Children from 3 schools to lift their voices in song at choral concert

NEIGHBORS

June 01, 1994|By PAT BRODOWSKI

The exuberant singing of children will be three times as strong when the first North Carroll Area Choral Concert takes place June 8.

This concert will combine school choruses from Hampstead, Manchester and Spring Garden elementary schools. The concert is free and begins at 7:30 p.m. at North Carroll High School, 3801 Hampstead-Mexico Road in Hampstead.

The concert is to be a festival of melody. Each school chorus will bring a different style of music studied during the year and performed at its home school. The choruses combine to open and close the show.

Hampstead Elementary, under the direction of Julia Hollenberg, will bring several multicultural songs to the stage. For the song "Amigos," the children sing French, Spanish and Hebrew lyrics about friendship.

The Spring Garden chorus, directed by Ida Lea Rubin, will recall risky ocean travels with a collection of sea shanties. Another piece was written for children based upon an Old English poem.

Manchester Elementary, under direction of Lana Furbay, will include folk dancing with its selections of American folk music.

The concert will open and close with nearly 300 fourth- and fifth-grade students from all three schools combining voices.

They will sing "Hymn To Freedom," a work commissioned for the International Children's Chorus held in Sweden in 1986, written by Canadian jazz pianist Oscar Peterson.

" 'Hymn to Freedom' refers to the walls tumbling down and cultures coming together," Mrs. Hollenberg said.

The combined voices will also sing "To Music," a 16th century German chorale. (The chorale dates to Martin Luther, who encouraged new religious poems and old songs to be newly set to tunes by his musical advisers. "A Mighty Fortress is Our God" is a chorale said to have been composed by Luther himself.)

High-quality music is being written for children's voices, and you can hear it at the North Carroll area concert.

"Worldwide, more and more composers are writing for children," Mrs. Rubin said. "More are doing beautiful folk music arranged for children's voices. The purity of the sound appeals to the imagination of composers."

This will be the first North Carroll Area Choral Concert, and Mrs. Rubin and Mrs. Hollenberg hope it will become an annual event.

"It's something I've wanted to do for a long time," said Mrs. Rubin, who also conducts the Carroll County Children's Chorus. "Now with three schools and three teachers, we decided this was a good time to promote our school music program.

"One purpose is to give more students an opportunity to perform for larger audiences," she said, "and it gives them an opportunity to work with different conductors and in a festival setting. It's like a travel team opportunity to sing away from the home school."

The North Carroll Choral Concert will give several hundred children a taste of a choral festival. The only other annual regional choral festival is held in the Francis Scott Key High School area.

Festivals like this one "are preparing children for a lifelong involvement in singing, and hopefully taking them into community chorus and church choirs," Mrs. Rubin said.

One motivating factor for the North Carroll concert is that Carroll County's Eistefedd choral festival can now take only seven students from each school in the county, Mrs. Hollenberg said.

"There's a very strong children's choral movement internationally," Mrs. Rubin said. "Every county in Maryland has its own [children's] chorus."

She directs the Carroll County Children's Chorus, for children in second grade and older, that holds concerts and travels to Washington and Ocean City, and which has had members attend national and international choral festivals.

*

What's hot when you are 7 or 8 years old? We went to the second-grade hobby show at Spring Garden Elementary last week to find out. (Hampstead Elementary held its hobby show a few weeks ago.)

For the show, each child had assembled bits and pieces of one hobby. You can imagine it was hard for these children to decide what one hobby to show. Each had written a short essay, created a display and was happy to talk.

The four classrooms quickly became packed with parents and siblings.

Baseball cards, collections of dolls from Barbie to trolls, a papier mache dinosaur and other crafts, several dancers -- with two demonstrating ballet steps -- a karate kid splitting pine boards in half, collections of rocks and seashells, and two dynamic artists.

A few other hobbies caught our attention.

Colin Smith, for instance, had just returned from several days at Space Camp, a new facility in Florida near Walt Disney World. He told us, showing photographs, that they'd made model rockets, sat in a model control room, been in a space shuttle that isn't used for space and been swung in a chair in all directions.

"My hobby is space," he explained.

"Almost my whole room is full of horse stuff," wrote Lindsay Horner, who had covered her desk with a saddle, rosette ribbons, photographs and a neatly typed essay.

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