When a subsidized apartment building for senior citizens was built at the edge of an Annapolis neighborhood notorious for drugs, crime and violence, many potential residents were concerned about safety and the general atmosphere.
Little hope existed for the resolution of the racial, economic and generational tensions until the Rev. Hulan Marshall of Second Chance Ministries in Annapolis proposed what Carol Youmans describes as one of his "simple and wonderful solutions to community problems."
Ms. Youmans of Free State Press on West Street is working with Mr. Marshall on the "Annapolis Together" concert Sunday at St. John's College.
"What he did was to match individual Clay Street neighborhood kids to seniors in the development," she said. "He created a buddy system in which youthful energy provides errands, maintenance and miscellaneous chores, and maturity returns the favor with mentoring, guidance, job references and the like."
One-on-one relationships bring broader-based respect and understanding.
Ms. Youmans is equally enthusiastic about Noah's Ark, another of Mr. Marshall's endeavors. Under his direction, people sentenced to community service have built and are maintaining a home that provides a loving, caring environment for children whose parents are in drug rehabilitation programs.
Noah's Ark is one of two programs benefiting from the "Annapolis Together" concert. The other is Phoenix Center of Annapolis, a program for emotionally disturbed children who can't cope with a full day of school but still need teaching, guidance and stability.
"Annapolis Together! A Musical Celebration of Our Community," is a creation of Remember Inc., which in recent summers has brought us "The Annapolis I Remember" and "Annapolis Celebrations."
Ms. Youmans describes the production as a mixture of gospel, blues, jazz, pop, and folk, with the common theme of unity. The concert will feature Tony Spencer with John Starr Jr., Parris Lane, Mac Bogert, Debra Barber, Yehoshua Redfern, the Queen Sisters and the St. Philip's Gospel Youth Choir.
Tickets, $10 each, are available at all Annapolis Bank and Trust branches. They also may be purchased at Key Auditorium before the concert starts at 3 p.m. A reception with refreshments will follow the performance.
Concert organizers are hoping that businesses and individuals make donations to defray expenses, so that every possible penny can go to the two target organizations.
For information, call Youmans, 269-1484, or Karen Colletti, 956-4041.
If you're into planning, circle May 11 on the 1996 calendar you surely already have.
It's the date for the Second Annual Chesapeake Area Senior Prom, sponsored by South County Cultural Arts Inc. (SCCA).
The first prom, last month at Our Lady of Perpetual Help hall, inspired high school memories from the '30s to the '80s and was described as "the prettiest dance party ever held in Southern Anne Arundel County."
Music was provided by the 17-piece big band, Reunion.
It isn't necessary to wait until next May to have great musical fun in South County, however.
The arts group has scheduled the Navy Band's jazz/rock quartet, Topside, for Saturday and a pre-July Fourth show with the 55-piece National Concert Band of America and a fireworks display Sunday.
The Topside concert is at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at West River Center on Chalk Point Road near Churchton. The Sunday concert, co-sponsored by Herrington on the Bay, is at Rose Haven in Friendship at 8 p.m. Both concerts, and most of the other SCCA summer offerings, are free.
For more information or cancellations caused by weather, call (410)-867-0888 or 224-8825.
The fifth leg of the Annapolis Striders Championship Series is scheduled July 8 at Bates Track behind Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts.