5-week summer concert series to open today


The temperature won't be the only thing hot this month as the Carroll County Department of Recreation and Parks takes residents on a musical tour during its summer concert series.

Every Sunday will sizzle with a different sound, beginning today with country music singer Marge Calhoun and the New Heartaches. Ms. Calhoun has opened nationally for such country music acts as Travis Tritt, Marty Stuart, the Judds, the Oakridge Boys and the Gatlin Brothers.

All concerts in the series will start at 7 p.m. at the Westminster City Park off Longwell Avenue. Dinners will be sold from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. each week, with catering by area restaurants.

The five-week series will feature a group that baby boomers in particular should recognize. Remember "Up on the Roof," "Under the Boardwalk" and "This Magic Moment"? The Drifters will perform July 23, so get out your poodle skirt and bobby socks.

Other acts are more regional.

The Monumental Brass Quintet will bring its blend of classical, Broadway, march and popular music to the playground July 9.

On July 16, Swing Central will take you back to the big band jazz era.

The Chorus of the Chesapeake, a 90-member barbershop group, will round out the series July 30 with a cappella sound.

The revamped "Concerts in the Park" series of past years is gone, replaced by "A Month of Sundays." Each concert will focus on a different style and era of music.

"We had a committee to select the groups, and we had possibilities we looked at for the big-name group," said Jennie DeArmey, recreation and parks support services coordinator. "We wanted a blend of music and one big-name band."

As an added attraction, the committee is bringing in local restaurants to offer an array of dinner items for listeners who wish to make an evening of it.

The restaurants are Marciano's, a division of Genova's Restaurant, today; the Quail Ridge Inn, July 9; Wilhelm Ltd. Caterers, July 16; Marciano's and Wilhelm, July 23; and Champ's, July 30.

"Our goal is to bring the community together for a community concert series," Ms. DeArmey said.

In cooperation with the county, the Westminster City Recreation Department donated the city park as the site for the concert series.

The "Concerts in the Park" series presented concerts that were scattered throughout the summer at different parks of the county. Ms. DeArmey said attendance had been diminishing, so the new format was chosen.

"The series is a partnership with other players looking at one site, so people would be more inclined to go to the concerts," Ms. DeArmey said.

The concert also is sponsored by a local business that will help to underwrite the cost of the performers. Sponsors include Lehigh Portland Cement, Dan Fangmeyer and Integrity Recycling Inc., Pizza Hut of Maryland Inc., Carroll County Bank and Trust Co. and the Community Foundation of Carroll County Inc.

The concerts are free, but the recreation and parks department is asking concert-goers to bring a donation for Human Services Programs of Carroll County.

"We're asking people to bring diapers, baby food, canned food items, paper goods, those kinds of things," Ms. DeArmey said.

Information: 857-2103.

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