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Greater Loch Raven: Choir groups' expertise carries from Calvert Hall to Carnegie Hall

Calvert Hall is going to Carnegie Hall.

In April, 15 Calvert Hall College High School vocal music students will join with other school choirs to perform in a festival chorus at Carnegie Hall.

George Wilkerson Jr., vocal music teacher at the school, said that in order to apply, Manhattan Concert Productions required that the ensemble must have received a "superior rating" at a regional or state festival.

Two choirs from Calvert Hall — the Hallmen and Chamber Singers — received superior ratings at the Maryland Music Educators Association's festival last May, which made the school eligible for participation.

While in New York, the groups will be directed by under the direction of Jerry Blackstone, director of choirs and chair of the conducting department, University of Michigan School of Music and Theatre and Dance.

The concert will feature a choral repertoire including works by Ola Gjeilo, John Ness Beck and George Friedrich Handel, as well as arrangements of popular folk tunes such as "How Can I Keep from Singing," by Gweneth Walker.

When not rehearsing for the performance, students will also have the opportunity for some sightseeing in New York.

During a stop in Philadelphia, they will have a clinic and performance with David DeVenney, professor of music and director of choral activities for West Chester University, and also a tour Independence Hall and other landmarks.

To fund the trip, students have participated in fundraisers including a benefit concert in January featuring the Hallmen, Chamber Singers, Madrigal Singers, the Corridors and alumni, with special guests the Garrison Forest Chamber Choir and conductor Cedric D. Lyles.

Also from Calvert Hall — A group of 16 students and four teachers will spend five days in New Orleans, where they will work with the St. Bernard Project rebuilding homes, the Harry Thompson Center serving the homeless and the Lower 9th Ward Village, a community center working to revitalize that area.

Meaghan Tracey, campus minister, said, "The goal of the trip is to encourage personal growth through service and live our faith through action. The group has been meeting together all year to plan and prepare for the trip. So far the group has raised $500 for the Lower 9th Ward Village."

Students making this trip are Justin Beck, Paul Cillo, Jamal Goodman, Liam Duggins, Todd Fleming, Ryan Keenan, Scott Lombardo, James Marrow, Nicolo Massa, Chad Nunnally, Cullen Polesne, Brendan Regert, Jake Smearman, Joseph Tincher, Colin Walsh and Alex Wilson.

This month, catch some of Calvert Hall's students in action when they perform a Baltimore-inspired rendition of the musical, "Godspell."

The production includes performances from 26 talented young people. Show times are March 23 to 25 and March 30 to April 1; Sunday shows are at 2 p.m, others at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets are $10; student and senior citizens $7 and can be purchased at the door or online at calverthall.com. Kid fun nights are (March 25 and 30) and include an ice cream party after the show.

Take advantage of a free health and fitness fair at the Parkville Senior Center, 8601 Harford Road, on Wednesday, April 25, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Call the center at 410-887-5338 to schedule a free health screenings, including hearing, vision, oral cancer, blood pressure, bone density and more.

Before the health fair officially opens, free cholesterol, glucose and total lipid screening will be held starting at 8:30 with fasting required for those. Call for details.

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