Did you know that only 5 to 6 percent of eligible Girl Scouts receive their Gold Award each year? This exclusive leadership award represents the highest level of achievement for Girl Scouts, who must complete at least 80 hours of work towards a service project that will have lasting benefits in the community.

Katie Tich, a junior at Marriotts Ridge High School and a flutist in the school's Symphonic Band, recently earned her Girl Scout Gold Award through a project titled "Inspiring Students with Music."

Katie said, "I knew that I wanted to do a project in music for my Gold Award, and I thought that a beneficial way to do that would be to inspire fourth-grade students who are just eligible to join the county music program, to recruit more band members at the most basic level."

With guidance from her mentor, former Marriotts Ridge Music Foundation president Ellen Warsaw, Katie created a video highlighting both the fun and beneficial aspects of band membership. She focused especially on under-represented instruments in an effort to recruit more young players to those areas. Katie then delivered her 15-minute video to several local elementary schools.

She said, "My hope is that the video will continue to inspire more and more elementary school students to join band and have a gradual positive impact on the Howard County music program."

Great job, Katie! Congratulations on receiving your Gold Award!

Some students at West Friendship Elementary School have already discovered the joys of band membership. Teacher Amy Syversen would like to recognize the following January Musicians of the Month: Diana Chatrchi, flute; Alexa Haddaway, clarinet; Joshua Morton, tenor saxophone; Jack Remmel, trombone; and Ethan Triska, clarinet. These students have worked diligently honing their skills. Way to go!

What if your child is already involved in a music program but needs a little extra help or would like to try a different instrument? Marriotts Ridge High School can help! On Tuesday, Jan. 28, members of the Tri-M Music Honor Society will host a music tutoring night for vocal and instrumental students of all ages. Tutoring sessions will take place between 5 and 8 p.m. at the school, 12100 Woodford Drive. To register for a slot, email marriottsridgetrim@gmail.com.

Readers may remember the name Jack Feezer from some of my columns last year. Feezer is a Sykesville resident who wrote his memoir, "A Life Well-Lived, Well-Loved, Well- Earned," about growing up in rural Howard County during the earlier part of the 20th century. He then distributed copies of his book in exchange for donations to the R. Wayne Feezer Foundation, which he and his wife, Bea, established in 2008 to memorialize their son.

Feezer's daughter, Nancy Parker, would like to thank the community for its response. To date, donations for the memoir have totaled more than $18,000, and as promised, Feezer has matched these contributions dollar for dollar. Altogether the foundation has given more than $100,000 to local charities and organizations, including Ward's Chapel United Methodist Church, the Ward's Chapel R. Wayne Feezer Scholarship Fund, Shriners Children's Hospital, Our Daily Bread, Carroll County Hospital's Dove House Hospice, autism research, and more.

Thank you to the Feezer family for its generosity, and happy birthday to Jack, who will turn 94 on Sunday, Feb. 2.

St. Andrew's Episcopal Church has decided to postpone its next community feast until Thursday, Feb. 27, 6-8 p.m. For more information, email lynnequinn@comcast.net or call 410-442-5445.