`Gala' is a mystery for retiring director


May 20, 1999|By Diane B. Mikulis | Diane B. Mikulis,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

RON OAKS is used to watching his students perform. As drama director at Glenelg High School for the past 16 years, he has directed and been an appreciative member of the audience at 33 productions.

This Sunday, he will sit in the audience again. But this time, the performance will be a surprise.

More than 50 drama alumni and students have orchestrated a tribute to Oaks in honor of his retirement. "Remember the Times: A Ron Oaks Retirement Gala" is a collection of songs, scenes and memories recalling Oaks' accomplishments at Glenelg.

"They kept it a surprise from me until a few weeks ago," Oaks said. "And they won't tell me what's going to be in it."

Looking back on his years at Glenelg, Oaks fondly remembers the first musical he directed -- "Fiddler on the Roof."

He also especially enjoyed directing "Camelot," "Man of La Mancha," "Big River" and this spring's production of the musical "Brigadoon."

Before coming to Glenelg High School, Oaks worked as an actor and singer in the Baltimore- Washington area. He also toured with productions along the East Coast, from New York to Florida.

A native of South Dakota, Oaks received a bachelor's degree in voice from the Peabody Institute and a master's in drama from Catholic University.

He is looking forward to his retirement, but he acknowledges he will "miss the place."

He plans to continue teaching voice classes, complete a couple of plays he is writing and possibly do some acting.

Tickets are available for Sunday's tribute, which will be held at 2 p.m. in the Glenelg auditorium.

Information: 410-242-2015.

Enriching Lisbon

Last night, Lisbon Elementary School held its School-wide Enrichment Fair.

Parents, friends and other guests were able to view the work of nearly all of Lisbon's 558 students.

Each grade displayed projects that were created to complement and extend material taught in the classroom. Included were research on endangered animals, science projects, computer- generated art, student-published books, a radio play and a time line of events leading to the Revolutionary War.

Some children exhibited their "Type III Investigations" -- voluntary individual or small group research projects in which students identify a real-life problem and then research solutions.

Type III investigators included third-graders Charlie Bosse, Jeff Smith, Matt Pindell, and Rachel Dewberry; and fourth-graders Jennifer Smoot, Michelle Terry, Kim Abraham, Rebecca Hamilton, Kristen Tippett, Elizabeth Ferris, Melanie Midkiff, Lacey Orndorff, Samantha Snoots, Afton Vechery, Melissa Seets and Katlyn Moore.

Also participating in Type III investigative projects were fifth-graders Sarah Reis, Angela Smith, Alex Douglas, Ian Evans, Daniel Puckett, Stephen Begosh, Matt Bichner, Ryan McGlynn, Rachel Baker, Amanda Taylor and Danielle Chetelet.

Jennifer Palich, gifted and talented program resource teacher, coordinated the fair.

"I'm very impressed with what they've all done," Palich said. "The Type IIIs especially require a lot of work and dedication."

River Hill music awards

River Hill High School's 143 music students recently participated in the Festivals of Music in New York City and came home big winners.

The wind ensemble, string orchestra, madrigal singers, jazz combo and River Hillbillies Bluegrass Band received superior ratings and won first place in their divisions.

The concert choir also received a superior rating.

Groups are rated on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being "superior," the highest rating.

The full orchestra, jazz ensemble and Divas (a group of female vocalists) received excellent ratings -- 2 on the 5-point scale -- and placed first in their divisions.

The symphonic band was rated excellent and took second place.

The women's choir and color guard were rated excellent and placed third in their divisions, and the drum ensemble received a good rating and came in third.

The wind ensemble won the "Best Overall Band" trophy. The string orchestra won the "Best Overall Orchestra" trophy, and the jazz combo won the "Best Overall Jazz Ensemble" trophy.

Jazz trumpets won "Best Trumpet Section" in the jazz competition.

More than 1,100 students from the eastern half of the United States competed in the festival.

On a related note, the Music Boosters' final fund-raiser for the year -- a car wash -- will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the school.

The car wash is free, but donations are appreciated.

Drive over to the school, on Route 108 in Clarksville.

Yard sale

If your garage, basement or shed is overflowing with things you don't use anymore, here's the perfect opportunity to part with them -- and get a little something.

St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Poplar Springs is offering free spaces at its community yard sale from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. June 5.

Of course, if you would rather just shop, there will be plenty of great bargains -- children's toys, tools, furniture, books and many other items.

The book sale will be held in the parish hall from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. June 4 and will continue through Saturday.

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