11-year-oldarts group aims high Concerts target a variety of tastes NORTH COUNTY -- Linthicum * Ferndale * Brooklyn Park * Pumphrey

December 28, 1992|By Lorraine Mirabella | Lorraine Mirabella,Staff Writer

Eloise Vaughan envisions the day when aficionados of jazz, barbershop quartets, classical piano, chamber music and dance fill all 1,180 seats at North County High School for a concert.

The vice president of the Performing Arts Association of Linthicum admits that she has set her sights high, considering that the number of subscribers has leveled off at 600.

But Mrs. Vaughan, the group's president for 10 seasons, feels confident the association's goal is realistic.

After all, she points out, for a $20 subscription, concertgoers can see five professional-level performances for less than the price of one concert in Baltimore.

"You're in a high school auditorium; you're not in the Meyerhoff," she said. "But the music is really excellent. People come out saying, 'That's the best one you've ever had.' And we've heard that so many times."

She says the group known as PAAL won't accomplish its goal overnight, noting that the first season 11 years ago drew 440 subscribers and that the number has increased in small spurts over the years.

"But we always feel we are growing because the attendance is better and our subscribers are growing in enthusiasm," she said.

Now in its 11th season, PAAL still has subscriptions available for the final three concerts scheduled in February, March and May.

In the first, Doug Keegan, a pianist studying at the Warsaw Conservatory in Warsaw will perform at 8 p.m. Feb. 27.

On March 27, the Barry Dove Jazz Sextet will play at 8 p.m.

The final concert, featuring the Edinburgh Quartet, moves to Linthicum Heights United Methodist Church May 2 at 6 p.m.

The group started when two art teachers from Andover High School (now North County High), both members of the Anne Arundel County Commission on Culture and the Arts, perceived a culture gap in North County.

They approached Mrs. Vaughan -- at the time the president of the Women's Club of Linthicum -- hoping she could help.

Mrs. Vaughan and teachers Olin Yoder and Robert Nichols came up with the idea of a community concert association. The Annapolis Brass Quintet opened the first season.

"We've tried to appeal to a variety of tastes," said Mrs. Vaughan, who has found no shortage of talent locally and across the country.

The group will begin its next membership drive this spring, offering $17 discounted subscriptions.

In January, a 25-member board of directors will begin choosing artists and arranging concerts, working within a budget for artists' salaries.

This year's budget was $14,000, Mrs. Vaughan said. But with cuts in county and state grants on which the group has depended, Mrs. Vaughan is hoping the group's newly created patron program will catch on.

Businesses that make donations to the group will have their names printed in the program, she said.

"Everyone didn't just jump immediately on the bandwagon, but it's a beginning," she said. "We hope the idea takes shape and more people get into it."

For information about subscriptions for remaining concerts, call 859-8047 or 636-2579.

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