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Harford Community College instructor, musician Benny Russell one of governor's 'Green Bag' appointments

Renowned musician and recording artist Benny Russell, who has served as an adjunct instructor of music at Harford Community College since 2005, was nominated to the Maryland State Arts Council.
Renowned musician and recording artist Benny Russell, who has served as an adjunct instructor of music at Harford Community College since 2005, was nominated to the Maryland State Arts Council. (Courtesy Harford Community College)

Renowned musician and recording artist Benny Russell, who has served as an adjunct instructor of music at Harford Community College since 2005, was nominated to the Maryland State Arts Council.

He is one of five Harford residents nominated for appointment to 63 different boards and commissions across the state, according to a news release from Gov. Larry Hogan’s office. The appointments must be confirmed by the Senate.

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Hogan submitted the names of 124 “Green Bag” nominees Friday to the Maryland State Senate, delivered by Secretary of Appointments Chris Cavey to Senate President Thomas V. “Mike” Miller.

The term “Green Bag” dates back to 17th century England and refers to the green satchel that is used once every year to bring the gubernatorial nominations to the Senate. It is a longstanding tradition for a member of the governor’s staff to deliver the bag once a year to the Maryland State Senate.

Harford Community College will present Man of Peace: A Concert of Remembrance on Saturday, April 14 at 7 PM in Harford Community College’s Chesapeake Theater.

Russell, who plays sax, clarinet and flute, performs locally with HCC’s Jazz Ensemble, which includes Harford Community College students.

He has performed with such music greats as Harry Belafonte, Carrie Smith, Woody Shaw, David Murray, Little Jimmy Scott, Melba Moore, Roberta Flack, Glenn Close, Lou Reed, Whitney Houston, Linda Hopkins and Etta James and performed around the world, according to his biography on the HCC website, www.harford.edu.

Russell haired the Jazz Division at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music from 1995 to 2004. After an extensive career in New York City, Russell moved to Harford County. He chaired the Jazz Department at the Maryland Conservatory of Music in 2004 and has been teaching at HCC since 2005.

At Harford, he teaches the History of Pop Music in the U.S., Jazz Ensemble, private saxophone and private jazz improvisation. Russell also teaches at Rock Spring Jazz Academy as a sax and jazz instructor and he is a freelance artist.

Other Harford nominees include:

Randall J. Cunningham, who works for the Harford County Department of Emergency Services, was nominated to the Emergency Number Systems Board;

Geneau M. Thames, the chief legal adviser and counselor for Harford Mutual Insurance Co., to the State Ethics Commission;

Cassandra B.Y. Tomarchio, a member of the Havre de Grace City Council and a management analyst for the U.S. Army CECOM Software Engineering Center at Aberdeen Proving Ground, was appointed to the Maryland Health Care Commission in 2016 to a term that expires Sept. 30, when her new term begins.

Gregory Scott Schott, the chief plumbing inspector for the Harford County Department of Public Works, to the State Board of Plumbing.

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