Pop jazz vocalist Suede tooted a bluesy horn, sang a smoky song and soon had the Severna Park High School Band yelling "Grammy! Grammy!"
Suede, who graduated from Severna Park High in 1975, visited classes yesterday to deliver a simple message to the students: You can make your dreams come true.
"It's possible to have a dream like mine and make it real," she said. "If that's where your heart is, you can make it happen."
Suede -- Sue deBronkart, dubbed Suede by an elementary school teacher -- taught herself to play the piano at age 3. In high school, she performed in the annual talent show, which she calls "my musical start."
By the time she reached Wartburg College in Iowa, she had decided to double major in trumpet and classical voice.
A few years after college, she moved back to the Baltimore area and worked in a record store. One day, she says, she decided to "take the plunge and pursue my childhood dream."
She left her job, wandered into a small Baltimore club and asked for an audition. They liked her.
Ten years later, Suede has her own label, has recorded two albums with national distribution and is touring nationally.
She will perform in a benefit concert at 7 p.m. Sunday at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts. The concert will benefit Our House and HAVEN, two county organizations dedicated to helping people who have acquired immune deficiency syndrome or the AIDS virus.
She performs regularly at the King of France Tavern in Annapolis and Blues Alley in Georgetown. She often gets to rub shoulders with big-name blues artists.
But the life of the up-and-coming star isn't all glamour, Suede told the students.
"I live out of my Subaru station wagon" traveling on tour, she says. "Really, I'm a Miata kind of person, but a keyboard, trumpet, music and clothes require space. It can be exhausting, but if the music is what you love, it's worth it."