Singers serve through Broadway hits The Notables cited for volunteerism

September 15, 1993|By Amy P. Ingram | Amy P. Ingram,Contributing Writer

When Charles Haslup created his "little singing group," he never guessed that only five years later, in 1991, The Notables would be invited to perform at the White House.

Although the group never made it to Washington -- having grown from 12 to 42 singers, musicians and dancers, all aged 65 to 82, there were simply too many of them -- they did make it to the State House in Annapolis.

Last week, members of Mr. Haslup's gang, now 56 strong, each received a certificate of recognition and appreciation from the Governor's Office of Volunteerism for seven years of volunteer work.

Mr. Haslup, 76, is a former professor of music at the University of Maryland College Park and Towson State University and founder of the Patapsco Valley Chapter of the American Association of Retired Persons.

He said the group helped him realize his ambition of serving the community through music.

"It was an untapped source of talent," he said. "Each person has something to offer, some kind of talent or service."

The Notables tour senior centers, nursing homes and schools, performing Broadway music and dancing with the audience.

They perform up to 35 times a year and rehearse three seasonal programs.

Their programs consist of Broadway favorites like "Oklahoma," "New York, New York" and "Give My Regards to Broadway."

For children they get a little lighter, with songs like "My Gal's a Corker," said to be an elementary school favorite.

They also collect donations, which are optional, from the audience, to help set up music scholarships for students.

Since 1991, The Notables have awarded scholarships to college and university students at Towson State, Anne Arundel Community College and Catonsville Community College.

Two years ago, The Notables gave a benefit performance for the National Law Enforcement Memorial Fund Committee and raised The group received a Governor's Award for that also.

"We go to nursing homes and schools because we like to serve" the community, he said. "I tell all my members that we have two objectives: to serve others through music and to have fellowship with each other."

That's exactly why Mary Dorn, 69, is with the group. "This is a gang that sticks together. I'm very impressed with the group unity and sense of friendships that have developed here," said Mrs. Dorn, a Brooklyn Park resident.

Her husband, Charles Dorn, 80, has been a member since the group started in 1986.

Mr. Dorn, who sang in church choruses all his life, decided to bring his bass voice to the group and was the very first "Notable" to sing a solo.

"We must be doing something right," he said, "because everyone keeps asking for more."

The Notables will be visiting the Charlestown Retirement Community in Arbutus at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 24.

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