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Young Cockeysville singer and octogenarian historian honored

Young Cockeysville singer and octogenarian historian honored
Rising eighth-grader Morgan Gonce sang at Camden Yards and last year auditioned for "America's Got Talent." (Courtesy Photo)

Morgan Gonce, a rising eighth-grader at Cockeysville Middle School, wowed the crowd at Camden Yards when she performed at the Orioles game on Friday, June 28.

Morgan did a solo rendition of Woody Guthrie’s “This Land is Your Land” and, to borrow some baseball terminology, she hit it out of the park! Perched on top of the dugout, Morgan sang and played her guitar during the 7th-inning stretch and showcased her musical talents.

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At just 12 years old, Morgan is already accomplished as a vocalist and on the guitar, bass and ukulele.

She is a member of the All Access All-Star band out of Stages Music Arts. Morgan also plays at many local venues, open-mike nights and festivals. Back in November, Morgan auditioned for “America’s Got Talent” in New York City when she was sent by the Mix 106.5 radio station to the front of the audition line as a winner of their local talent contest. Congratulations to Morgan, and we are excited to see where you go next.

The Historical Society of Baltimore County (HSBC) recently honored John McGrain, a longtime local historian, for his many contributions to the historical society by dedicating the John W. McGrain Exhibit Room in the Historic Almshouse on the County Home campus in Cockeysville. Mr. McGrain was recognized for his tireless work in researching, documenting and sharing local history.

McGrain, who is in his late 80s, is a prolific photographer who has captured images of Baltimore County for more than 70 years. He has published several books dedicated to our local history in Baltimore, both the city and the county, and his photography is often the centerpiece of these volumes.

He served as the official Baltimore County historian for almost 20 years beginning in 1998 and was former secretary of the Baltimore County Landmarks Preservation Committee. Mr. McGrain is also a lifetime member and past president of the HSBC. He was honored during a ceremony in June and awarded a plaque by Jamie Keffer, the HSBC executive director.

The HSBC is celebrating its 60th anniversary year in 2019 and plans to reinvigorate its museum offerings in the exhibit space. The room was dedicated while the Smithsonian Institution’s Water/Ways exhibit was in residence for a six-week stay.

The exhibit focused on water and its effects on society and also had a local component that showcased Baltimore County’s mill history along with a special lecture series focused on local waterways.

While the next exhibition has not yet been announced, the Sunday Speaker Series over the next several months will feature interesting lectures on topics ranging from fallout shelters to the Ma & Pa Railroad to Baltimore suffrage history.

You may want to plan ahead for the talk on the always popular topic, Remembering the Village of Texas, MD, scheduled for Oct. 13. Check out www.hsobc.org for more specific information. Congratulations to John McGrain on his recent honor!

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