baltimore City College and served as an accompanist and assistant choral director to the City College Choir.
Under Smith’s leadership, the Baltimore City College Choir has recently been privileged to share the stage with Ken Lam and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, as well as Andre DeShields with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, and has performed at many local venues in the Baltimore metropolitan area. The choir has also participated in several competitions and adjudications in which they have consistently received superior ratings, numerous awards and first place trophies.
The Baltimore City College Choir continues to travel across the globe, inspiring others with their uplifting singing. The choir’s performances are energetic and dynamic, and each choral member demonstrates an incredible sense of passion for music. The Baltimore City College Choir continues to use music as a medium for honoring the past, celebrating the present and fearlessly reaching into the future.