South Carroll band director aims for improvements


September 05, 1997|By Christy Kruhm | Christy Kruhm,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

GEORGE SMITH'S long-term goal as new band director at South Carroll High School is to lift the band program to a higher level.

Smith is confident that by tapping the full potential of each band student, making major changes in the design and difficulty of the music performed, increasing the complexity of the choreography and even changing the way the students march, the band program will move ahead of where it's been.

Smith, a graduate of the University of Maryland and the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, joined the South Carroll staff in June from Northern High School in Calvert County where he was band director for more than seven years.

Smith's decision to leave Northern came after he became increasingly frustrated at spending half of the school day teaching 10th-grade English, leaving him little time to work on band programs, he says.

He also felt the band program suffered from a lack of support from administrators, primarily because of severe crowding in Calvert County schools.

After a little more than two months at South Carroll, Smith has found the Winfield school "very pleasant."

"I like it here a lot," he says. "The atmosphere is very professional, and I love the kids. They're hard workers."

Smith follows Bradley Collins as director. He says Collins, now teaching band at the elementary grade level in county schools, has been a tremendous help during his transition period at the school, as well being as a sounding board for ideas.

Smith says one change he has decided to make this year is to move the South Carroll Marching Cavaliers away from a traditional jazz format. A classical format, with increased moves and complex choreography, now will dominate the performances.

Toni Sodano returns as color guard choreographer for the marching band, Michelle Zepp as marching and maneuvering instructor, and Phil Johnson as percussion instructor. New to the staff this year is Kevin Bell, the visual designer.

Weekend competitions, evening practices and summer band camp will leave Smith little spare time.

What free time he does manage to carve out will be spent with his wife and two young children, he says.

High on his priority list is a move from his home in Dunkirk to a new home in Westminster.

South Carroll High will be the host for the Cavalier Classic, the first marching band tournament of the season, at 6 p.m. Sept. 13 at the high school, 1300 W. Old Liberty Road.

Information: 410-795-8858.

Church seeking help

The vestry of St. James' Church on North Main Street is seeking help from Mount Airy residents to help remember and honor the Rudy family.

The 108-year-old Episcopal church is planning a celebration and thanksgiving in appreciation for a $600,000 bequest to the parish from the estate of Dana W. Rudy.

The bequest was made in memory of his parents, Walter R. Rudy and Laura V. Rudy, former residents of Mount Airy.

Walter Rudy was the town's first druggist and a partner or board member of many town businesses. He also served as a commissioner of the state Department of Motor Vehicles.

The congregation is requesting stories, anecdotal information, photographs and documents from longtime residents of Mount Airy.

A recognition service is scheduled for early November.

Call the church at 301-829-0325 for directions on submitting information.

Play auditions

The Mount Airy Players theater group is holding auditions for two fall productions.

Charles Beck, director and coordinator, says the November production of "Little Women" requires several male and female actors, ranging from teens to adults in their mid-60s.

Auditions will be from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday at Twin Ridge Elementary School, 1106 Leafy Hollow Circle, Mount Airy.

The one-act horror play "Monkey's Paw" will be performed in late October.

Roles for four men and one woman are being cast. Auditions are 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sept. 15 and 17 at the Mount Airy Firehouse Pub and Grill, 233 S. Main St.

Information: For "Little Women" auditions, call Susan Cote at 410-386-8034 or Susan Click at 301-253-2740. For "Monkey's Paw" auditions, call Beck at 301-829-1527.

Christy Kruhm's Southwest Neighborhood column appears Fridays in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.

Pub Date: 9/05/97

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