Anne Arundel's three regional concert series offer entertainment bargains to county residents in search of live musical performances by classical, folk and jazz artists.
Societies that have been around for at least 30 seasons hold the concert series at convenient locations, with two at local high schools and one at an arts center.
Anne Arundel Community Concert Association, the 61-year-old organization based in Severna Park, has a reciprocal arrangement with South County Concert Association, which is opening its 37th season at Southern High School in Harwood. Those who buy a subscription for AACCA's five-concert series for $50 get all seven SCCA concerts included — a dozen concerts for less than $4.20 each, well below the price of a movie ticket.
Folks in North County also get a bargain at the Performing Arts Association of Linthicum, which offers six live performances, including two Broadway musicals — one fully staged and another in concert — plus a full ballet performance for $59 at Chesapeake Arts Center in Brooklyn Park.
Here's a look at each concert series.
The Performing Arts Association of Linthicum opens its 31st season Sept. 22 with the Tamburitzans, a multicultural song and dance company composed of full-time Duquesne University students. The company offers colorful costumes, unusual instruments and lively ethnic dances.
This season, two PAAL programs have a historical focus. On Nov. 11, Pasadena Theatre Company will present, fully staged, "1776 — The Musical." Set at the Continental Congress, the production centers on Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson persuading members to vote for independence from the British empire.
On March 17, Ballet Theatre of Maryland will present "Frontier: The War of 1812 on the Chesapeake," which captures in dance the fiery independence of America as it forges itself into a nation. The Battle of Fort McHenry and the burning of Washington will be among the major war events depicted.
"It is a very special honor for PAAL to bring the spirit of America and its artists to the programming of our 2012 season," PAAL President Robert Nichols said. "We are very aware that it was J. Charles Linthicum who introduced the bill in Congress that would make 'The Star-Spangled Banner' our national anthem. We look forward to a glorious year showcasing the American spirit that we all share."
Additional PAAL programs will include a to-be-announced Broadway musical in February staged by Live Arts Maryland and conducted by J. Ernest Green, and a concert by the United States Navy Band of Washington. The season ends April 20 with a performance by Daniel Rodriguez, the New York City police officer who raised post 9/11 spirits when he sang "God Bless America."
For information on PAAL subscriptions, call concert chair Verena Linthicum at 410-859-3117 or Nichols at 410-691-9725.
South County Concert Association's season opens Oct. 1 with "Broadway Today" — three Broadway stars singing recent hits and familiar favorites with piano accompaniment.
On Oct. 24, the a cappella quintet 42Five uses their voices as instruments ranging from trumpet to drums.
"Masters of Motown" offers a 10-member cast in a tribute to 1960s music Nov. 29.
On Jan. 30, American tenor Terry Barber will present his wide repertoire of operatic arias, Broadway standards and pop tunes.
A March 9 concert will showcase Footworks' percussive dancers and musicians, who trace the cultural diversity of Baltimore and Maryland through original music and choreography.
"The Legacy of Floyd Cramer," featuring Jason Coleman performing the songs of his grandfather, is scheduled for April 2.
The season closes May 3 with Redhead Express & the Walker Family, a nine-member group performing family harmonies in styles including country, bluegrass, Irish and gospel.
All South County concerts start at 7:30 p.m. at Southern High.
President Gale Gillespie says the Anne Arundel Community Concert Association's 61st season will "include Latin sounds; lively, colorful dance; closely harmonized voices; elegant classical pieces; and conclude with the beloved Simon & Garfunkel tunes."
The season starts Oct. 20 with La Catrina Quartet — two violins, a viola and a cello bringing classical sounds with Latin flavor.
On Dec. 8, the Tamburitzans will offer a performance highlighting Eastern European traditions.
Harbor City Music Company, a group of women who sing four-part a cappella harmonies with a twist, arrives Jan. 16.
On April 9, A Far Cry Chamber Orchestra, a groundbreaking young group of 12 string musicians, brings a new kind of classical music with rotating leadership and no conductor.
Jim Witter arrives May 12 with "The Music of Simon & Garfunkel, " featuring such classics as "Bridge Over Troubled Water," "The Sound of Silence" and "Feelin' Groovy," among others.
All AACCA concerts start at 7:30 p.m. at Severna Park High School.
For information on subscriptions to AACCA's season that also include South County's, call Wendy Kaplan at 443-688-6460 or Gale Gillespie at 410-647-4881.