In its short lifetime, the music department at Marriotts Ridge High School has garnered an impressive list of accolades. Now the Madrigals vocal ensemble has additional cause for celebration, for this year, the Washington Chorus has invited the group to participate in its 21st Side by Side Concert.

This program allows outstanding local choruses the opportunity to practice with, and perform alongside, a world-class symphonic chorus.

The two groups will perform together in "Candlelight Christmas," presented at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall (www.kennedy-center.org) on Saturday, Dec. 15, at 2 p.m., and Saturday, Dec. 22, at 2 and 4 p.m.

The same concert will take place at the Music Center at Strathmore (www.strathmore.org) on Thursday, Dec. 20, and Friday, Dec. 21, at 7:30 both evenings. Ticket information is available on the websites.

One final note: the Madrigals have also been invited to perform at the Maryland governor's mansion on Thursday, Dec. 6. Kudos to these talented young singers and their director, Terry Eberhardt!

An impressive number of Mt. View Middle School musicians deserve recognition, too, for their recent acceptance into the Howard County GT Ensembles.

Elise Ahn, Sophie Bi, Stephanie Choi, Quinn Crawford, Caitlin Fildebrandt, Ben Giroux, Brennan Hartigan, Isaac Kim, Ryan Lee, Scott Malloy, Claire Martin, Yaw Owusu-Boaitey, David Polefrone, Katie Roth, Emma Woodbury, Justin You, Rebecca Younts and Matthew Zheng will perform with the Howard County GT Band.

Matthew Ahn, Rachel Choi, Davin Hong, Allison Howard, Leah Iannuzzi, Mindy Kang, Angelica Kim, James Ma, Diana Nam, Jonathan Nam, Davin Park, Aileen Yu, and Rachel Yu have made the Howard County GT Orchestra; and Timmy Ahn, Alice Chong, Yevin Hong, Andrew Kim, John Ma, and William McIntyre will take part in the Howard County GT Sinfonia.

Additionally, Samual Lam and David Stephens have been selected for the Peabody Orchestra.

Congratulations to these fine student musicians!

Cold weather is fast approaching, and if you like to attract birds to your winter landscape, naturalist Diane Ference can teach you how to create interesting and attractive feeders.

Her free Wonder Talk, titled Cookin' for the Birds, will take place on Saturday, Nov. 10, at 10 a.m., at the Howard County Conservancy. A limited number of participants will be able to "make-and-take" their own special treats for the birds.

The Conservancy will also host National Geographic photographer George Grall for the fifth year running. Grall is recognized not only for his breathtaking images, but also for his educational and entertaining presentations.

This year, he will talk about "Return of the Spring Pools: The Amphibian Awakening and More" on Friday, Nov. 16, at 7 p.m. Take a look at life above and below the water and discover how some animals depend upon transient, wet ecosystems for their survival.

Registration costs $10 per person in advance, or $12 on the day of the program. Children under 8 are free. For more information, go to http://www.hcconservancy.org, or call 410-465-8877. The address is 10520 Old Frederick Road (Route 99), in Woodstock.

Interested in learning how to remain fit and healthy as the years advance? Dr. Nadu Taukli, of the Anti-Aging and Longevity Institute, will host her fall Anti-Aging Seminar this Saturday, Nov. 3, at 9 a.m., at Turf Valley Resort in Ellicott City.

Workshops will include information about skin care, men's health, weight loss and hCG, bioidentical hormones, detox and anti-aging, and natural remedies for cholesterol and hypertension. NIA and Zumba classes will be available.

Tickets cost $25 at the door. For more information, call 410-992-0011, or go to http://www.anti-agingdoctor.com.