THE EVENING AIR was balmy, soft and warm. A breeze rustled the leaves in the trees, almost seeming to keep time to the music at Sunday's opening of the Crofton Civic Association (CCA) concert series on the Village Green.
Nearly 300 music lovers gathered for the event, some clustering lawn chairs to visit with friends while listening to the music. Several families spread blankets on the grass under the trees, sharing cool drinks and lying under the stars. Others sat along the surrounding brick walls, clapping to rock tunes and swaying dreamily to romantic melodies.
Pocket Change was the featured band for this first concert. Local musicians Ken Smith, George Vermilion, Bruce White and John Collins were joined by James Saunderson, filling in for group member Phil Butts.
For two hours, the band held the audience enthralled with a blend of light jazz, oldies and popular standards.
Little children running around in circles under the trees stopped short when the band played "Bring Your Sweet Loving" and danced happily to the beat. A smooth rendition of "Unforgettable" led one couple after another to move a little closer and join hands.
Crofton resident Jim Cratty considered the band perfect for just about any age group. Sure enough, the audience included grandparents, teen-agers and toddlers.
Linda Van Sickel, who organizes recreational activities for the CCA, is looking forward to the performances that will continue during the summer, showcasing local musicians.
Bay Winds, a 32-piece musical group, will perform at the next Sunday concert, July 9. Jazz Werx, another local group, will perform July 23 and Aug. 27. Pocket Change will return for a second concert July 30. Crofton residents Jim Titcomb and Doug Day will entertain Aug. 6.
All concerts are scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on the Crofton Village Green.
Ice cream social
The CCA is also preparing for its annual ice cream social, scheduled for 6 p.m. July 16 at Swann Park, at Crofton Parkway and Swinburne Avenue.
The CCA will provide free ice cream, while hot dogs and chips will be sold. Van Sickel reports that a clown and music will add to the fun.
This year's social will showcase recent improvements made at Swann Park.
Jeff Thoma, an Arundel High School senior and Crofton Eagle Scout, organized a group of local residents to install two new permanent checker/chess tables and a backgammon table in the popular lakeside park.
The CCA has also been upgrading the playground equipment.
Two new swings, designed for older children, have been ordered, and the association is hoping they will be installed in time for the event.
The new equipment will provide some fun for older brothers and sisters while younger siblings are having fun on the little swings already there.
Information: Van Sickel, 410-721-2301.
Seton softball begins
Summertime athletes can dust off their mitts, stretch their muscles and get ready for another season of softball.
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Roman Catholic Church's coed team begins practice tonight, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Crofton Middle School on the fields behind the tennis court.
Players must be at least 16 years old, and both males and females are welcome.
Games will be played against teams from other area churches, most on Tuesday evenings.
Information: Jack O'Malley, 410-721-5775