Recently, two band students from Marriotts Ridge High School learned that they have been accepted to the prestigious All-National Honor Band, sponsored by the National Association for Music Education.

Recently, two band students from Marriotts Ridge High School learned that they have been accepted to the prestigious All-National Honor Band, sponsored by the National Association for Music Education.

Katie Tich, a rising junior, is a flutist in this year's ensemble, and Yong Yang, a rising senior, is a tenor saxophone alternate. Two music students from River Hill High School will also represent Howard County in the 2013 All-National Honor ensembles.

These ensembles include Concert Band, Mixed Choir, Symphony Orchestra, and Jazz Ensemble. Participants are students in grades 10-12 who earned acceptance to an All-State Festival the previous school year, have been endorsed by their high school directors, and have passed an audition. The state of Maryland was allowed to represent up to 7 percent of the ensemble groups, for a total of 30 students.

The ensembles will practice and perform in Nashville, Tenn., at the end of October.

Congratulations, Katie and Yong!

The fall sports season at Marriotts Ridge High School begins Wednesday, Aug. 14, and students who wish to participate must turn in the following paperwork: an athletic participation form, a current physical dated after April 1 of this year, a copy of the student's birth certificate (if participating for the first time at MRHS), and proof of residency.

Coaches will collect the paperwork on Monday, Aug. 12, 4 to 6 p.m., in the cafeteria. To learn more or to print the necessary forms, go to marriottsridge.net.

I would like to extend a community welcome to Tammy Goldeisen, the newly appointed principal of Mount View Middle School. Goldeisen replaces Kathy McKinley, who has moved to the Howard County Public School System central office.

The new principal will hold a Meet and Greet for Mount View families on Thursday, Aug. 15, 6 to 7 p.m., in the school cafeteria. For more information, call 410-313-5545.

Every August, the earth passes through a debris cloud left by the comet Swift Tuttle, producing a heavenly light show called the Perseids Meteor Shower. Alex Storrs, a Towson University astrophysicist, will lead local sky watchers in his free annual program, Night Sky: Perseids Meteor Shower and Star Gazing, on Monday, Aug. 12, 10:30 p.m. to 2 a.m., at the Howard County Conservancy, 10520 Old Frederick Road (Route 99), in Woodstock.

A waxing crescent moon is expected to allow for good viewing, but in case of cloudy skies, the program will move indoors with a portable planetarium. In the event of rain, the date will change to Tuesday, Aug. 13.

Go to http://www.hcconservancy.org to learn more.

St. Aphonsus Rodriguez Catholic Church will hold its 98th annual Woodstock Festival on Saturday, Aug. 10, 3 to 7 p.m., and Sunday, Aug. 11, 1 to 5 p.m., at 10800 Old Court Road in Woodstock. The fried chicken and ham dinner costs $13 for adults and $7 for children ages 4 to 11. Call 410-461-5267 for more information.