St. James Episcopal Church is planning a special musical event this month to celebrate Mount Airy's 100th anniversary.
The community, friends and neighbors are invited to attend the Mount Airy Centennial Summer Concert and Hymn Sing at 4:30 p.m. Aug. 21 in St. James' air-conditioned sanctuary. The historic church, which celebrated its 100th anniversary six years ago, is at 202 N. Main St.
One star of the free Sunday afternoon concert will be the church's new Rodgers organ. This will be the first community concert featuring the new full-size instrument.
Making beautiful music on the organ at the event will be Janice Kershner, who has served as church organist at St. James since October. Miss Kershner, who has 20 years' experience as a church organist, graduated from Andrews University in Michigan with a bachelor of music degree in education with the organ as her principal instrument.
Miss Kershner, a medical secretary in Rockville, said she has played a church organ everywhere she has lived since completing college.
"It's what I love," said Miss Kershner. "It's the icing on the cake."
The concert will also feature the musical talents of trumpeter Donald Rice, cellist Wallace Fishell and violinist Robert Williams.
Mr. Rice is a 1992 graduate of South Carroll High School, where he was a member of the school band and represented South Carroll at various county and state instrumental competitions. Mr. Fishell and Mr. Williams, who have regularly played with the St. James Ensemble with Mr. Rice, have alsoperformed with the Frederick Symphony.
Practice for the concert began in mid-June, Miss Kershner said. The concert, which she expects to last until 6 p.m., will feature the classics and a medley of American anthems.
The hymn sing will feature opportunities to sing old favorites and new praise songs. "Good old summer refreshments" will be served after the concert.
For more information, call (301) 829-0325.
Congratulations to Mount Airy resident Bill Blatchley, an honorary American Legion life member and past post commander of Mount Airy Gold Star Post 191, who was recently elected to the position of Carroll County commander.
As coordinator for the county's five American Legion groups -- Post 200 of Hampstead, Post 223 of Sykesville, Post 31 of Westminster, Post 120 of Taneytown and Post 191 of Mount Airy -- Mr. Blatchley presides over quarterly meetings of the Carroll County Council, where each post is represented.
Community projects and Legion activities -- such as the high school oratorical contests, Boys State, Camp Westmar and blood drives -- are often the focus of these meetings. His %J one-year term runs through July.
The county's American Legion posts are thriving organizations.
"Carroll County has been a Four Star County continuously for 28 years," said Mr. Blatchley, "which means that Carroll County has shown continuous growth in membership over the past 28 years."
Mr. Blatchley is Post 191's chaplain and has enjoyed 39 years of continuous Legion membership, with 18 years spent as a member of Mount Airy's Post 191. The World War II veteran was a naval airman.
He said what he likes best about the American Legion is "the concern for children, youth and service to community" as well as "service to veterans."
"We really do that," he said.
Now is the time for students who will be attending Mount Airy Middle School this fall and their parents to register for the school's annual summer "Study Skills, Thinking Skills and Organizational Skills" workshop to be held on Aug. 18.
The free workshop will be held from 9 a.m. until 11 a.m., said Principal Larry Barnes.
To ensure that there are enough materials for everyone, Mr. Barnes requests all participants register for the workshop no later than Aug. 15 by calling the school at (410) 795-1744 or (301) 829-1314.
4 "I very much like parents to be there," he said.
Mount Airy Middle is busy planning for the first day of school in Carroll County on Aug. 29. A four-classroom portable was recently set up on the school grounds to help accommodate this fall's anticipated enrollment of 680 students, 120 more than when Mr. Barnes became Mount Airy Middle's principal four years ago.
"Our class lists will be posted Aug. 15 and will appear in the lTC papers shortly after that," said Mr. Barnes.
An open house at Mount Airy Middle School will be held from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Aug. 25 to give parents and students the opportunity to walk around and to become familiar with the layout of the school, said Mr. Barnes.
Mount Airy Middle School's Parent Teacher and Student Organization's executive board will meet at 10 a.m. Aug. 17 at the school to go over plans for the school's fall fund-raiser.
Mr. Barnes noted that the PTSO is an informal organization -- without dues or formal meetings -- to which all parents automatically belong. Parents are welcome at the monthly executive board meetings.
For information, call the school at 795-1744 or (301) 829-1314.