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David Nickels and Gerri Hall

David Nickels and Gerri HallDavid Nickels and Gerri Hall met 30 years ago singing in the National Presbyterian Church choir. David’s father was a Foreign Service officer and sang in choruses; his mother was a concert pianist. Gerri grew up in rural South Dakota and studied clarinet. Her father farmed and directed choirs, and her family was active in local concerts. Music remained central throughout their careers, his with the State Department, hers in Transportation and Safety.

David and Gerri credit the BSO in co-founding Strathmore: “We never expected the orchestra to land in our backyard!” The first time David heard a live professional orchestra, it was the BSO. After retiring, he became one of the first volunteer ushers when Strathmore opened in 2005. David and Gerri immediately subscribed and have increased their annual support over the years. They are Strathmore Governing Members and frequently attend both Strathmore and Meyerhoff events. “For us, being actively involved with the BSO means supporting it with our time, talents and resources. Our personal connections with musicians, staff, GM’s, and other donors and subscribers are especially meaningful.”

David and Gerri have made a bequest through their will, designating a percentage of the remainder of their estate to the BSO. “Our legacy gift is intended to express heartfelt thanks to our BSO ‘family’ for the enormous impact it has had, and continues to have, in our lives,” says the couple. “This arrangement demonstrates our philanthropic commitment and allows for economic uncertainties.”

Gerri was “on cloud nine” after performing in a Rusty Musicians performance in 2011. She attended the next BSO Academy and has participated every year since. They are also very committed to OrchKids, OrchLab and all BSO outreach and education activities, including Musical Mondays. “In truth, our annual investment in the orchestra is self-serving,” David says, “given how much we love hearing the BSO play and all that Gerri has gained from her Academy experiences.”

They love their front row seats at Strathmore, saying, “We hope that our gift inspires others to make the BSO part of their legacies too. The BSO gives so much to Baltimore, Montgomery County and the surrounding communities. We want the orchestra and its members to thrive so we can enjoy them for many more years!”