THE GLENELG High School Choir and Orchestra traveled to Orlando, Fla., to perform in the All-Star Music Festival during spring break. Nearly 200 students, chaperons and parents made the 17-hour bus ride. Choral director Nancy Buckel called it their "big trip of the year."
"The bus trip was really, really long, but it was still fun," sophomore Jaimie Fleming said.
This was Jaimie's second spring trip with the choral group. Previous destinations have been the Bahamas, Virginia Beach, Va., and Myrtle Beach, S.C.
The group left Howard County on a Thursday and was able to catch some sleep during the ride. The next day, the young musicians checked into their rooms and then spent a few hours at the Walt Disney World theme parks. The group dined together at Planet Hollywood.
But they didn't have long to linger over dinner; they had to get to bed early for the 5 a.m. Saturday wake-up call. That morning, the students performed at the competition, which was held at Cypress Creek High School in Orlando.
Participating were the 132-member Concert Choir, the Orchestra, the Women's Choir, the Men's Choir and the Madrigal Singers. Every Glenelg group earned superior ratings, and the Glenelg choral department, made up of the Women's Choir and the Madrigal Singers, was awarded the grand championship in the competition.
The Madrigal Singers, led by senior Siga Vaskys, earned the most points of any single group. Glenelg was the only school to have a student-directed ensemble. Teacher Kevin George directed the orchestra.
The awards ceremony was held in Disney's Typhoon Lagoon water park. In addition to receiving awards, several students accepted the master of ceremonies' invitation to come up onto the stage. Eddie Krumpotich, Matt Anderson, Diana Dinnis, Ashley Fowler, Fallon Ojong and Alison Pecukonis danced onstage with students from 11 schools and eight states.
Senior Laura Kurdziel enjoyed her final spring trip with the choir. "It was great," she said. "We have amazing teachers and great chaperons."
Laura has been a choir member since her freshman year; she is a member of the Women's Choir and the Madrigals. Her brother Joey also traveled to Orlando and is the only freshman member of the Madrigals.
On the final day of the trip, students had the opportunity to spend the day at the park of their choice.
"It was really fun and exciting walking around Magic Kingdom with all my friends," Jaimie said.
Her only complaint was the length of the trip.
"I wish it was longer," she said.
Students from River Hill High School's Black Student Achievement Program demonstrated their knowledge of black history in a competition, "It's Black," on March 17.
The competition, which follows the format of the television show It's Academic, tests knowledge of black history in the county and the United States.
The students prepared for the competition by studying a 200-page packet of facts about African-American achievements in science, math, technology and other fields. Competing against teams from other Howard County public high schools, the River Hill group earned a third-place trophy.
"The students were very competitive," said faculty adviser Leirdre Galloway.
Junior Christina Bostick led team members Kristina Joyner, Nikki Moore, Briana Stephenson, Chichi Onyemaechi, Cynthea Tossie and Wesley Dunlap.
Teacher Teresa Waters also advised the team.
River Hill High School senior Kevin Steenberge will play in the 29th Annual Capital Classic, sponsored by basketball great Michael Jordan, tonight at the MCI Center in Washington. Starting time is 6:30 p.m.
Steenberge was one of 13 players from 250 high schools in the Washington area selected to be a Capital All-Star.
Court of honor
Boy Scout Troop 757 of Glenwood held its spring Court of Honor on March 18.
New Life Scouts are Danny Gouker, Mike Marlow, Adam Mikulis, James Proctor and Matt Harvill. Ryan Skeberdis and John LaPoint advanced to Star, while Mike Englehart, David Kehm and Nick Markowski advanced to Second Class.
Robby Morrow advanced to Tenderfoot, and Ethan Condon and Zack Condon advanced to Scout.
Information: Scoutmaster Harry Proctor, 410-442-2591.
The Glenelg High School PTSA is sponsoring Longaberger basket bingo to benefit the Jeff Walker Rehabilitation Fund tonight at Sykesville-Freedom Fire Hall.
Walker, a 1999 graduate of Glenelg, was paralyzed in an accident in August.
Information: Diane Barnoski, 410-442-1097.