Son's musical talent fuelsKarma Sharkz

Perry Hall resident Austin Haberkam, shown here in 2001, poses with his first guitar, a Christmas present from his grandparents. Austin, his father, Mark, and Mark's longtime friend Chuck DeFontes,now perform in the three-piece rock band Karma Sharkz. (Submittted photo / November 21, 2011)

Some families seem to hit all the right notes. Take the Haberkam family in Perry Hall, for instance. Denise, Mark and their son and only child, Austin, are longtime residents of the community. Austin attended all the Perry Hall schools and graduated in 2011. He is close to both his parents, but especially in tune with his Dad. From the time he was very small, Austin demonstrated an interest in music, spending time at his Dad's side as Mark played the drums. At the age of eight, he received his first acoustic guitar as a Christmas present from his maternal grandparents, Mom-Mom and Pops Schmidt. Nothing extraordinary here, you might say. But these ordinary events set the stage for Austin's future and launched him on a musical path as a great guitar player.

Austin's guitar teacher, Jim Bowley, wrote on his website: "By the time Austin came to study guitar privately with me in January of 2008, he had already been playing for about three years, and was accomplished for his age and experience level. His parents, Mark and Denise, knew that they were nurturing a special talent." Austin continued to progress as Jim recalls "I asked Austin to participate in my rock band class/ensemble at Maryland Conservatory of Music (MCM). He craved an outlet for his playing and I thought it would be great for the other musicians to get to know him and see what he could do, so he joined the class. Austin's first real experience performing in a band was with the MCM "B Group", where he played classic and modern rock repertoire along with other talented teen musicians. The group immediately recognized that Austin was a very talented guitarist, as well as a solid vocalist."

By 2010, Austin embarked on another leg of his musical journey and formed the trio, The Karma Sharkz, along with his dad Mark, and Mark's longtime friend, Chuck DeFontes. The Karma Sharkz is a three-piece rock band performing dance rock cover songs from the 60's to the present. Every member sings lead and harmonies. Mark Haberkam is the band's drummer. Chuck DeFontes and Austin Haberkam play bass and guitar. Some of their performance venues include: The Green Turtle, in Aberdeen, John Carroll High School, Looney's, Broom's Bloom Dairy, Baltimore Yacht Club and Main Street Tower. Denise commented, "No matter where they play, people love them!" The group is in great demand and booked on weekends through December 2012.

Although Austin's mother, Denise, does not play with the group, she is instrumental in her support, "I have always told Austin and Mark, always remember you were given the gift of music to share with others and bring them happiness. I love music myself and I am their biggest fan, but the only instrument that mom plays is the radio."


"Like" explorebaltimorecounty's Facebook page

You can see the Jim Bowley article in its entirety at http://www.jimbowley.com/2011/11/student-success-story-austin-haberkam/ and find out the details. If you would like to contact Jim, send him an e-mail to jim@jimbowley.com, and he'll get back to you.

Check out "The Karma Sharkz" Facebook page, see their song list and "like" them. You can also visit their Maryland Party site at http://www.mdparty.com/performers/default.aspx?id=12490 for the latest information and performance locations.

The Seven Oaks Senior Center, 9210 Seven Courts Dr, will host its annual holiday party on Thursday, Dec. 8 at noon at Columbus Gardens. Enjoy an afternoon of good fun, good music and great friends. Entertainment will be provided by "Yesterday Once More." Cost is $25 for members and $27 for nonmembers. Menu includes Caesar salad, top round of beef au jus, chicken a la Kiev, sautéed red potatoes, Italian blend of vegetables, ice cream sundae bar, beer, wine, soda, tea and coffee. Limited space, sign up now! For more information, call 410-877-5192.

Update on lost dog Noelle: She is still lost in the Bird River area of White Marsh. Despite numerous sightings of her for almost three months, she eludes would-be rescuers and will not go into a humane trap. If you have any information concerning Noelle, please contact Kim @ 443-848-2709 or Belinda @ 443-912-9505. Thank you.

To share your news or announcement in the Perry Hall/Kingsville area, please send e-mail to write2shell@yahoo.com or phone 443-286-5881.