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Be in the midst of music at Open Rehearsal Showcase

When you've been to a concert, have you ever wondered what it sounded like not to be sitting in the audience, but in the in the middle of all of that sound on stage? Why not find out?

If you would like to sit with the band, the JoeyDCares Rock Orchestra will give you that chance. From 7 to 8:30 p.m. April 24, you can actually sit in on a band rehearsal at the Freedom Optimist Hall, 6315 Sykesville Road, Eldersburg. Best of all, admission is free.

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The Open Rehearsal Showcase, as it's called, will let you feel the energy of being in the middle of the band. "This showcase gives Carroll County the opportunity to participate in an exciting new musical movement — breaking the barriers between the performers and the spectators," Joanna Schofield, a member of the orchestra's publicity committee, wrote in an email.

"It was a two-fold idea," said Edie Lee, vice president of the orchestra's board of directors. "The first part was that we wanted to try something new to get the community into the music; the other concept was that it helped people learn who we are and get people involved with the orchestra."

Lee described how the orchestra has moved its seating around to practice playing in a circle to get ready for the April 24 showcase. Audience members can sit inside the circle, or outside, if they are more comfortable there.

"If anyone is considering joining the band, they are welcome to bring their instrument," Lee said. "Let us know in advance, so we can have music ready for them to read."

The JoeyDCares Rock Orchestra has both youth and adult members, and for some of them, orchestra participation is a family affair. Lee said, "I have a daughter who is an eighth-grade French horn player. Both my husband and I play: He plays keyboard and I play French horn."

The group draws talented musicians from not just the South Carroll area, but from all of Carroll County and some surrounding counties. "We have around 30 members," said Lee. "With all of the crew, it's about 40 people."

Since the focus of the JoeyDCares Rock Orchestra is to play concerts for charity, the Open Rehearsal Showcase presents a rare opportunity for the community to hear the band for free. The band will be playing rock, pop, Motown, jazz and classical favorites for the showcase.

For more information, check the website at http://www.JDCRockOrchestra.org. You can also email JoeyD@JDCRockOrchestra.org or call 410-549-6296 and leave a message in Mailbox No. 6.

The orchestra is part of the Freedom Area Recreation Council.

Also, mark your calendars now to save the date for the JoeyDCares Rock Orchestra annual Rockin' the Cause concert, set for 6 p.m. May 30 at Century High School. Watch this column for upcoming information about that concert to support Carroll County Special Olympics.

Ultimate action

Do the warmer days bring back memories of running around with your friends and tossing a Frisbee? If you still have the urge to get your hands on a disc, it's time to check out Freedom Ultimate Now!

With the weather warming up, Freedom Ultimate Now! will soon begin having games for what the Freedom Area Recreation Council newsletter describes as High School to 50-Plus. "We have a cross-generational co-ed game from 6:30 to dark on Wednesday summer nights at Hodges Park," John Gallagher said at the Freedom Health Expo in January.

The sport of Ultimate uses a flying disc instead of a ball and combines some of the skills of soccer and basketball on a football-style field layout. It no longer carries the "Frisbee" brand name, since the sport uses discs from a different manufacturer.

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To learn more about the upcoming Freedom Ultimate Now! schedule for the 2015 season, including youth and high school programs, go to http://www.freedomultimate.org. You can also find out more about the sport of Ultimate at http://www.usaultimate.org/about/ultimate/.

For more information, email info@freedomultimate.org or leave a message at the Freedom Area Recreation Council number: 410-549-6296.

Nancy McKenzie covers Berrett, Eldersburg, Flohrville, Gaither, Gist, Johnsville, Louisville, Marriottsville and Sykesville. Contact her at 410-848-2260 or mckenzietimes@comcast.net.

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