Music lover dedicated to concert group

Volunteers/Where good neighbors get together

December 24, 1991|By Ellen Hawks | Ellen Hawks,Evening Sun Staff

MARK BENNETT, who was 31 years old yesterday, enjoys classical music and jokes that he is a volunteer because he never missed a Candlelight Concert Society program of chamber music in Columbia.

''When I was very, very young, my parents introduced me to classical music, and when I came to work in Columbia, I attended most of the concerts, becoming a very familiar figure there so they asked me to help. I've been volunteering for more than two years now,'' he says.

Mark lives in Baltimore and works in Columbia at Columbia Camera. He is also a free-lance photographer. In 1982, he graduated from the University of Maryland College Park, with a major in psychology.

His parents live in Catonsville. ''My mother, Vashti, has a day-care service, and my father, Clifton, is a microbiologist at Sinai Hospital. My brother, John, is in medical school in Cleveland,'' says Mark.

Bonita Bush, administrator of the Candlelight Concert Society, says the concerts are always in the Howard County Community College Theatre in Columbia. The society, she says, was incorporated in 1974. However, it had been formed several years prior to that when three school teachers began presenting chamber music concerts.

Bush says she is the society's staff of one and that there is a 14-member board plus volunteers ''which we welcome.

''Mark Bennett is invaluable help as concert manager in the adult series, overseeing the entire operation, which includes seeing that the artists' needs are met and that the production runs smoothly.

''Our goal is to bring the best of chamber music to the county,'' says Bush. ''Today we have 13 chamber music concerts during the winter season and about six performance series for children, which are broader presentations of dance, music, puppetry and theater. All performers are paid professionals of international ranks.

''Our next performance will be at 8 p.m. Jan. 11 when Herbert Greenberg, concert master of the BSO, and friends, will present a program of chamber music. Tickets are $15 general and $13 seniors and full-time students. Then there will be three children's presentations, at 1, 2:30 and 4 p.m. on Jan. 12, which feature Alice Eve Cohen, a theatrical story teller, who will tell the story of the parrot. The cost is $6 at the door, and it is a program for ages 4 to 94,'' says Bush.

Bennett says he has no trouble setting time aside to volunteer to the society. ''I benefit by the feeling that I am in some way contributing to the arts,'' he says.

Volunteer needs, according to Bush, are to help serve refreshments during intermissions when wine, soda, cheese and bread are served. Ushers are needed as is transportation for artists from point of arrival to the hotel. Help also is needed with poster distribution, which announces the concerts, and with fund-raisers.

The Candlelight Concert Society offices are at 5829 Banneker Road, Columbia 21044. To volunteer or to inquire about performances, call Bonita Bush at 720-1027.

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