Check out the new mosaics at the Savage library's display case. Once again the fine artists from Forest Ridge Elementary, under the able direction of Roberta Laric, have enlivened this public space. Look for the gold and silver boxes by Kyle Theil and Shannon Tims, the purple box by Crystal Fitzgerald and the house-shaped box by Christine Tran. Keewna Lee and Liz Bartlett used sequins and old buttons to transform boxes of their own. The students also decorated items other than boxes. Check out Jane Pall's gilded fashion doll, cavorting on a full-sized roller skate. Jennifer Gril worked her artistic magic on a red and black vase. Wesley Lippe transformed a football helmet into a work of art. Emily Garber created a seascape shadow box.
Tuesday, the Savage Community Choir, an organization that exists solely for this one performance, gave its performance of Handel's "Messiah" at Savage Mill. An unqualified "Wow!" The setting was lovely, what with the renovations finally completed and all the shop fronts at the mill ringed in garlands and twinkling lights. It was a standing-room-only concert, with people spilling out into the halls.
Fortunately, there were video monitors that let the latecomers see the concert as well as hear it, thanks to Steve Wallace and Dave Emmons. Dave Chadwick led the Savage United Methodist Church ringers in several carols before the Rev. Ernest Beevers, pastor of the Savage Baptist Church, welcomed everyone.
The Rev. Robert Hunter of Wesley Chapel United Methodist Church led the choir and the audience in two carols, interspersed with the presentations of citations from Shane Pendergrass, Howard County's council chairwoman, and Del. Virginia Thomas, D-13A, our area's delegate to the state legislature.
(Astute readers can now guess that the organizers were giving late arrivals plenty of chances to settle before beginning the "Messiah.")
There are too many people involved to thank all who deserve it or to acknowledge the amount of effort involved in the production. But a quick look at the program reveals that there were 80 singers in the community choir, 16 members of the orchestra, 11 in the church ringers and four soloists. Theirs were the more visible efforts.
I'll mention the efforts of the less-visible participants, such as Elisa Firth, who laid out the programs and designed the posters; Leslie Knight and Ed Lewis, who were the assistant directors of the chorus; Patricia Riley, who kept the books; Deborah Menard, the secretary; Barbara Collins, Marilyn Commer and Becky Hunter, who solicited ads for the program; Connie North, who found concert sponsors, and Dona Costlow, who chaired the publicity committee. Special thanks go to Bob Hunter, Marissa Miller, Teresa Devault and Sara Wahl, all busy before the concert setting up the room, ushering and serving refreshments.
To these, to the singers, to music director Ray Miles whose dream this was, thank you for a great time.
Though the concert was free, a collection was taken up in support of charities. Last year, the concert netted $2,200 for charity. This year's more ambitious goal was to raise $5,000. The total stands at $4,000, and some of the money from the ad sales has yet to be counted.
Because of that effort, the AIDS Alliance of Howard County, FISH of Laurel, Grassroots crisis intervention center and World Vision, an international relief agency, each should get a nice chunk of change this week. And if you attended the concert, but didn't bring your checkbook along, feel free to send a donation directly to the charity of your choice. Or call Ray Miles if you have any questions, at (301) 604-0703.
While at the mill before the concert began, I stopped by to see the winners of the gingerbread-baking contest held there. Only half the edible edifices were really houses. The rest were wonderfully varied. Lucy Muzzy and Christopher Muzzy took first and second prizes in the student category for a white frosted Victorian mansion and a wheat-roofed cottage, respectively.
Shirley Gibbons won the blue ribbon in the traditional category for a gingerbread cottage through whose windows you could see a ginger family sitting at table by a frosted Christmas tree. Rose Staah won the second prize for her pink-frosted, pastel-roofed cottage, complete with marzipan snowman in the yard.
In the unusual category, there were greatly imaginative pieces. The Donahue family contributed a barnyard scene, complete with gingerbread ducks on a candy lake. Gertrude Mary Jones made an entire merry-go-round, with lions and horses cavorting around the brass ring. Sharon France won third prize for her see-through bird house, complete with nest and baby birds inside. Sharon Murray made a copy of the Hooper Strait lighthouse, and Jan Solverson won first prize for her Christmas spider web. Her tableau consisted of the corner of a room, made of gingerbread and hung with a sugar-paste spider web, complete with frosting garland, miniature stockings, a sampler and a frosting Santa spider.
In the professional category, John Neault won third prize for his cookie version of Jurassic Park, including dinosaurs eating green trees. Paul Ganoe won second prize for his faithful copy of the Laurel train station in candy bits. Finally, the grand prize was won by Frank Santillrano of the Wooden Shoe Pastry shop. His entry has a moving windmill as the centerpiece.
Check out these exhibits if you visit the mill this holiday season. The mill merchants are staying open until 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays during the holidays.
The Savage Post Office will stay open until 4 p.m. for the next two Saturdays, Dec. 11 and Dec. 18, to give us procrastinators a chance to get our cards in the mail.