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Coffeehouses provide outlet for musicians CENTRAL--Union Mills * Westminster * Sandymount * Finksburg


Music plays such an important part in the lives of so many people.

I can't imagine what it would be like driving in the car without my favorite radio station playing or not listening to the stereo when I'm at home in the evenings.

But for some, the joy of music goes well beyond listening to the sounds created by others.

It is their passion to write and play their own music or to play music written by other artists.

Take Westminster resident Roger Himler.

A mental health professional by day, for the past six years Mr. Himler has found enjoyment in performing folk music in his spare time.

"It's a real ego boost for me to be able to perform for others and share music that I like with the people," Mr. Himler said.

"The best part is when you are playing something and you know that you are connecting with the audience. It's a communion type of experience," he said.

At least once, sometimes twice a month, Mr. Himler sings and plays his guitar at coffeehouses and "open mikes" throughout the Baltimore and Washington area.

During the past six years, the 46-year-old musician has also performed here in Carroll County.

Thanks to the Carroll County Arts Council, Mr. Himler and other semiprofessional and amateur musicians in and around the county are afforded the opportunity to share their talents with an appreciative audience.

Each month, the arts council sponsors a coffeehouse, where eight to 10 performers play their musical preferences.

"There is really quite a variety of music that is played at the coffeehouses," Mr. Himler said. "There's folk, bluegrass, blues and even some acoustic rock 'n' roll. This is like rock 'n' roll without the drums and the song has an important message."

Mr. Himler said the coffeehouses are a great way for music lovers and artists to get together and benefit from one another.

"There are a lot of talented people in Carroll County and by performing at the coffeehouses they have the chance to show off those talents, and since it's live music, the audience gets to know the artist better," Mr. Himler said.

"Also, there's a lot of good music out there that doesn't get any airplay. This way people have the opportunity to hear that music,"

he said.

The coffeehouses, which were started nearly 10 years ago, are open to anyone who has an interest in performing.

From 8 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. this Saturday, Mr. Himler and other local artists will perform in the July Coffeehouse at Frisco Family Pub.

The cost is $5 per person, which includes coffee, iced tea, soda and snacks.

Other types of food and beverages are available for purchase.

If you are an acoustic performer and would be interested in playing at the coffeehouse, call 848-5299 or 848-2321.

For general information: 848-7272.


There's no better way to start your morning than with a nice hearty stack of steamin' pancakes, scrambled eggs and mouth-watering sausages.

Sound good? This tasty fare is the featured course from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. this Saturday at the First Assembly of God Church on Cranberry Road in Westminster.

The all-day Pancake and Sausage Feed is being sponsored by the church's Royal Ranger Group as a fund-raiser to buy camping equipment and to attend their District Pow Wow in late August.

The Royal Rangers is a national Christian organization sponsored by the Assemblies of God Church for boys 5 and older.

Tickets for the event can be purchased at the door. The price for adults is $3.50; for children under 6, $1.50.

Information: 848-8982 or 876-2639.

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