`Gospel Songfest' will aid cancer patient, family


October 04, 2001|By Joni Guhne | Joni Guhne,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

THE NOTION THAT music can distract from the pain of knowing a friend's life is in peril will be affirmed when musicians raise their voices and instruments to help Henry Bundy at a concert they're calling "A Gospel Songfest."

Bundy, of Annapolis, was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor in December, the week he turned 25. Until he was diagnosed, and his symptoms forced him to resign, he was a favorite of customers at the Chesapeake Bagel Bakery's Severna Park shop, where his warm personality brought a sense of happiness to everyone he waited on.

Unable to work for nearly a year, his medical bills have mounted, and money is needed for his daily needs and for those of his wife, Sarah, and their nearly 3-year old daughter, Taylor.

The couple lost their remaining income when Sarah chose to stay at home to care for her husband and child.

Now, so many friends have rallied to help the family that the Oct. 20 benefit show had to be moved from its original venue to a larger one at Pasadena United Methodist Church. The $12 cost of admission is good for two hours of inspirational music, and it will provide much-needed support for Bundy and his family.

The disease may have changed his life, but it hasn't erased his trademark smile or lessened his drive to survive. Still, the side effects from the tumor and the chemotherapy he undergoes to fight it are taking their toll, causing Bundy to suffer two heart attacks and to develop diabetes.

However, the young man stays focused on family and friends. Songfest planners wonder whether the church's 300-person capacity will be large enough for the expected crowd.

The show features a program of regional talent.

WitnesSing is a contemporary Christian music choir of nearly 50 singers and backstage personnel drawn from seven denominations and 16 churches in Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Howard, Queen Anne and Prince George's counties.

Directed by Severna Park resident Milt Zahn, an assistant principal at Dundalk High School, WitnesSing appears throughout Maryland and Pennsylvania and will present an hour of music and testimony.

Zahn is overseeing the entire evening's program for all the performers.

Wings of the Wind features vocalists Naomi Bundy, who is Henry Bundy's mother, and Eric Rogers. The singers will be joined by composer and keyboard player Diane Thomson, and saxophone soloist Larry Prascus, who has played backup for such musical notables as the Supremes and the Lettermen.

The musicians take their quartet's name from a biblical reference in 2 Samuel.

"The intent of this ministry," said Naomi Bundy, who spends her days as an instructor in the computer laboratory at Severna Park High School, "is that all who hear may see the Lord, high and lifted up, on the wings of the wind."

Also performing will be vocalist Anthony Spencer, a retired Annapolis firefighter and paramedic and former industrial training specialist at the University of Maryland, College Park. Spencer works for the city of Annapolis and is a member of the county school board.

Joining him on the program will be:

Severna Park High School Ensemble; vocalist Debra Smith; vocalist Bonnie Summers; Courtnee Tate, lead vocalist for Severna Park United Methodist Church's contemporary Set Sail service; and Brian Pallett, composer and professor of music at Anne Arundel Community College.

Also appearing will be Jacob's Ladder, a choir from Jenkins Memorial Church in Pasadena; Ingrid and Allen McGuckian of the New True Way Gospel Singers, and vocalists George and Leanne Dulin.

Ten percent of Songfest proceeds will be donated to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund.

The concert begins at 7 p.m.

Tickets are available at the Severna Park Village Voice office on Baltimore-Annapolis Boulevard or by calling 410-315-8380.

Because of the limited seating, those interested in attending are advised to purchase tickets early.

Donations can be sent to Henry Bundy III Fund, P.O. Box 878, Severna Park 21146.

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