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OrchKids a national model
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Baltimore Symphony's Dan Trahey leads the way

Program that puts musical instruments into hands of schoolkids inspires similar programs in Austria, Brazil and Iraq


Dan Trahey plays the tuba. He's played it all his life, and he takes his instrument with him everywhere, even though it's been years since he's performed regularly with an orchestra. Trahey's affinity for the unwieldy, decidedly uncool contraption says a lot about him.

The tuba partly explains how Trahey has helped make OrchKids — the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra program that puts musical instruments into the hands of schoolchildren regardless of their ability — into a national model for teaching life skills to youngsters in impoverished neighborhoods.

There's just one tuba in every symphony orchestra, so Trahey had to go it alone, forging a path that's slightly different from the one taken by his fellow musicians. He also had to shun the spotlight while helping all the other instruments in the orchestra sound their best.

"The tuba isn't a big solo instrument, but it's the foundation of any ensemble," Trahey says, "lt plays the tone that roots ............

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