Guitarist Charlie Byrd, famous for producing more than 80 albums of jazz, classical and Latin music, has been named the first "Maryland Art Treasure" by the Community Arts Alliance of Maryland.
Modeled after the Japanese practice of recognizing the lifelong achievements of its premiere artists and crafts people, the Maryland Art Treasure program recognizes an artist who has made a lifetime contribution in his or her field in the state. As part of the program, Mr. Byrd will accept performing engagements around the state for a 15-month tour.
Mr. Byrd became known as a jazz musician in New York in the 1940s and studied classical guitar with Andres Segovia in the 1950s. One of his best-known albums, "Jazz Samba," recorded with Stan Getz in 1962, helped introduce the bossa nova to the United States. Mr. Byrd often plays with his trio at the King of France Tavern in the Maryland Inn in Annapolis.
CAAM is an educational non-profit corporation formed to foster professionalism and cooperation between the county arts councils as well as to support increased artistic opportunities for state residents.
Several Howard County art galleries will sponsor free open houses and gallery tours next weekend as part of the county's showcase of the 1993-'94 gallery season.
The following places will offer open houses from 4:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday: the Howard County Center for the Arts and the Board of Education Professional Gallery & National Quilting Association Gallery, both in Ellicott City; Howard Community College Gallery; the Savage Mill Art Guild Galleries; Slayton House Gallery; Foundry Street Gallery; and the Ruby Blakeney Gallery in Columbia and the southern part of the county.
Saturday, visitors may attend openings from noon until 5 p.m. at Renaissance Fine Arts in Columbia and the Linda Roberts Gallery in Clarksville. The event is coordinated by the Howard County Arts Council. For details, call (410) 313-ARTS.
Valerie Stains, music adviser and concert coordinator for the Dumbarton Oaks Friends of Music concerts, has been named artistic director of the Concert Society of Maryland.
Begun as a seven-concert series in 1976, the Concert Society has grown into an organization based at the University of Maryland at College Park that offers more than 20 concerts a year. Concerts are usually held at the University College Conference Center on campus.
Until recently, Ms. Stains also worked as associate features producer for National Public Radio's "Performance Today," the daily classical music program of performances, interviews and features.
Solo performing artists -- actors, dancers, instrumental musicians and singers -- are now eligible to receive state awards, according to the Maryland State Arts Council.
A limited number of grants ranging from $1,000 to $6,000 will be awarded to those artists who are Maryland residents, aged 18 or older and are not enrolled in a degree program related to the arts category in which they applying. Groups or ensembles of two or more artists or collaborating artists may not apply.
Each applicant may enter only one of the following categories: Solo dance performance (all styles unaccompanied or with appropriate musical accompaniment).
Solo instrumental performance (all styles of music performed live on any instrument; unaccompanied or with appropriate accompaniment).
Solo theater performance (acting, recitation, dramatic reading, mime, storytelling, puppetry).
Solo vocal performance (all styles; unaccompanied or with appropriate musical accompaniment).
The deadline for applications is Oct. 22. For additional information and application forms, call the arts council at (410) 333-8232.
The Ballet Theatre of Annapolis will hold auditions for ballet students to appear in the annual production of "Nutcracker" from 4 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Friday at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts, 801 Chase St., Annapolis.
Dancers must be at least 7 years old and accompanied by an adult. The dress is black leotard and pink tights for girls and white T-shirt and black tights for boys.
The production is choreographed by Edward Stewart, BTA's artistic director. Performances are Dec. 3 and 4 at Towson State University and Dec. 9, 11, 12, 17, 18 and 19 at Maryland Hall. Dancers who are selected will rehearse Friday evenings.
Nearly 100 ballet students are chosen every year. For details about audition times and other information, call (410) 263-8289.
The Timonium Dinner Theatre will hold auditions for its production of "Annie" at 7 p.m. tomorrow and Wednesday at the theater, 9603 Deereco Road. For information, call (410) 560-1113.