A MEAL at a bagel shop is usually a light breakfast or lunch, maybe coffee and conversation with a friend or two.
But there's something new at the Clarksville Bagel Bin. On Friday evenings, you'll soon be able to eat dinner, sip a cappuccino and listen to live jazz.
Bagel Bin manager Lee Glushakow was bitten by the jazz bug about 10 years ago, when he heard the Bing Miller Big Band play at Buddies Pub & Jazz Club on North Charles Street in Baltimore.
"I really enjoyed them, and I got the impression they'd play even if they didn't get paid," he said.
Glushakow had always liked rock 'n' roll, but this experience awakened a new interest in jazz, and he has become a follower of the Bing Miller band. Miller died last year, but the rest of the band continues to perform under his name.
Jonathan Cox, 17, a River Hill High School student who works at the Bagel Bin, told Glushakow about a class he was taking called Jazz Lab. Students in the class study jazz history and styles. They also play instruments and improvise their music.
Glushakow thought it would be a great idea to bring this kind of entertainment to his restaurant in River Hill Village Center. It could attract dinner business and provide an activity for area high school students.
Many of the musicians in Jazz Lab had formed bands outside of school, and several of them began playing at the Bagel Bin last winter.
One band, known as Merge V,released a compact disc last month and celebrated the event by performing at the Bagel Bin. Their families and friends were on hand to recognize the accomplishment, and copies of the CD were for sale.
Merge V is a group of five teen-agers who have been performing together for just more than a year. They play jazz and rock.
River Hill graduate Graham Summers, 18, is the band's vocalist as well as guitarist. His brother Alec, 15, plays keyboards. Ethan Montgomery, 16, is a bass guitarist and sings backup vocals. Alex Mekelburg, 17, plays saxophone and flute.
Alec, Ethan and Alex attend River Hill. Ryan Mead, 15, from Rockville, is the drummer.
The four River Hill band members had been playing together and were looking for a drummer. They met Ryan at a jazz camp at Goucher College last summer -- and say it was a perfect match.
"All five of us totally believe in what we're doing," Graham said. "We have completely different music backgrounds and all came together."
The band chose the name Merge because, Graham says, "we want to bring people together, put aside their differences."
The band's CD, "Merge Left," features 10 original songs and instrumental numbers. One of the songs is an arrangement of themes from Nintendo video games.
Other songs have titles that refer to contemporary culture, such as "Screensaver" and "Classifieds."
Song lyrics, as well as other information on the band, can be found at its Web site: www.mergev.com.
The group's manager, Damon Foreman of Columbia, helped the band produce the CD. The band members felt it was important to have a product that could be used to promote the band.
"I really feel these guys have everything it takes to make it to the big stage -- the drive, the looks, the talent," Foreman said.
According to Graham, the band hopes to pursue a professional career.
"It's our dream, and I believe we'll do it," he said.
After the CD release, Glushakow said, "I'm real impressed and excited for them."
He's also pleased with the response he has gotten to the entertainment and plans to showcase young local talent most Fridays during the school year.
"I'm sure Bing would be proud," Glushakow said of his efforts to expose more people to jazz.
Get that gift wrap
With school back in session, PTAs have begun raising funds to pay for student programs and activities.
The West Friendship Elementary PTA kicked off its Sally Foster gift-wrap sale this week. In addition to gift wrap, ribbon, cards and gift bags, Harry London chocolates are available.
Committee chairwoman Linda Sink says this is usually the largest fund-raiser of the year. The school keeps 50 percent of the revenue to pay for cultural arts programs, classroom enrichment activities and family programs.
If the school surpasses last year's participation rate or total sales, Principal Sandra McAmis and Assistant Principal Barbara White have promised to wear their pajamas to school for a day.
The PTA will provide a party for the class that has the greatest level of student participation and for the class with the highest overall sales.
Items can be purchased from any West Friendship pupil or by calling Linda Sink at 410-442-1527 or Carrie Vagnoni at 301-854-5149.
The sale continues through Sept. 24.
Western Howard County Soccer's Thunder travel club is offering Pampered Chef cookbooks for sale.
Proceeds from the sale will go to the boys' under-10 teams to cover tournament fees and other expenses.
"The cookbook has 200 recipes for appetizers, salads, entrees and desserts," says Dottie DeCesare, co-chair of the club's fund-raising committee. "It would make a great holiday gift for teachers, grandparents, aunts and uncles."
The cookbook, called "Recipes from the Heart," sells for $10 and can be ordered by calling 410-531-5974. The soccer teams will make $4 from each book sold.
Fifth District award
Congratulations are in order for the hard-working men and women of the Fifth District Volunteer Fire Department of Clarksville.
During the recent Maryland State Firemen's Association convention, they received the Zembower Fire Service Training Award.
This is the second year in a row that Fifth District members have received the award, which is given to the fire department with the highest average number of formal training hours per active member.
The award was established in 1976 in memory of Cromwell Zembower, past president of the Maryland State Firemen's Association.
River Hill honors
Attention has turned to the 1999-2000 school year, but members of the River Hill High School class of 1999 deserve recognition for their impressive academic accomplishments.
The top 5 percent of the class received Scholastic Merit Award Certificates from the state of Maryland. They were David Adler, Emily Ashcraft, Carolina Collison, Derek Dauberman, Rose Dubel, Stephen Glasgow, Kathleen Kelley, Monica O'Neill, Brian Parr, Mary Patillo, Maria Polise, Larisa Stahl, Drew Woodbury and Sarah Youn.
David Adler and Kathleen Kelley were National Merit Scholarship Program Finalists.
National Merit Scholarship Program Commended Students were Emily Ashcraft, Steve Glasgow, Corinna Heinz, Theodore Kim, Joseph Lawrence, Alexander Leaf, Elizabeth Morice, Jared Mowery, Maria Polise, Graham Summers, Brian Tarricone, Robert Wellman, Drew Woodbury and Sarah Youn.
Many seniors were honored by the Maryland Distinguished Scholar, Academic Achievement Program.
David Adler, Elizabeth Ashcraft, Steve Glasgow, Kathleen Kelley, Maria Polise, Drew Woodbury and Sarah Youn received scholarships.
Rose Dubel, Brian Parr and Brian Tarricone were semifinalists in the competition.
Receiving Honorable Mentions were Kevin Abtahi, John Alascio, David Anderson, Sarah Berson, Carolina Collison, Derek Dauberman, Heather Doyle, Joseph Lawrence, Alexander Leaf, Benjamin Maloy, Morgan Newell, Heidi Nowack, Monica O'Neill, Mary Patillo, Russell Popkin, Michael Prada, Heather Ring and Jessica Weeks.
Other students were honored in the Maryland Distinguished Scholar Talent in the Arts Program.
Stephanie Waters was a finalist in vocal music; Larisa Stahl in drama.
Honorable Mentions went to Jerome Fleg, instrumental music; Rebecca Foster, dance; and Christina Green, visual art.