GORMAN CROSSING Elementary School in Laurel has successfully finished the first half of its first year with flying colors. It's a great school.
Parents, teachers, students and staff members joined to celebrate the school's successes last week with two artistic performances. First was a winter concert.
Remember, the school opened in August -- not a lot of time to organize bands and choirs.
Fortunately, the school has instrumental director Ron Bowman to rely on. Formerly of Hammond High School, Bowman is used to getting terrific performances from his students. While at Hammond, his jazz and orchestral groups won state and national honors.
So, just five months after opening its doors, Gorman Crossing boasts a band, a string section and a choir. Matthew McCoy is choir director.
Involved in this concert were 31 students in the Beginning Strings section, 32 singers in the choir and 29 players in Beginning Band.
Advanced Strings performers were Geoffrey Chandler, Kristin Whitlock, Sara Fan, Ajay Francis, Megan Li, Elias Yoon, Rebecca Kaiser, Jessica Johnson, Amy Holt and Jonathan Chandler.
Advanced Band members were Meagan Ellis, Alexis Green, Jordan Machen, Bryden McGhee, Raadha Raswant, Christie Riley, Katie Taylor, Kevin Johnson, Brian Pettit, James Tsikerdanos, Theresa Macheski, Alex Arciero, Daniel Gear, Josh Stein, Matthew Donohue, Alex Sheffrin and Chris Bonnell.
The concert easily demonstrated the children's musical prowess. The next night, the school community had a variety show.
The students put on 12 acts, including performances by the fourth-grade ribbon dance team, the Backstreet Tumblers (the gymnastics team) and musical performances by two violinists, a flutist and a piano player.
Also performing were a yo-yo demonstrator, several vocalists and a dancer.
Student performers included Zachary Bornscheuer, Carley Daniels, Anjali David, Paige Faughn, Lauren Fischetti, Alexis Green, Maureen Harvie, Jessica Johnson, Amanda Lardner, Tracy Lieb, Lauren McAleer, Bryden McGhee, Brittany Matthews, Jessica Morgan, Ryan Olenick, Raadha Raswant, Gabrielle Rigaud, Kristina Schiller, Medina Shepherd, Danielle Sherry, Krissy Wesolowski and Nicole Zaner.
The performances were terrific, and the stage was gorgeous. Twinkling lights, lattice work and hanging stars illuminated the cafeteria's performing area.
Mark, Joey and Krissy Wesolowski built the enchanting backdrop. Karen Harvie cut out and pasted countless shiny stars for the set.
Bill Bonnell volunteered as emcee for the evening.
The PTA and Denise Wesolowski put the event together. Bakers Vivian Bonnell and Julie Perados and their crews made the delicious goodies for the refreshment table, and Patty Lardner did the show's programs.
A tip of the hat to the teachers and Principal Debbie Drown and Assistant Principal Corita Oduyoye, who performed the Soda Pop Stomp in the finale.
What a wonderful way to celebrate the accomplishments of the school's first half-year.
Dancing with Daddy
The cadets of Girl Scout Troop 679, which includes girls in grades eight, nine and 10, were hosts at the Girl Scout cluster's dance on Friday.
The dance, which in the past has been held in May, allows young Scouts, ages 5 to 11, and their fathers, grandpas or favorite uncles to spend an evening together.
This year, because the event was held early, punsters in the troop named it "Snow Ball" rather than "Best Beau Dance" as in previous years.
Troop leader Jessica Kemper said this was the first time that the Scouts did all the planning and the work themselves.
They interviewed and hired the disc jockey, Michael Endler. He is the father of Holly Heflin, who plays field hockey with troop members.
During a sleep-over at Jenne Hubbs' house -- her mother, Lynne, is an assistant troop leader -- troop members made 130 corsages for the dancers. They created an assembly line to put together a small bouquet of silk flowers on a pipe cleaner snowflake backing with pearls and netting surrounding the lot.
They ordered refreshments for the dance -- cheese and fruit trays, cookies and other nibbles -- and designed a photography corner for Scouts and their escorts.
And then the big day arrived.
Fathers, uncles and grandfathers danced with young ladies delighted to have their partners all to themselves for an evening. Some of the girls wore wrist corsages bought for them by their escorts.
Adults Terry Hackett, Jessica Kemper and Mary Anne Facente helped at the dance. Kemper was in charge of taking photographs.
She said she is amazed at the changes she has seen in the five years that the dance has been held.
"Some of the girls are now as tall as their fathers," Kemper said. "And they are so cute in their finery."
Troop 679 created a terrific evening and many memories.
Troop members Emily Barlow, Laura Erdman, Kristen Facente, Sarah Fixsen, Katie Hackett, Jenne Hubbs, Abby Keller, Jaimie Kemper, Amy Kennedy, Kathleen Langan and Briana Stephenson planned the dance.
The maintenance staff at Patuxent Valley Middle Schoolhelped make the evening go well.
Pub Date: 2/05/99