"LESS FORMAL THAN a choir and more fun" is how Deon Tait describes The Music Makers, children who have been singing together at her home since late February.
"They concentrate upon sparkling in front of an audience, learning stage presence and interaction," Tait says. "I've always enjoyed performance, and I wanted to give kids opportunities to perform and expand their musical talent."
Tait's resume includes stints as a music teacher in Baltimore County, a member of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in Washington and director of several church choirs.
Now, she's at home in Hampstead with her two young children.
Her children love to sing, and with the encouragement of mothers with children attending the same preschool, The Music Makers took shape. Children range in age from 4 to 11.
At Thursday's rehearsal, the youngest Music Makers lined up by the piano, played by Nicole Schott, 15. Audrey Miller, 5, Leslie Tait, 6, Elizabeth Cordosa, 5, and Brooke Herrmann, 5, who are in kindergarten, and Maria Hall, 5, who starts kindergarten next year, hopped, wiggled elbows, and poured like teapots through songs young audiences and performers enjoy. "I'd love them to perform at meetings in the area," Tait says.
At North Carroll Middle School, students and families of Peggy Buckler's family and consumer science class ate their way through a tasty final exam.
It was the last of nine clever ways Buckler has introduced new foods to students during a schoolwide observance of Nutrition Month. The program was supported by the middle school cafeteria staff and Miller's Food Market of Manchester.
About 100 sixth- and seventh-graders prepared 36 recipes for the test. Family members paid a few dollars to eat the results. The money was donated to Carroll County Food Sunday and Students Helping Others and Understanding Themselves, a school organization.
"We get them to taste new foods," Buckler said as the taste test began. "Our focus is consumer-oriented, nutritious recipes for family use. Every dish has a fruit or vegetable. They've worked hard, and not everything was perfect. We are very creative in this class."
Also last month, students searched the shelves of Miller's for answers to nutrition questions. The prize was a taco dinner, courtesy of the market.
"Kenny and Margaret Miller have adopted our school," said Buckler. "It shows the support of the community, families, and the school."
Students researched nutrition facts to read during daily announcements. They held a Pampered Chef cooking party to raise funds for Carroll County Food Sunday and SHOUT.
Pat Brodowski's North neighborhood column appears each Wednesday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.
Pub Date: 4/01/98