It’s April! Spring Break and Easter are behind us, Opening Day at Regency Stadium is just around the corner, April Showers... you get the picture! The ARTS community of Southern Maryland has many, many events taking place while also planning for outdoor events, such as the Sunset Concert Festival on Fridays beginning May 11, 2012. So, here’s a taste of what’s happening in Arts and Culture in Southern Maryland during April. AND here’s your monthly reminder: Be sure to check out www.somdarts.com for up-to-date listings of arts and culture events. Submit your arts and culture events there, too!
Oh, and while at the website, check out the page for Summer Camps in ARTS and CULTURE. You may find a camp or activity that’s just perfect for your child, and many of these fill up quickly! So don’t delay, register today!
· On April 13, the Charles County Public Library (P.D. Brown Branch in Waldorf) offers a special free event called “Celebration of Music” that’s great for the whole family! The Southern Maryland members of the Archie Edwards Blues Heritage Foundation will be performing a blues concert. Archie Edwards was a Washington, DC bluesman and barber known for performing country or Piedmont blues. He had regular Saturday afternoon jam sessions at his barbershop in northeast Washington, DC. The concert will feature country, delta and Chicago blues. Performers will explain the composition and history of the blues and share stories of the old local bluesman. A "barbershop" style jam session will follow the concert. Musicians welcome. The same event will also be held at other branches of the library, so visit www.somdarts.com for more information.
· On Saturday, April 14, Charles County is in for a real treat as Christ Church Concerts and the Schubert Singers present “The Singing Boys of Pennsylvania” with the” Keystone Girls Choir” at 4pm at Christ Church, 113 East Charles Street, La Plata. The program will include the Stabat Mater of Pergolesi, a medley of Shaker hymns and spirituals, New England sea chanteys, and selections from The Sound of Music. The program will be followed by a Covered Dish Supper in the church's Parish Hall. Audience members are cordially invited. Should you wish to bring an item for the meal, you may drop it off in the kitchen before the program. There is no set admission fee, but donations to help defray the choir's tour expenses will be appreciated.
· The College of Southern Maryland (8730 Mitchell Road, Fine Arts Center (FA Building), La Plata, MD) offers a variety of Music Events in April/May. Contact the CSM Box Office (BxOffc@csmd.edu, 301-934-7828 orwww.csmd.edu/arts) for tickets to any of the following events:
o U.S. Air Force Concert Band with Soloists from the Singing Sergeants will perform at 7:30pm on Wednesday, April 25th. Tickets are free, but reservations are highly recommended. Non-reserved tickets will be distributed on a first come, first served basis beginning at 6:30 p.m. Reserved tickets not claimed by 7:15 p.m. will be distributed as needed.
o CSM’s Chorale will perform its annual spring concert at 8 p.m. on Thursday, April 26th. Tickets are $5 advance purchase, $7 the day of the event.
o CSM’s Annual LATIN MUSIC FESTIVAL, featuring CSM’s Latin ensemble, RitmoCaché and guest group Ban Caribe will take place on Friday and Saturday, April 27th and 28th,. The festival includes a free Latin percussion workshop and 2 evenings of ticketed public performances at 8 p.m. Tickets for each performance are $5 advance purchase, $7 the day of the event.
o And mark your calendars for May 5th when CSM presents its annual Barbershop Extravaganza, featuring CSM’s own Southern Mix Chorus and guest artists. The performance will be held twice in the same day: 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Tickets are $5 advance purchase, $7 the day of the event.
· The Port Tobacco Players (508 Charles Street, La Plata, MD 20646)continues its run of the comedy, HARVEY. Elwood P Dowd’s best friend is Harvey; the trouble with Harvey is that he’s a pooka, an invisible, six-foot-one-and-one-half-inch tall, Celtic spirit, in the form of an anthropomorphic rabbit [and isn’t April a great time for rabbits?].Elwood’s social-climbing sister, Veta and her daughter, Myrtle Mae, are not having it. Veta makes the momentous decision to have Elwood committed to Chumley’s Rest Sanitarium, and things go very, strangely wrong. Veta ends up committed, till a judge straightens the matter out. Now the family, the judge, two doctors, and a very angry orderly search every bar in town for Elwood and Harvey, but they have their work cut out for them, because "Harvey knows this town like a book." Make your reservations for this popular comedy now! This production runs through April 15, 2012... Fridays & Saturdays at 8pm, Sundays at 3pm. $17 - Adults; $14 - Students/Seniors/Military www.ptplayers.org, 301-932-6819.
· The College of Southern Maryland (8730 Mitchell Road, Fine Arts Center (FA Building), La Plata, MD) presents Our Town by Thornton Wilder.This American Theatre Classic follows the small town of Grover’s Corners through three acts: “Daily Life,” “Love and Marriage” and “Death and Eternity.” Audiences follow the Webb and Gibbs families as their children fall in love, marry and eventually – in one of the most famous scenes in American theater – die. Performances are April 12 - 14 and April 19 – 21 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults and $12 for seniors, military with ID, and youth in high school or younger. These are reserved seating performances, so reserve early for best seat selection. For reservations contact email@example.com, 301-934-7828, orwww.csmd.edu/arts.
