After rehearsing for two hours a day, three days a week for the entire school year, the 24-member Catonsville High School Steel Drum Band is making final preparations to perform as the season opener at the Lurman Woodland Theatre on June 2.
“It’s the culmination of our year,” said band co-director Jim Wharton. “It’s so great for the kids to get to play for the community and be recognized by the community.”
The band, Wharton said, is made up of students in every grade. After intermission, they invite alumni to join them for the second half of the performance, which begins at 6 p.m.
“People really do look out for each other in this group. It’s like being on a team; you’re in a group that works many years together,” Wharton said.
The Catonsville students are just one of more than two dozen bands scheduled to perform at the Lurman, located behind Catonsville High School, on weekends from June 2-Aug. 26.
The venue has two entrances, one at about 425 Bloomsbury Ave. and one at 614 Hilltop Road.
“It’s just a lovely, shady setting. Its very family-friendly,” said Leslie Morgan, Lurman’s co-chair for communications.
The venue has a designated area for children to play in, and an area near the stage where people are “encouraged” to dance, Morgan said.
She added that attendees are welcome to bring chairs or blankets to sit or enjoy picnics — though the venue cannot allow grills, alcohol or drugs on the premises.
Morgan added that, during some performances, there will be a food truck selling everything from hamburgers to falafel.
Wharton, who’s retired from teaching but retains his position to help direct the Catonsville Steel Band, said he remembers coming to concerts at the Lurman as a child.
“It flourishes all summer, it’s fantastic,” he said. ‘It speaks so well of the community and it helps show that we are ‘Music City, Maryland.’ It’s delightful.”
To raise money to pay the bands that perform and cover other maintenance costs, Lurman volunteers collect donations during intermissions, though the shows themselves are free to attend.
Up-to-date concert information, including whether a show has been canceled due to the weather, is available by calling 877-278-0961 or by going to http://www.lurman.com/concerts/2018.