Baltimore’s Dontae Winslow to Conduct Orchestra at 2022 Oscars – Baltimore Sun

This year’s Oscars feature a Baltimore connection.

Dontae Winslowa graduate of the Baltimore School for the Arts in 1992, will serve as the principal orchestrator, conductor, composer and arranger of the awards ceremony, which airs Sunday on ABC.

Winslow, who also composes music for film and theater productions, has already worked on three Super Bowls and toured with Jill Scott and Justin Timberlake. He called this Oscar appearance “the start of my career as a world-renowned film score composer.”

The awards are presented in Los Angeles at the Dolby Theater by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to honor the best films released between March 1 and December 31, 2021.

Winslow, a native of Baltimore, moved to California in 2003 after a decade as a musician working in Charm City, according to Baltimore Sun records.

He studied at Cross Country Elementary and Fallstaff Middle schools. An early introduction to the trumpet helped him through a tough childhood in the Coppin Heights neighborhood. Music has become an escape.

“When I was a kid in Baltimore, I saw my family members do drugs, I saw despair,” Winslow said, according to a statement from the Baltimore City Public Schools. “Having a musical instrument may be the one thing you hold onto to inspire you to go to school.”

While attending high school at the Baltimore School for the Arts, he met jazz trumpeter Roy Hargrove, who became his mentor.

Winslow also earned a bachelor’s and then a master’s degree in European Classical Music Performance from the Peabody Conservatory. He then became a music teacher at Gilmor Elementary.

According to the statement, Winslow offered the following words to students in Charm City: “Never give up on your dreams. Persist, have tenacity and compassion for everyone around them… You don’t think that when you catch your blessings it will pay off later. Be patient.”

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