Sykesville couple gives $50,000 to Handel Choir of Baltimore

January 02, 1991|By Ernest F. Imhoff | Ernest F. Imhoff,Evening Sun Staff

A SYKESVILLE couple has given the Handel Choir of Baltimore a $50,000 gift, its largest ever, raising the veteran city choir's mostly cash endowment to $140,000.

Mr. and Mrs. G. Van Velsor Wolf, whose son, Timothy Wolf, is president of the board of trustees, made the gift to show their support of the choir and encourage others to contribute. The choir, singing since the 1930s, is the city's oldest continuously performing oratorio society.

"Through the years, we have been very impressed with the Handel Choir's performances," Van Velsor Wolf said. "We think of the choir as a beautifully polished gem." Mr. Wolf retired in the late 1970s from a position as senior partner at the Piper and Marbury law firm in Baltimore. Timothy Wolf, a Howard County prosecutor, is a bass in the choir.

Rosemary Faya, executive director, said, "We were overwhelmed the gift. We now have an endowment of $140,000 where several years ago we had none. About four years ago, the board and Herb [music director T. Herbert Dimmock] started the endowment campaign."

Faya said the choir had earlier received a $25,000 pledge from the Markland Kelly Foundation, payable $5,000 a year for five years. The first payment has already been made. The $20,000 in remaining pledges is the only non-cash amount in the $140,000 endowment fund.

Since ticket sales make up not quite half of the choir budget, a typical situation with music groups, donations are needed for soloists, the orchestra, the music director, executive director and other expenses. Most of the 85 choir members are volunteers.

Faya has been part-time executive director since July, as a result of recommendations from the board in a 1989 strategic plan and a management consulting firm. The position was created after a $7,000 grant from the Maryland National Foundation, $2,000 in individual donations and $10,000 from the Jacob and Annita France Foundation Inc. and the Robert G. and Anne M. Merrick Foundation Inc.

The choir has a chamber chorus concert of Bach motets scheduled for 4 p.m. Feb. 17 at First English Evangelical Lutheran Church, the "Manzoni Requiem" by Verdi at 4 p.m. April 7 at Kraushaar Auditorium, Goucher College, and a Haydn and Bach concert at 4 p.m. May 19 at Second Presbyterian Church.


In a Yale Gordon Young Artists concert at 8:15 p.m. Friday, Jan. and 3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 13, three musicians who won awards in the Yale Gordon Concerto Competitions in 1990, 1987 and 1985 will play "Music in the Great Hall," at Towson Unitarian-Universalist Church, 1710 Dulaney Valley Road.

The three are Benita Gold, saxophonist, a 1990 first prize winner; Barry Dove, percussionist, a 1987 first prize winner, and pianist Eric Conway, a 1985 winner. Gold and Conway will perform works by Ned Rorem and Paul Creston. Dove will play solo marimba pieces by Clara Omar Musser, Toshimitsu Tanaka, J.S. Bach and Gordon Stout.

Tickets for the reserved seating are $7.50 and $4 for students. Call 823-8339.

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