THE NINTH annual 1990 Holiday Pops to benefit the community projects of the Junior League of Baltimore was a resounding success. Everyone left the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall in good spirits and with a song in their heart, thanks to a wonderful program by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, the Children's Chorus of Maryland and soloist Alice Mack, with Edward Polochick conducting.
At Saturday's concert, Channel 2's Beverly Burke gave a lovely Christmas narration with the BSO playing in the background. What made it more special for Burke was to have her daughter, Casey, on stage with her. Mayor Kurt Schmoke gave the same narration at Sunday's concert. League president Barbara Johnson was pleased with the turnout and hopes it will exceed $100,000, which is earmarked for the League's community projects such as Woman to Woman, Second Chance, Race to Read, Adult Literacy Tutoring, Teen Outreach and several day-care commitments.
Attending the gala were Pops Gala chairwoman Joelyn Yoder; vice chair Mary Jean Herron; George and Dina Klicos, Klicos Painting Co.; Duke and Jane Kassolis, Rouse Co.; Koola and Andreas Savvakis; Pat and Chuck Sudina; Ana Maria Colwill, Trish Anderson; Helen and Mac Passano, Waverly Press; Lou and Ann Marie Manzo; Joe Babinski, Becker Group; Dick and Deborah Chambliss, BG&E; Doug and Catherine Boyne; Steve and Annette Paterakis, Automatic Rolls; and Arnie and Betty Bereson, he's president of Artforms.
Speaking of concerts, there are two very special ones planned for this weekend. The popular "Christmas for Kids" will be at Goucher College auditorium at 4 p.m. Saturday. This 50-minute concert introduces children to the pleasures of classical music with the help of Steve Aveson, who tells stories. And there will be a visit from Santa Claus.
On Sunday, the Baltimore Choral Arts Society (BCAS) has its seventh Christmas concert at 3 p.m., also at Goucher. Something special has been added to this year's concert. BCAS will perform a work composed by 14-year-old Carrie Mallonee, a student at Friends School who studies music at Peabody Prep. She has composed a Christmas piece titled "The Caroler at my Door." The inclusion of her work marks the beginning of a yearly tradition of the BCAS performing a work by a high school student.
Call 523-7070 for tickets and information.
Harborplace visitors had a special treat last week when Harvey Phillips, distinguished professor of music at Indiana University, came to town with his Merry Tuba Christmas Concert. Just imagine the Christmas music coming from several hundred tubas, sousaphones, baritones and euphoniums . . . Congratulations to George Nitzel, who works for La Fontaine Bleu, for winning the second annual Oyster Shucking Challenge held in St. Mary's County. Runners-up were Wayne Copsey, past winner of the national oyster shucking championship, Vinnie Walker of the Holiday Inn, and Jamie Griffin of Faidley's Seafood.
At noon on Thursday, Carillon bells will ring in Baltimore, thanks to the efforts of George T. Harrison, past president of Preservation Maryland. Harrison, a longtime lover of church bells, was amazed that Baltimore didn't have bells that people living and working downtown could enjoy, so he began a fund-raising campaign.
On Thursday, his dream comes true when the bronze bells, which were cast by the Petit and Fritsen Bell Foundry in the Netherlands, begin to play. The largest bell is inscribed to BG&E, because of its contribution to the cause. The bells will be played directly from the old St. Paul's organ console and electronically from prerecorded tapes. Tune in Thursday at noon and listen to a carillon of 23 bells, which will strike the hour and quarter hour and play brief concerts at noon and in the late afternoon.
What's so special about Oscar? Well, it's a book titled "Oscar and Other Writings," which was written by adult learners in Baltimore literacy programs. Many of the authors of the book couldn't read simple traffic signs or a newspaper headline before they entered programs by Baltimore Reads. The book, $2.95, features short stories, poems and personal recollections. This is well worth the money because of the insight it gives you about the people involved in the city's literacy programs. You can get a copy at Gordon's Booksellers or by calling Baltimore Reads, 576-READ.