STRIKE UP the bands -- 21 of them.
Severna Park High School's 21st Annual Tournament of Bands begins at 5 p.m. Saturday on the school's athletic field, featuring the colorful costumes and silk flags of high school entries from across Maryland, Delaware and Pennsylvania.
This is the high school's largest event, drawing hundreds of spectators: booster-club parents, judges and performers.
The 20 competing bands are divided into four categories, based on the number of musicians.
Division I, with up to 35 musicians, features marching bands from Chesapeake High School in Pasadena; Charles County's Lackey High; Col. Richardson High from Denton; Calvert County's Northern High; and Harford County's Northeast and Perryville high schools.
Division II, with 36 to 55 musicians, includes Annapolis-area Christian, and Anne Arundel County's Old Mill and Glen Burnie high schools; Elkton High from Cecil County; Harford's Fallston High; and South Carroll High from Carroll County.
Division III, with 56 to 80 musicians, will have entries from Arundel High; Calvert Hall, from Baltimore County; Montgomery County's Paint Branch Senior High; New Oxford from Pennsylvania; and Concord and Seaford highs from Delaware.
Division IV, with 81 or more musicians, will be represented by Anne Arundel's Broadneck High and Caesar Rodney High School from Delaware.
As host school, SPHS won't compete but will perform music from "Les Miserables."
On Oct. 16, the SPHS band will compete in the Maryland state championships at Towson University. If the school qualifies by earning enough points in the preliminary competitions, it will be invited to the Atlantic Coast Conference Championships Nov. 14 in Scranton, Pa.
When a student becomes part of the band, his parents become members of the band booster club, a support group that raises money for instruments, uniforms and trips, chaperones trips and assists the band's dedicated director, R. Thomas Powell.
The boosters and band members sponsor monthly fund-raisers, selling submarine sandwiches and pizza. The next sale will be Nov. 13. The 6 a.m. assembly line of parents and teens making subs and pizzas in the cafeteria is an event in itself.
"These activities pull the people together," said booster Lorraine Duncan, mother of junior Steve, a percussionist. "We all work well together."
To order pizzas for the Nov. 13 event, call the school at 410-544-0900.
Tournament tickets are $5 and can be obtained at the Music and Arts Center in Park Plaza and at the gate.
Celebrate Severna Park
The second Celebrate Severna Park will be held from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.
Sponsored by the Greater Severna Park Chamber of Commerce and Community Center at Woods, the celebration will feature entertainment, activities and food.
A wonderful model railroad exhibit designed by Dr. Logan Holtgrewe, Sam Shepherd and the rest of the Severna Park Railroad Club is on display in the old train station, on McKinsey Road in Olde Severna Park.
In the chamber building next door, check out the collection of work by talented artists Carolyn Councell, Kathleen Ryan Gardiner and Joan Machinchick.
Both exhibits are open from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Information: Linda Zahn at the chamber, 410-647-3900.
Our Shepherd Lutheran Church on Benfield Road will present a concert by the contemporary Christian band Watermark at 7: 30 p.m. Oct. 17.
Watermark is touring the nation this fall before leaving on a six-month mission to Germany.