Katie Tich

Marriotts Ridge High School freshman flutist Katie Tich is this year's winner of the Columbia Orchestra's Young Artist Competition in the senior division, wind category. (Photo by Amy Tich / May 17, 2012)

Every year, the Columbia Orchestra sponsors a Young Artist Competition for string, wind, and percussion students in Howard County and then showcases the winners of both the junior (middle school) and senior (high school) divisions in a Columbia Orchestra concert.

This year, flutist Katie Tich, a freshman at Marriotts Ridge High School, will represent the senior wind division. What an honor! Congratulations, Katie.

The Young Artist winners will participate in the "Orchestral Fireworks" concert taking place in the Jim Rouse Theater on Saturday, June 2 at 7:30 p.m. The theater is at Wilde Lake High School, 5460 Trumpeter Road, in Columbia.

The Mt. View Middle School Symphonic Band and the Mt. View Middle School Orchestra also have some good news to share. On May 12, these groups attended Music in the Parks at Hershey Park, in Hershey, Pa., and both came home with Superior Ratings and first-place awards. For the band, this is the 19th year in which they have attended this festival and also the 19th year of earning superior ratings, first-place awards, and Judges' Choice awards. Way to go!


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Kudos to the May Musicians of the Month at West Friendship Elementary School. Band teacher Amy Syversen would like to recognize Jonathan Bitterli (tuba), Tyler Brandt (tenor saxophone), Jacob Coomber (alto saxophone), Su Min Kim (trombone), Erin Ko (oboe), Sidney Parkent (percussion), Nicholas Randhawa (trumpet), Owen Reider (clarinet), Kamiyefogo Runsewe (alto saxophone), Caroline Underwood (trumpet) and Joshua Wright (percussion) for a job well done. Keep up the good work!

One final bit of music news: Woodstock resident Nancy Gaither, president of the Harbor City Music Company Show Chorus, has shared that her group won big at the Sweet Adeline International Regional Contest on April 21 in Ocean City. HCMS is composed of 60 female harmonizers from across the state.

After nine years of consistent second-place wins, HCMC finally came out on top in the region, winning first place for mid-size chorus and first place overall. The group now qualifies for the 2013 international competition in Hawaii.

Additionally, one of HCMC's quartets, "Lustre," placed second in the competition. This group consists of two Howard County residents: Jenny Harris, from Elkridge, and Lori Crouter, from Columbia, as well as Kate Morrical, from Silver Spring, and Lori Dreyer, from Catonsville.

Congratulations to all of the ladies of HCMC and best of luck in Hawaii next year!

Sori Meredith, Howard County's Scouting for Food chairperson, would like to thank the community for its responsiveness during this year's food drive. Scouts collected 62,114 pounds of food and were able to assist 27 food pantries in Howard County, as well as five in Baltimore City.

Readers may have seen in this column last week that more than 500 pounds of the food went to the local food pantry at Glenelg United Methodist Church. Food pantry representatives are very grateful, as are the families served at that location. A big thank you to the community for its generosity!

Last call for student artists! The Howard County Bird Club's annual Youth Birding Art Contest ends on Thursday, May 31. Howard County residents ages 9-13 may submit a drawing or painting of their favorite Maryland bird using any type of medium – for example, graphite, oils, acrylics, or pastels. Judges will look at realism and attention to detail.

Mail all entries to Kate Tufts, 2830 Duval Road, Woodbine, MD 21797. Make sure to include the artist's name, age, phone number, email address, school and name of bird. Artwork must not exceed 11" x 14".

The winner will receive a one-year membership in the Howard County Bird Club, plus a backpack containing a pair of Eagle Optic binoculars and a birding field guide. Previous winners are not eligible to compete. For more information, go to http://www.howardbirds.org.

Don't forget – the Italian feast at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church takes place Thursday, May 24 from 6 to 8 p.m. Tickets cost $9 per person or $30 maximum per family. Children 5 and younger are free. Proceeds will support the church's youth program. St. Andrew's is at 2892 Route 97, between the Glenwood Post Office and Union Chapel Road, and the entrance will be marked with balloons.

As summer approaches and school news dwindles, I would like to invite those in the Marriottsville/Sykesville/Woodstock community to keep me updated on their summer happenings – vacations, camps, special celebrations, etc. Don't feel shy – I enjoy writing about you, and readers would like to know what's going on in the area. Keep that news coming!