EIGHT CHILDREN from Carroll County were selected to perform in "The Nutcracker" at the Lyric Opera House in Baltimore this year. Performances were given Dec. 15, 20, 21 and 22.
Every year a different professional ballet company brings its production of "The Nutcracker" to the Lyric, and local children audition for a chance to work with it.
This year, the Indianapolis Ballet Theatre selected 40 children from 120.
"There are a lot of talented and very well-trained kids in Baltimore," said Sherry Anderson, who coordinates the children's parts for the production company. "This is the creme de la creme."
Bethany Alford of Hampstead was chosen to play a soldier. It's the 9-year-old's third appearance in "The Nutcracker."
At age 3, she took a creative movement class at Falls Road Dance Studio in Hampstead. Six years later, she joined the School of Music and Ballet in Hanover, Pa.
A fourth-grader at Hampstead Elementary School, Bethany dreams of writing, teaching schooland being a dance instructor.
"She said she wants to form a company that does everything she wants to do, and I had to laugh," said her mother, Marcia Alford.
Megan Grogan, 8, of Westminster also was chosen as a soldier. She's a third-grade student at St. Johns School in Westminster and one of the youngest chosen.
New costumes were sewn in Russia, at a cost of about $46,000. The costumes will travel with the production for about 10 years.
Ashlie Fisher, 8, a third-grader at Mechanicsville Elementary School, has studied ballet for six years at Tami-Gee Studio in Finksburg. She was cast as one of four pages in the Court of the King and Queen.
Other children in the production were: Kelly McCauley of Finksburg, as a soldier; Nicole Figley of New Windsor and Cassie Marion of Finksburg, as pages; and Beth Bolster of Finksburg and Cara Horner of Westminster, who performed with four other children in the "Waltz of the Flowers."
Towson-based Performing Arts Productions, directed by Nicholas Latrenta, brings shows to theaters throughout the country, including "The Nutcracker" to the Lyric each year.
Having local children perform with professional artists was Latrenta's idea.
Scouts do good deeds
Cub Scouts are known for good deeds. In Hampstead, every Scout in Pack 790 did more than one good deed this month.
About 70 boys, first- through fifth-graders, are in the pack, which is sponsored by Spring Garden Elementary School.
The boys created place mats, which will be used during holiday meals at Shepherd's Staff in Westminster, a cooperative ministry that provides basics for the impoverished.
They also donated items to a needy family adopted by the pack.
The family received a tree with ornaments made by the Scouts, a holiday dinner, a $300 gift certificate and a carload of household products.
At the pack meeting Friday,each den described its community-service activities.
Den 10 collected art supplies and donated them to the Johns Hopkins Children's Center.
Den 9 adopted a wolf, which is an endangered species.
Den 2 bought new, unwrapped gifts for Toys for Tots.
Tiger Cub Den 12 collected about 30 new and used books for the children's ward at Carroll County General Hospital and donated a Little Tykes bookshelf.
Tiger Cub Den 11 donated new, unwrapped toys to Shepherd's Staff in Westminster.
Eagle Den collected money to donate to a food pantry.
Dragon Den created trail mix packages for distribution by Shepherd's Staff in Westminster.
Trailblazer Den collected a box of food and sold about $45 worth of raffle tickets to support 11-year-old Jamie Ridgely's programs for the needy.
Barracuda Den donated used toys to a local program.
Den 1 sang carols and served homemade cookies to residents of Ridgely House, a Hampstead retirement community.
Pub Date: 12/26/96