On Halloween Eve, a morbidly fun singing tradition returns to Baltimore, courtesy of the Dan Meyer Choir.
The 15-member community vocal group known for its performances throughout the year on Presidents’ Day, Defender’s Day and through the holidays is assembling this Sunday in Greenmount West for a Halloween performance. “Baltimorgue” features 11 songs all about death, specifically those of famous Baltimoreans or remarkable ones that happened here in Charm City.
Examples include Edgar Allan Poe, whose 1849 death remains a mystery, and Gordon Scott, the actor who played Tarzan in the 1950s and later came to Charm City to live and, eventually, die.
According to Dan Meyer, leader of his eponymous choir, “Baltimorgue” began in 2001 as a cabaret show at the Creative Alliance, and was a performance featured at ArtScape in 2004, when there were just three members in the cast. In 2009, after he formed his group, they took it over and have since turned it into a vocals-only tradition that happens every three years. This will be their third rendition.
Meyer said the performance doesn’t fixate on death in general terms, but rather highlights “the good stories” and interesting elements surrounding notable fatalities here in the city. He considers the show’s ability to bring the stories of the dead back to life to be one of its special qualities.
“I’m kind of a history buff myself,” he says. “I love these stories. Some of them are funny, [and] they run the gambit of emotions…As time goes on, we kind of pave over history and forget these people. It’s nice to resurrect them.”
The free performance is appropriately set for Sunday, Oct. 30, just before Halloween. It begins at 4 p.m. at Area 405, located at 405 E. Oliver Street.
Ethan McLeod is an associate editor for Baltimore Fishbowl.
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