About Us

History

Originally named The Second Presbyterian Concert Series, Community Concerts at Second was founded in 1987 by Margaret Budd, then organist of Second Presbyterian Church, with the enthusiastic support of that congregation.

Margaret Budd

Margaret Budd, founder of Community Concerts at Second

Some years later, Margaret attended a mesmerizing candlelight concert at St. Martin in the Fields church in London, and began to envision similar evenings of chamber music in Baltimore. With the collaboration of members of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the evening Chamber Music by Candlelight concerts were initiated in 1995.

Each year since 1990, the organization has presented the Russell C. Wonderlic Memorial Competition. This competition is funded by a bequest of the late philanthropist Russell Wonderlic, and exists to develop the careers and talents of young pianists and vocalists in the state of Maryland and District of Columbia. The competition continues to grow in both size and stature and presents extraordinary young talent. Pianists Awadagin Pratt and Eric Zuber; and soprano Hyunah Yu are prominent past winners.

Numerous distinguished musicians have performed on the series, including pianists Leon Fleisher, Ann Schein, Awadagin Pratt, Eric Zuber, Kevin Kenner and Simone Dinnerstein; singers Spiro Malas, John Shirley Quirk, Theodora Hanslowe, Phyllis Bryn-Julson, and Hyunah Yu; organists Dame Gillian Weir, Donald Sutherland, and Fred Swann; cellist Amit Peled and oboist Katherine Needleman.

Church exterior

Second Presbyterian Church continues its steadfast support by making its facilities available for concerts and being the physical home of the organization.

The organization was renamed Community Concerts at Second in 2002, and became a separate entity and non-profit 501(c)(3) organization in 2004. Second Presbyterian Church continues its steadfast support by making its facilities available for concerts, and being the physical home of the organization.

Community Concerts at Second is governed by a volunteer board of up to twenty-five members, chosen both for their expertise and commitment. The Governing Board members work individually and together to strengthen the organization and its programs in every way. They are assisted by a part-time Managing Director, who directs the daily operations of the organization.

Now in its third decade, Community Concerts at Second’s history demonstrates how one person’s vision and dedication can inspire the contributions and involvement of countless others. Community Concerts at Second has a vibrant future as an organization that will continue to strengthen and enrich the Baltimore community for countless years to come.

“This remarkable series held in the elegant sanctuary of Second Presbyterian Church continues to fill the calendar with fine music—making at an unbeatable price—free.”

—Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun

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2014–2015

Governing Board of Directors

  • Governing Board
  • Cindy Levering
  • President
  • Beth Felder 
  • Vice President
  • Bonnie Kranzer Boland 
  • Secretary
  • John Boland
  • Treasurer
  • Margaret L. Budd
  • Artistic Director Emerita
  • Beth Pierce
  • Board Member Emerita
  • Gayle Ackley
  • Steve Boesel
  • Frauke Davidsen
  • David Fetter
  • Nancy Hannah
  • Mellasenah Morris
  • Philip Olsen
  • Leslie Owsley
  • David Simon
  • Susan Weiss
  • Managing Director
  • Gina Parks
  • Co-Artistic Directors, Candlelight Concerts
  • Ivan Stefanovic
  • Marcia Kämper
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Community Concerts at Second is grateful for the awards and donations of its sponsors: the Maryland State Arts Council, the National Endowment for the Arts, FreeFall Baltimore, T. Rowe Price Foundation.

FreeFall Maryland State Arts Council T. Rowe Price