Youngster plays French horn for Disney


July 20, 1999|By Sherry Graham | Sherry Graham,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

OUTSTANDING YOUNG musicians from across the country auditioned in the spring for the eighth annual Disney's Young Musicians Symphony Orchestra.

One was Elijah Smith of Sykesville.

Elijah was one of 85 youngsters ages 8 to 13 selected for the orchestra, which was led by Lucas Richman.

Richman is assistant conductor for the Pittsburgh Symphony and principal conductor for the Pasadena Pops Orchestra in California.

Prospective members were required to submit a written application outlining performance experience and award history. A recommendation from a private or school music teacher was included in the application. Auditions were then held in several cities around the country.

Elijah and his mother, Valarie Mares, traveled to New York in March for his audition. Elijah played two pieces on his French horn, sight-read selected music and gave an interview.

After being chosen for the orchestra, Elijah participated in sectional and full orchestra rehearsals during a 10-day music camp in June at Sarah Lawrence College.

While at the camp, the young musicians had the opportunity to work with distinguished composers and performers in workshops and rehearsals.

The orchestra performed June 20 at Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. Several members of Elijah's family, including his father, David Smith, brother, Dakota Smith, and godfather, John Mitchell, were in the audience. His cousin, Michael Mares, came from Colorado for the occasion.

The orchestra performed 11 pieces during the concert, which was taped and will be broadcast at 7 p.m. Aug. 7 as part of Disney's "In Concert" series on the Disney Channel.

Elijah, 11 when chosen for the orchestra and now 12, was one of five French horn players in the group and the youngest on that instrument.

He began studying the French horn as a first-grader.

"I just liked the look of it," he said. "It looks real cool."

Elijah enjoyed his experience with the orchestra.

"Playing for the huge audience in the Lincoln Center, that was just awesome," he said.

Elijah studies with Larry Williams at Peabody Prep in Baltimore and is considering a career in music.

"I'm thinking of being a performer for a symphony," he said.

Raffle at the VFW

VFW Post 9952 in Sykesville held a 50/50 raffle recently in which area resident Jim Suddath held the winning ticket worth $568.

Proceeds will benefit scholarship and school project funds.

Post 9953, established in 1985, has about 45 members who are veterans of World War II and the Korean War.

The group meets monthly at the American Legion Post 223 on Slacks Road.

Farmers' market

If you can't seem to make the time needed to have your own vegetable garden but crave the taste of fresh produce, visit the Sykesville Farmers' Market from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesdays.

The market is held rain or shine in the parking lot of historic Baldwin's Station downtown.

The market is sponsored by the Sykesville Business Association and returns after a successful trial run last year.

About a half-dozen vendors participate in the market on a regular basis, offering fresh produce, flowers, honey and fresh baked breads.

New offerings this year are eggs, cakes and cookies.

"The breads are a big draw to the market," said Ron Jackson, a member of the association. "The market is a good opportunity for farmers."

The Sykesville Farmers' Market has been extended this year, and will run weekly until Nov. 24.

Information: Jackson, 410-795-8850.

Sherry Graham's Southeast neighborhood column appears each Tuesday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.

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