SEVERAL YOUNG musicians from west Columbia will perform during a free concert at 7: 30 p.m. Friday at River Hill High School.
The program will feature the Howard County Elementary Enrichment Orchestra and the Middle School Gifted and Talented Orchestra.
Participating in the elementary orchestra are Bernard Peng, Jennifer Shead, Yakir Reshef and Zoe Shaw of Clemens Crossing Elementary School.
Also performing are Alex Brown, John Christon and Katharine Thompson of Swansfield Elementary School, and Caroline Gill of Bryant Woods Elementary School.
With 75 members, this year's elementary orchestra is the biggest ever, according to director Annette Szawan.
"We had a lot more students audition this year," she said. "It shows that the music programs are growing in the schools."
Patrick Walls is the orchestra's co-director.
Members of the middle school orchestra include Elizabeth Cowan, Mike Fu, Serina Jensen, Adriana Lopez and Susan Shyu of Harper's Choice Middle School, and John Park of Wilde Lake Middle School.
Music teacher Rosemary Lather is in her seventh year as middle school orchestra director.
"The level of playing comes up every year," she said.
She attributes this to more students studying music privately and more practicing.
Forty-five families at Running Brook Elementary School enjoyed Thanksgiving dinner, thanks to the employees of Green Spring Health Services, one of the school's business partners.
Donna Walter and Dan Comeaux, co-chairs of Green Spring's community affairs committee, organized the collection of canned goods and money at the company's headquarters in the Clark Building.
Committee members include Terry Blainey, Barbara Borowy, Julie Crone, Matthew Hecker, Evelyn Jackson, Robin Kelly, Traci Masevicius, Rhonda Pierce, David Rice, Amy Vandeputte, Jennifer Ward and Nicole Leimbach.
Employees sorted the food, making sure that each box had all the ingredients for a full Thanksgiving dinner, including a $10 gift certificate to buy a turkey.
The boxes were distributed to needy families the Monday before Thanksgiving.
Green Spring is a national managed-care company, headquartered in Columbia, that specializes in mental health and substance abuse services.
It has been a partner of Running Brook for three years.
During the holiday season, students from the school travel to Green Spring's three locations in Columbia to sing carols for the employees. They also exhibit their artwork in Green Spring's offices.
Three west Columbia artists will participate in an exhibit by the Maryland Art League that opens tomorrow at the Slayton House Gallery and runs through Jan. 3.
Beaverbrook resident Elizabeth Asner will display her watercolors of flowers and landscapes.
Bruce Blum of Town Center will contribute photographs.
Clary's Forest resident Laura Speaker McVeigh will exhibit oil paintings of landscapes.
The opening reception will be held from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Refreshments and musical entertainment will be provided.
The public is invited.
The Columbia Pro Cantare Chorus, directed by Longfellow resident Frances Motyca Dawson, will perform selections from Handel's "Messiah" at 7: 30 p.m. Sunday at the Jim Rouse Theatre for the Performing Arts.
The chorus includes west Columbia residents Steven Fulton, Carol Galbraith, Carolyn Gayle, Sylvia Hertz, Sarah Knox, Barbara Kraus, Tom Lorsung, Betsy Middleton, Lynn Stott, Lee Schuyler, Irina Von Alten and Donald Butler.
Advance tickets are $15 for adults; $12 for seniors and students. Tickets at the door are $17 for adults; $14 for seniors and students.
Concert unites arts
Performers from Wilde Lake High School joined students at Bryant Woods Elementary School last month for a program that integrated the arts.
Wilde Lake's string orchestra and dance department performed for the younger students.
Fourth-graders introduced each piece of music on the program with a poem written in their language arts class.
Reading their work were Piotr Roman, Hayden Hughes-Harper, Jean-Paul Halstead, Jamie Carroll, Alix Aber, Margaret Cummings, Robert Grossman, Colleen McSweeney and Charlie Beecher-Deighan.
Also sharing their literary efforts were Will Kirkpatrick, Josue Rangel, George Shammas, Sean Anderson, Aysha Jawed, Brianna Wilson, Colleen Elliott, Melanie Celano and Eliza Fishbein.
Students from Dave Anderson's fourth-grade class provided a gallery of artwork for the occasion.
Auditions for 'Noises Off'
Columbia Community Players will hold auditions for a spring production of "Noises Off" at 7 p.m. Sunday and Monday at Slayton House.
The show will run three consecutive weekends, beginning Feb. 27.
Producer Bob Russell, a Longfellow resident, described the play as "an hilarious British farce -- a play within a play. Therefore, the actors and actresses are playing parts and playing parts playing those parts."
The characters range in age from 20s to 70s.