Brooklyn Park singers are invited to next Olympics


July 25, 1999|By Christina Bittner | Christina Bittner,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

THE ARUNDEL Singers, a Brooklyn Park singing group, has two big jobs this season.

First is to rehearse for its series of holiday concerts. Second is to plan for what might be the group's most important concert -- the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia.

To get there, the 30-member group must raise $150,000. That's a tall order for a singing group that relies on free-will offerings at its church concerts to make ends meet.

"We consider ourselves fortunate if we can raise $500 a season " said Ed Igoe, Arundel Singers spokesman.

The Arundel Singers was originally known as the Bicentennial Chorus. The group was formed in 1976 by former Linthicum resident Patti McKewen to celebrate the nation's 200th birthday.

When the bicentennial celebrations were over, the group changed its name.

The group gives five two-hour concerts during the winter holidays and in the spring, traveling throughout Anne Arundel County and surrounding areas.

In addition, the group gives numerous mini-concerts in nursing homes. "We'll go pretty much anywhere people can hear us sing," said Igoe. Members range in age from 25 to 70.

In January, the National Association of Performing Arts Educators invited the group to perform at the Choral Winter Festival at New York's Carnegie Hall.

It was that night's rendition of the 1940s standard "I'll Be Seeing You" that earned the group an invitation to Sydney.

Matt Staub, director of the Association of Arts Educators, said he couldn't stop thinking about the performance, and invited the singers to be a part of the contingent the association had invited to the Olympics.

"Normally you have to audition for the Olympics, but `I'll Be Seeing You' got us in," said Igoe.

Thirty groups from the United States and Canada have also been invited. Each group is responsible for its traveling expenses.

Once there, the Arundel Singers is scheduled to perform at one Olympic event and at other events in the Sydney area.

To raise money, members have been busy preparing dinners, having bake, candy and pizza sales and washing cars.

"We still have about 90 percent of the funds yet to go," said Igoe. "If we don't get some corporate sponsors, it won't be possible to go. We are the only group from Maryland and Anne Arundel County to be invited. We will be representing the state and the county."

The Arundel Singers will begin rehearsing for the holiday season next month. Rehearsals will be held Sunday evenings at the Brooklyn Heights United Methodist Church. Concert announcements soon will appear on the group's Web site: /arundels. Information: 410-439-0696.

Stand-up comedy for kids

Children in kindergarten to eighth grade can experience an afternoon of stand-up comedy at 2 p.m. Wednesday at the Brooklyn Park library.

Comedian Paul Hadfield will present a show that combines juggling, acrobatics, music and slapstick, with audience participation.

Admission is free, but seating will be limited. The Brooklyn Park library is at 1 E. 11th Ave.

Information: 410-222-6260.

Class of 1959 reunion

The Brooklyn Park High School Class of 1959 is planning its 40th reunion, scheduled Sept. 25 at the Sheraton International Hotel at Baltimore-Washington International Airport.

Information: 410-590-5651 or 410-636-3997.

Church rummage sale

There is time to catch the weekly rummage sale sponsored by the Curtis Bay United Methodist Church. The sale is from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursdays during the summer.

The Curtis Bay United Methodist Church is at 1429 Church St.

Information: 410-789-5357.

Democratic club bingo party

The Roland Terrace Democratic Club sponsors bingo Thursdays at the club hall, 619 Matthews Ave. Games begin at 7 p.m., and the kitchen is open.

Information: 410-636-1504.

Pub Date: 7/25/99

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