Joan and Murray Kappelman
sit in the comfortable living room of their Greenspring area home, a room filled with mementos of their family, and recall how they got involved with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. They'd been longtime subscribers when, about 10 years ago, Dr. Kappelman helped to found the Governing Members, a "new group of givers," in his words, who not only contribute financially but also initiate and volunteer on a variety of BSO projects.
There are now about 100 members in the group, and they do things like a student ticket program that provides BSO tickets to high school students in public and private schools.Mrs. Kappelman
belongs to the Governing Members
and works on that project.
But the Governing Members
is also a social outlet.It has its own lounge at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, and its own activities like out-of-town trips to hear other orchestras.They particularly enjoy a speakers series given by the BSO's musicians themselves that, says Dr. Kappelman
, "gives you insights into the music and the players."Dr. Kappelman is also a member of the BSO board, although not all Governing Members are invited to join.
"We really love the orchestra," he
says."Every year they get better and better."
Members of Har Sinai Congregation, both of the Kappelmans are Baltimore natives and both are a lively age 73.Dr. Kappelman
, who modestly calls himself a "retired pediatrician," was associate dean for medical education and a professor of pediatrics and psychiatry at the University of Maryland School of Medicine
.Mrs. Kappelman retired as a speech pathologist from the Baltimore City Public Schools. Dr. Kappelman
got interested in classical music when, at the age of 12, he
saw the movie "Song of Norway," a biopic of the life of a classical music composer. Mrs. Kappelman
tells a different story.Her
parents were professional vaudevillians â€" mother a dancer, father a bandleader â€" who traveled the circuit and played on Broadway.She
had extensive dance training although, she
cheerfully admits, she
never did anything with it.As a board member, Dr. Kappelman sees two challenges for the BSO.
One is fund-raising.The BSO
has an annual budget of $30.1 million but "attendance has not kept pace with operational costs," he
believes that the BSO's
impact extends far beyond its role as a musical entity.It is part of the cultural life of the city and as such, "it is essential to the success of the city," he