· If you like to dance, then don’t miss “Christ Church Contras” (Christ Church, 112 E Charles St, La Plata, MD) for adults and teens from 7:00 until 10:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 21st. No experience or partner needed. The evening begins with a free half-hour beginner lesson. Admission is $8 at the door. For details, contact KOProductionsUSA@gmail.com, or 301-535-8231.
· CSM ballet and jazz dance students present an evening of dance on Monday, April 30th at 8 p.m. at the College of Southern Maryland (8730 Mitchell Road, Fine Arts Center (FA Building), La Plata, MD). Contact the CSM Box Office (BxOffc@csmd.edu, 301-934-7828 or www.csmd.edu/arts) for tickets, which are $5 advance purchase, $7 the day of the event.
· As part of the College of Southern Maryland’s Spring Connections Series, poet Kendra Kopelke will read from her latest book “Hopper’s Women,” beginning at 7:30 p.m., April 13, at the La Plata Campus, Learning Resource Center (LR), Room LR-102. Tickets are $3 advanced sale through the CSM box office (301-934-7828) and $3 at the door with a student ID. General admission at the door is $5. www.csmd.edu/connections. Then on April 27th at 7:30 p.m. contributors to the spring 2012 issue of Connections Magazine will read from and discuss their works. Free. (College of Southern Maryland, La Plata Campus, Center for Business and Industry, Rooms 103-104).
· There are a variety of area book discussion groups offered through the county libraries and senior centers. Just visit www.somdarts.com and check out the calendar of events to learn more.
· Habre de Venture: Dwelling Place of the Arts - Thomas Stone National Historic Site Visitor's Center, 6655 Rose Hill Road, Port Tobacco, Maryland; This statewide juried visual art exhibition, thru June 2012, is a partnership between the Charles County Arts Alliance and Thomas Stone National Historic Site (TSNHS). The gallery is open during park hours: Wednesday - Sunday, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm; after Memorial Day, daily, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm. For more information, call CCAA Office, 301-392-5900 or TSNHS, 301-392-1776.
· Mattawoman Creek Art Center (Smallwood State Park, 5565 Upham Place, Marbury, MD) is showing an exhibit entitled “Rural America.” This exhibit runs through April 15th. This is a do-not-miss exhibit, showcasing the unique views through the eyes of local artists of America's rural areas! Over eighty entries of paintings, photographs, and sculptures depict the remaining locations in our fifty states that have not yet been overrun with industrialization. The gallery is open Friday-Sunday from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Visit www.mattawomanart.org or call 301-743-5159 for more information.
· If you enjoy creating artwork yourself, consider attending Open Studio Art sessions at Mattawoman Creek Art Center on Fridays from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m., taking a pastels workshop with artist Ray Ewing, or painting with artist Helen Thomas. There’s also a “Jazzy Yarns” group that meets at the P.D. Brown Library in Waldorf where you can learn to knit or crochet. Other classes are held at Mattawoman Creek Art Center (www.mattawomanart.org), Smallwood State Park, 5565 Upham Place, Marbury, MD 20658 and at other art centers/galleries/studios such as Annmarie Sculpture Garden and Arts Center (www.annmariegarden.org), 13480 Dowell Road, Dowell, MD 20629. Visitwww.somdarts.com for information about many of these.
Enjoy all that the ARTS & CULTURE community of Southern Maryland has to offer you in April 2012 and beyond!
Therese Thiedeman, wife of Edwin and mother of two adult children, has lived in Charles County, Maryland off and on since 1993. While here, she has been actively involved in the arts community for work and play! She taught music at St. Mary, Star of the Sea School in Indian Head for three years, and music-directed the Port Tobacco Players Encore Kids for four years before her Coast Guard family was assigned to New Orleans for a two year tour. Upon reassignment to the Washington, DC area, the Thiedemans returned to Charles County and Therese picked up where she left off. She was back with the Port Tobacco Players as an actor, director, producer, music director, pit musician, Board member, publicist, Encore Kids Director, and Encore Teens Director. She worked in an arts administrative capacity for the Charles County Arts Alliance for four years, an experience which broadened her horizons and introduced her to the arts community in Southern Maryland and across the state as well. Currently, Therese is a part time Ticket and Event Sales Specialist at the College of Southern Maryland, volunteer publicist for the Black Box Theatre in the Indian Head Center for the Arts, active member of Port Tobacco Players, music minister (choir member and guitarist) and Christmas play director at Our Lady Help of Christians Church in Waldorf, and an alto with the Chesapeake Choral Arts Society. Beyond that, she is actively involved in trying to build true community among artists, arts patrons, arts organizations, and arts businesses through her website, Southern Maryland Arts & Culture (www.somdarts.com).