SEAN LANE is an accomplished musician and since October has been establishing his musical presence in Crofton, where he moved with his family.
With degrees in music and music therapy, he has studied under masters of classical and jazz piano. For more than a decade, he has pursued his love of all kinds of music, composing and performing jazz, popular and classical works.
On Thursday evenings, his keyboard leads the fans at Bowie Baysox games in rousing renditions of "Take Me Out to the Ballgame," Motown classics and the prelude to rousing shouts of "Charge!"
He regularly plays the piano at Nordstrom, lending a soothing elegance to the shoppers' days. He has provided piano music for weddings, receptions and dinners throughout the Washington area, entertaining such dignitaries as former President George Bush, President Clinton and former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole.
He also formed the popular local group Jazzwerx, which performed in concert at the Crofton Village Green on Sunday evening. The band (with Sean on keyboard, Rick Burrell on drums, Doc Jones on bass and saxophonist Greg Byrd also providing vocals) performed a two-hour program of jazz and blues songs that captivated the audience gathered under the trees.
One highlight of the program came when Sean invited children to play percussion instruments along with the group. Another came with Greg Byrd's beautiful rendition of "A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square."
Dancing along to his father's music, 4-year-old Brendan Lane sang and mimed the various instruments and enjoyed the whole event. But when asked, "Now, what does your father play?" Brendan answered, "Softball."
And so he does. In addition to his active musical career, Sean Lane is a self-described "Mr. Mom," spending his days playing ball and caring for his two sons, Brendan and 2-year-old Brian.
It's a busy life for the Lane family. Sean's wife, Kathy, works as an administrator with Anne Arundel County Public Schools. During the day, Sean is home with the boys. In the evening, when Kathy is home, he takes on musical gigs.
More than once, Sean has worn a tuxedo to one of Brendan's tee-ball games, leaving afterward for a performance while Kathy took the boys home for baths and bed.
For Sean, this love for music and for children flows naturally into other areas of work. Once or twice a week, he serves as a music therapist, helping disabled or emotionally troubled children use music to deal with their problems. He has spoken at international conferences on the topic of why teen-agers choose the music they listen to and how understanding their music can be helpful.
In a more personal vein, Sean's love for music and for his children led to the development of one of his most cherished projects, "Brendan's Voyage."
From the time Brendan was 2 days old until his first birthday, Sean spent hours composing music that expressed his feelings about his infant son.
While the baby monitor carried the sound of the sleeping child to his father's piano, Sean composed "Brendan's Breath."
Another piece, "No Fussin' Allowed," captures some of the more active moments of baby-rearing.
In "Full of Doubt," Sean expresses the questions any parent feels about the choice of taking on such an awesome responsibility.
Finishing up the collection is "Theme and Variation," a celebration of the ways a child grows and changes during that momentous first year.
"Brendan's Voyage" is a beautiful work of music. Soon, Sean hopes to create a CD of that music to share the voyage with other parents.
If you missed Sunday evening's concert, you can hear Sean perform with Jazzwerx at the Crofton Summer Concert from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Aug. 27 at the Village Green.
School support program
Building a new school is an expensive undertaking. Father Michael Callaghan, overseeing construction of the School of the Incarnation, estimates that it will cost $13,000 to provide a seat for each child.
For several months, the parishes involved in planning the interparish school have been carrying on an active fund-raising campaign. Several families have pledged large contributions toward the construction and furnishing of the new facility.
Now, West County area residents are invited to help provide new equipment for the school by taking part in a variety of school support programs, donating food labels and register tapes that they otherwise would throw away.
Participants are asked to save register tapes from Metro Super Market, Crown Petroleum and Lauer's IGA, box top logos from General Mills cereals, and labels from Campbell's, Pepperidge Farm, Prego and Swanson products.
A complete list of the items that are needed can be obtained by calling the school office at 410-729-7820.
The materials can be collected and donated at any of the participating parishes: St. Joseph in Odenton, Our Lady of the Fields in Millersville, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in Crofton, Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Edgewater, Holy Family in Davidsonville and the Waugh Chapel Mission in Gambrills.