Talented teen cast to stage `Sound of Music'

NEIGHBORS

November 29, 2001|By Joni Guhne | Joni Guhne,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

THERE'S SOMETHING to satisfy a variety of musical tastes this holiday season. There's a Christmas musical at Severna Park Baptist Church and a jazz concert at Severna Park High School.

And there's a production of The Sound of Music that would make a perfect early holiday gift for your family. The Rogers and Hammerstein classic is the Children's Theater of Annapolis' next production - and a showcase for a band of talented area teen-agers.

Kerry Deitrick, 16, fresh from playing a Navy nurse in the Second Stage production of South Pacific, trades an island setting and a stage full of flirtatious sailors for a mountaintop and a family of motherless children when she dons the habit of Sister-in-training Maria.

"I love her [Maria's] character," says Kerry, "how she brings music to this dysfunctional family. It's the best gift of all."

A junior at Baltimore School for the Arts, Kerry studies voice, dance and theater arts. She sang with her BSA classmates at the 1999 inauguration of Mayor Martin O'Malley and performed at the Baltimore Arena in 1998 and 1999 for the Baltimore Blast soccer team. Last year, she was part of the teen-age vocal group Maryland Sings when it performed at the annual White House Christmas show.

Known by local audiences for her beautiful voice, Kerry finished third last year in the annual "Star-Spangled Banner" singing contest sponsored by Flag House in Baltimore. This year she was selected to sing with the 2001 Maryland All-State Senior Chorus.

Broadneck High School senior Brian Hoffman, 17, plays the role of Naval Capt. Georg von Trapp. His career with the Children's Theatre began in 1997 and includes the roles of Rodrigo in Babes In Toyland and John Arable in Charlotte's Web. But, he says, his favorite role was Fagin in last year's CTA production of Oliver.

Because he will be in college next year, The Sound of Music marks his final appearance with the children's theater.

"I'm a little sad because it's my roots," says Brian, who was named a 2001 Maryland Distinguished Scholar, "but I'm excited to move on to new challenges."

Not that the Whispering Woods resident hasn't already experienced some big-time accomplishments. He was picked last year from more than 3,000 applicants and flown to California to be part of a 12-member vocal ensemble that performed at the Grammy awards show.

Set in Austria during the early years of World War II, the CTA production of the familiar Broadway show also features Eileen Keck, 16, a junior at Severna Park High School, in the role of Mother Abbess and David Sheir, 15, a sophomore at Rockbridge Academy, as Uncle Max. Sixteen-year old Scott Clempner of Amberly, a junior at Broadneck High, plays Rolf, Liesel von Trapp's boyfriend who joins a Nazi-sponsored youth group.

The show is scheduled to be presented on the two weekends before Christmas at Anne Arundel Community College's Pascal Center for Performing Arts. The curtain will rise at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 14, 15 and 21 and at 2 p.m. Dec. 15, 16 and 22.

Tickets for The Sound of Music are $8 for general admission and $7 for CTA members, seniors and organized groups of at least 20. For reservations, call 410-757-2281.

While Broadway show tunes can be wonderful family entertainment, it is the holiday season, and Severna Park Baptist Church is offering four performances of its Christmas musical Welcome To Our World, by Claire Cloninger and Robert Sterling, arranged and orchestrated by Sterling.

Performances are Dec. 1, 2, 3 and 4 at 7 p.m. at the church at 506 Benfield Road in Severna Park. Along with carols of the season, the show features a children's ensemble, costumes and dance.

Attending the show is the perfect way, church spokeswoman Linda Stout says, "to focus on this wonderful season and ease all the hurts and problems the world holds for us." Child care will be provided and refreshments will be served after the musical. For more information, call 410-647-0765.

Prefer music that gets your toes to tapping? Then you're probably an aficionado of the syncopated sounds of jazz. Sponsored by the Anne Arundel Community Concert Association as part of its 2001-2002 subscription series, the Baltimore Jazz Orchestra will appear at 8 p.m. Tuesday at Severna Park High School.

Jazz is considered by many to be America's primary contribution to the world of music, and Baltimore has a long association with the rhythmic musical style going back to jazz legends such as Chick Webb, Cab Calloway and Eubie Blake.

The 17-member Jazz Orchestra draws its members from the city's finest jazz musicians and from the Peabody Ragtime Ensemble. The orchestra has performed with Ethel Ennis at the Peabody, Mel Torme at the Meyerhoff and Etta James at Artscape.

The concert is part of the association's subscription series, but tickets may be purchased at the door. Cost is $15 for adults and $5 for students. Information: 410-647-6873 or 410-647-4881.

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