Marriottsville/Sykesville/Woodstock: Dancers from Marriotts Ridge High join the state's elite

Although Marriotts Ridge is the youngest high school in Howard County, it has quickly become a leader in the performing arts. Last month, I noted the school's impressive showing in the Maryland All-State and All-Eastern music ensembles, and this month I would like to recognize the dance program.

Schools may nominate up to five students to audition for the Maryland All-State Dance Corps, and this year, three Marriotts Ridge dancers have earned acceptance into the elite, 25-member group.

Congratulations to Emily Lowe, Maddie Rodrigue and Carly Weickgenannt! The All-State Corps will perform together in the spring.

Additionally, Carly choreographed a dance, "A Little Trust," that was one of 17 chosen state-wide for performance at the annual Maryland Public High School Dance Showcase held on Jan. 4 at Goucher College.

Last call for citrus fruit orders. The Marriotts Ridge Music Foundation is in the midst of its fourth and final citrus fruit sale, which will feature juicy red grapefruit, tangerines, California navel oranges, and temple oranges. Go to to view pricing or print an online order form.

Orders are due by Friday, Feb. 8, for tentative pickup at the school on Saturday, Feb. 23. (Patrons will receive an email with the finalized date and time.)

As always, proceeds will help fund the students' annual spring competition trip. Need more information? Email

Are you looking for a frugal way to entertain your preschooler indoors while the weather is cold? The Howard County Conservancy has scheduled three nature classes for children ages 2 and older on Thursdays, Feb. 7, 14 and 28, 10-11:30 a.m.

The topics are "A Long Winter's Nap," "Birdie Valentine" and "Winter Wonderland." Each class will include a craft, an activity and a story. The cost is $5 per child.

To register, go to and select the "Programs" tab at the top of the page. Email or call 410-465-8877 with any questions.

The Conservancy will also present its free monthly Wonder Talk on Saturday, Feb. 9, at 10 a.m.

If your family is fascinated by cold-blooded critters that slither, scootch and hop, then come out to hear college professor Ray Bosmans share stories about "Amazing Reptiles and Amphibians." He will bring along members of his own live reptile and amphibian collection.

The Conservancy address is 10520 Old Frederick Road (Route 99), in Woodstock.

Every year, the Retreat and Conference Center at Bon Secours hosts a special Valentine's Day celebration for married couples, and this year's Valentine's Dinner and Renewal of Vows will take place on Thursday, Feb. 14, at 6 p.m. The evening will begin with mass, followed by a wine and cheese reception, dinner and then a light-hearted look at John Gray's book, "Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus." The cost is $75 per couple.

Bon Secours will also offer the following programs in February:

— "Friends Day of Prayer," on Wednesday, Feb. 6, from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., at a cost of $30. This month's topic is "Vatican II: Calling Us to Holiness and Service."

— "Create a Vision for Your Life," on Saturday, Feb. 9, from 1 to 3:30 p.m., at a cost of $25.

—"Come and See: Exploring Religious Life as a Vocation (for Women)," Friday, Feb. 15, at 6 p.m. through Sunday, Feb. 17, at 1 p.m. Registration is due by Friday, Feb. 1.

Go to to learn more about Bon Secours, or call 410-442-1320 to register for a program. The address is 1525 Marriottsville Road, in Marriottsville.

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