Is the Franciscan Center Baltimore’s Newest Concert Venue?

Ken Gutberlet

Ken Gutberlet

Maryland songwriter and acoustic guitarist Ken Gutberlet lent his vocal styling and fret-work last Thursday as hundreds of people enjoyed a hot nutritious meal in the Center’s dining room.

The line waiting for lunch wrapped around the ramp, out the door and down along Mace Street. As people file in from the cold they are welcomed by the smells of baked chicken, steamed greens and warm bread. Volunteers greet each and every person, while a staff member or two directs some to other programs. Those waiting for lunch begin to notice the melotic voice and harmonious guitar cords floating over the hum of conversation.

Ken Gutberlet has been playing Baltimore’s music scene for more than a decade and is also an accomplished music instructor. His laid back attitude and eagerness to connect with the people around him was clear as he made conversation between songs.

Ken Gutberlet

Clients listen to tunes during lunch at Christmastime.

One gentleman told me, as we sat listening,

“This guy is really talented, look at how his fingers race over that guitar. He makes it look so easy.”

When asked if he likes having music with lunch the same client said,

“I eat lunch here every week. If I didn’t, some days I wouldn’t eat at all. But it ain’t about putting slop on a plate. The food is really good, it actually tastes pretty good, all the time. And having a concert, that is cool too. I appreciate it.”

In the past few months, the Center has been host to many talented musicians from our charming city, and around the globe. The Reverend Dred Scott and his jazz band headlined at the Center twice. Emily Righter, renowned opera singer, entertained and enchanted the clients before returning to Austria where she is a principle at Salzburger Landestheater. And the Center has welcomed Peabody Institute’s student quartet, who played classical selections from Mozart and Chopin.

So who is headlining at the Franciscan Center next? Keep an eye on our facebook page or twitter to find out!

And remember: everyone has talents to share, and gifts to give. You can make a difference in someones life by sharing what you have. What are you going to share with the world this year?

(If you would like to volunteer at the Center, please let us know, we have so many needed opportunities for you, your family, or group! Michael would love to hear from you).

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