Lectures | Performances | Special Populations

Community and Educational Outreach Activities

A goal of our community outreach program is to enhance the lives of Howard County residents whose opportunities to experience the arts are limited by geography, age, economics or disability. If limitations prevent them from attending our concerts, we bring music to them.

Hundreds of Columbia residents have attended these outreach events, held among other places at a school for autistic children and adults, senior centers, assisted living facilities, and special care units. Experiencing the joy that music can bring to those with physical limitations, dementia or a developmental disability is incredibly rewarding for both the participants and the musicians.


These free lectures are co-sponsored by Candlelight Concert Society and the Howard County Public Library System through an outreach and education grant from the Paul M. Angell Family Foundation.

Wednesday, November 14, 7:00 pm

“Irregular Pearls” in Baroque Art and Architecture

Lecture by Dr. Stephen Ackert, former Head of the Music Program at the National Gallery of Art

The Columbia/Ellicott Room

Main Floor

George Howard Building

3430 Court House Drive, Ellicott City, MD 21043


Offered in conjunction with Candlelight Concert Society's December 1st concert by REBEL Ensemble for Baroque Music. The concert, which is entitled "Irregular Pearls: Musical Treasures from 17th- and 18th-Century Europe," will feature music by Vivaldi, Telemann, Corelli, and others. The Baltimore Sun's 2018 Fall Arts Guide lists the REBEL concert as one of the area's 100 most anticipated events and "15 Classical music acts to see this fall." The lecture will consider the trends in European art, architecture, and music of the 18th century that could be described as “irregular pearls.”

Dr. Stephen Ackert was head of the music department at the National Gallery of Art from 2004 to 2015. A graduate of Oberlin College, Northwestern University, and the University of Wisconsin, he is active in retirement as a choral conductor, lecturer, and performer on organ, harpsichord, and piano.

Thursday, February 7, 2019, 7:00 pm

The Art of String Quartet Playing

Lecture by Dr. Richard Giarusso

Miller Branch Library
9421 Frederick Rd, Ellicott City, MD 21042

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Offered in conjunction with Candlelight Concert Society's February 23 concert of Haydn, Mendelssohn, and Britten by the Doric Quartet, this lecture will set the repertoire of this program within the broader context of the string quartet from the 18th to the 20th century. We will consider the social history of the genre, its role in defining the aesthetic priorities of the "classical" style in the late 18th century, and its legacy as a canvas for some of the most extraordinary work of composers across more than two centuries. Recorded excerpts of the February 23 repertoire, along with selected works of Mozart, Beethoven, Bartók, and others, will introduce us to the world of the string quartet and help us to understand why the genre has long held a place of priority within Western musical culture.

Richard Giarusso is Chair of the Musicology Department at The Peabody Conservatory, where he teaches classes in 19th- and 20th-century music. He holds a Ph.D. in Historical Musicology from Harvard University and a BA in Music and English from Williams College. A skilled and dynamic lecturer, he has presented talks for the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Johns Hopkins Alumni Association, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the Washington Bach Consort, the Shriver Hall Concert Series, and The Baltimore Museum of Art. In addition to his academic work, Richard maintains an active career as a singer and conductor throughout the Northeast. He currently serves as music director of the Georgetown Chorale in Washington, D.C., and as artistic director of the Voce Chamber Singers in northern Virginia. Learn more at www.richardgiarusso.com.

Thursday, May 8, 2019, 7:00 pm

The Art of String Quartet Playing

Lecture by Dr. Susan Weiss

Miller Branch Library
9421 Frederick Rd, Ellicott City, MD 21042

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The Candlelight Concert Society's May 11 chamber music recital by the Escher String Quartet, performing works by Mozart, Korngold, and Dvorak, joined by guest artist, the physician-pianist Christopher Shih, brings to mind concepts explored by Douglas Hofstadter in his 1979 Pulitzer Prize book, Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid. This best-selling book on human thought and creativity looks at the surprising points of contact between the music of Bach, the artwork of Escher, and the mathematics of Gödel. We will look at some of the ways in which these two quartets and one quintet engaged musicians, attracting both amateurs and professionals as performers and listeners in settings, private and public, reflecting the culture for which they were written.

Susan Forscher Weiss is Professor and past Chair of Musicology at the Peabody Institute, and holds a joint appointment in the Department of German and Romance Languages, Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, at the Johns Hopkins University.  She is the recipient of numerous awards from Harvard University, the Folger Shakespeare Library, and the Johns Hopkins University for innovations in teaching and technology. She served on the Executive board of the Renaissance Society of America, of the Sheridan Libraries and the MLA program at Johns Hopkins University, as well as the boards of Early Music America and Community Concerts at Second Presbyterian Church. In fall 2014 she was the Robert Lehman Visiting Professor at The Harvard Center for Renaissance Studies, Villa I Tatti. In spring 2019, she will be a visiting professor at Princeton.


Howard County Public School System

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REBEL Ensemble for Baroque Music will perform and demonstrate period instruments. They will also conduct coaching sessions with student orchestras.

Date: Friday, November 30, 2018
Place: Clarksville Middle School

This event is not open to the public.


East Columbia 50+ Center Concert

Music by Isaac Greene, guitar and Sarah Green, keyboard

Date: Wednesday, January 9, 2019, 12:00 pm–1:00 pm
Place: 6600 Cradlerock Way, Columbia, MD 21045

Free and open to the public. All ages welcomed.

North Laurel 50+ Center Concert

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Music by Jeremy Lyons, guitar and Stephanie Ray, flute

Date: Tuesday, January 29, 2019, 11:00 am–12:00 pm
Place: 9411 Whiskey Bottom Road, Laurel, MD 20723

Free and open to the public. All ages welcomed.

Other events, not open to the public:

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Music by the Chesapeake Reed Trio

Date: December 10, 2019
Place: Linwood Center

Candlelight Concert Society's Educational and Outreach programs are funded in part by the Paul M. Angell Family Foundation