Musician Kathi Hiett is the new music director at Glen Burnie United Methodist Church, but she is no stranger to the area.
Hiett was the music director at Holy Trinity Catholic Church for 17 years. She played in the church since she was 12-years-old. An opportunity arose following the sudden death of the previous director at Glen Burnie United Methodist, and Hiett jumped at the chance.
“It doesn’t matter to me which house I’m in – same God – just that I get to play,” Hiett said. “It means so much to me to give the gift I have to people who appreciate it.”
Hiett said the church is very uplifting. She said the congregation has been wonderful and welcoming. She said the same of the church’s pastor, Rev. Ken McDonald.
Hiett directs the adult, children’s and hand bell choirs, and is thrilled to play on a Steinway piano and a Moeller pipe organ. She said the instrument quality has been like going from beer to champagne.
“I’m really excited about the talents of the choir,” she said. “They love to sing, and I’m lucky – they’re really good.”
Hiett has played many venues throughout her career – from the then-North Arundel Hospital’s fashion shows to variety shows and political fundraisers. As with churches, Hiett doesn’t care which side of the political aisle, as long as she gets to play.
While playing part-time at Holy Trinity, Hiett also was the organist for Severn United Methodist Church for 20 years.
“I had only like eight minutes to get from one service to another, but it all worked out,” she said. “Maybe I was a Methodist the whole time and didn’t know it.”
For many years, Hiett has played in services at Kirkley-Ruddick and Singleton Funeral Homes, as well as the Kennedy Krieger Festival of Trees. Birthday and anniversary parties, weddings and cocktail parties have been celebrated to Hiett’s playing.
Others may know her from the Maryland Concert Series, which brings live performing arts to the North County area. Hiett is president of the all-volunteer organization, and also has organized and played fundraisers on its behalf.
Hiett said she takes lessons at Anne Arundel Community College, because she knows she always can make herself better.
“It’s good because it kind of hones and fine tunes directors’ skills to a better point,” she said. “I know the basics, but it’s nice to learn from the pros.”
While not playing music, Hiett is interested in neighborhood crime. She is president of The Citizens Against Crime Neighborhood Watch, a group that hosts meetings with guest speakers, local law enforcement and public officials.
Hiett’s other passions include scuba diving, snow skiing and figure skating. She was the director of figure skating at Benfield Pines from 2000 to 2008, taught at the Inner Harbor ice rink, and coordinated skating performances at First Night Annapolis.
Her newest passion is surfing – Hiett recently vacationed in Hawaii, where she has taken lessons. She said someday she’d like to see the big waves of the North Shore in January or February.
A Christmas carol program is planned for Dec. 16 at the church, 5 Second Ave. S.E. A choir of 18 – 23 members will offer harmonies to the tunes of a seven-piece orchestra.
Music selections will be old favorites as well as contemporary songs, and Hiett said the event will include a version of O Holy Night. Her goal is to have the children’s choir sing with the adult choir for one portion.
The church’s hand bell choir performs about every six weeks, including Oct. 14. Although she doesn’t direct it, Hiett said the church also has a praise band which offers contemporary worship. Hiett said she would like a few new, young adults to be involved with the adult choir.
“I’m really excited to be playing there,” Hiett said. “It’s like all the magic is back.”
For more information about the church, visit http://www.gbumchurch.org.
- · The next performance of the Maryland Concert Series will be The New Monopoly Band at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 20 at North County High School, 10 E. 1st Ave. The band, originally called Peppermint Twist, calls Anne Arundel County its home and offers a diverse range from the 30s to current hits. Genres include swing, do-wop, disco, Motown, new wave and classic rock. Tickets are $25 for adults or $10 for youth under age 18. For more information, call Hiett at 410-768-1854 or Wayne Wright at 443-962-4012. Tickets are available at www.mdconcertseries.org and at the door.
5K color run/walk
North County High School Music Boosters, 10 E. 1st Ave., will host a 5K Color Run/Walk beginning at 8:30 a.m. Oct. 27.
Cost is $35, and includes a t-shirt (while supplies last) and refreshments. The race will start at 9 a.m., rain or shine. Proceeds will benefit the North County High School Music Department.
For more information, visit http://www.nchsmusic.org/5k-fun-run.html.
To share your news in the Glen Burnie area, contact Amy Laque at MDGazetteAmy@gmail.com or 443-924-6440. Follow her on Twitter @GlenBurnieTalk.