Our Next 2018 Concert Will Be Held on August 16

Ken and Brad Kolodner, along with fellow musician Rachel Eddy, lived up to their stellar reputations while performing at Glen Mar’s first free 2018 summer concert. See "Folks Tapped into a Great Performance at Glen Mar’s First Summer Concert" below.

Glen Mar will provide another enjoyable free musical experience on Thursday, August 16 at 7 p.m. in the Spirit Center when the Federal Brass of The U.S. Army Field Band perform. This indoor concert will last about 90 minutes. Refreshments will be served. Childcare is provided for preschool age and younger children.

For a flyer for the Federal Brass of The U.S. Army Field Band, click here.

Federal Brass of The U.S. Army Field Band: August 16 at 7 p.m.

Summer Concerts 2018 Federal Brass bandThe Federal Brass of the U.S. Army Field Band, the newest of The U.S. Army Field Band’s brass ensembles, brings a unique and innovative approach to chamber music. Its signature style comes from its focus on new and original music and its members’ virtuosity and collective experience in big bands, jazz combos, rock bands, and orchestras – both symphony and studio.

Trumpet player Master Sgt. Ward Yager earned a Bachelor of Music Degree from the University of Memphis, a Master of Music Degree from the University of North Texas, and a Doctor of Musical Arts Degree from the University of Maryland. He has recorded for Klavier Recordings, GIA Publications and Summit Records. He is a member of the Army Field Band Brass Quintet and serves as leader of the Army Field Band’s Chamber Music Series.

Another trumpet player Sgt. 1st Class Phillip Kennedy Johnson has a Bachelor of Music Degree from Eastern Kentucky University and a Master of Music Degree from the University of North Texas where he served as teaching fellow for the Department of Jazz Studies. He has performed with the Lexington Philharmonic, Dallas Opera, Washington Symphonic Brass, and the Moscow Ballet in addition to being a member of the Glenn Miller Orchestra.

Staff Sgt. J.G. Miller, who plays the horn, holds a Bachelor of Music Performance and Music Education Degree from the Eastman School of Music, a Master of Music Degree from the University of Arizona and a Doctor of Musical Arts Degree from the University of Southern California. Staff Sgt. Miller has performed with The Who, Mariachi Sol de Mexico, and on several major motion picture scores.

Trombonist Master Sgt. Wesley Ballenger earned his Bachelor of Music Degree from Indiana University and studied in Vienna, Austria. In addition to performing with the U.S. Army Concert Band, the U.S. Army Field Band Trombone Ensemble, and the Federal Brass Instrumentalists, he has been the bass trombonist with the Richmond (IN) Symphony Orchestra, the Columbus (IN) Philharmonic Orchestra, and the 2004 Disney Collegiate All-Star Band in Orlando, FL.

Sgt. 1st Class Carmen Russo, who also plays the trombone, obtained his Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of South Florida. He has performed with several professional organizations, including The Florida Orchestra, Florida West Coast Symphony, The Symphony of Southwest Florida, Walt Disney World and the Holland and Carnival Cruise Lines and he played in numerous traveling off-Broadway shows, including The Lion King and 42nd Street.

On percussion, Staff Sgt. Andrew Emerich holds a Bachelor of Music Degree from the University of Texas at Austin and a Master of Music Degree from Northwestern University, in addition to being an alumnus of the Brevard Music Center and the Aspen Music Festival. He has performed with the Maryland Symphony and Midland-Odessa Symphony and Chorale, as well as marching units, including the Boston Crusaders Drum and Bugle Corps, the Surround Sound Percussion, and the University of Texas Longhorn Band.

Folks Tapped into a Great Performance at Our First Summer Concert

Energetic, old-time music filled the Spirit Center when Baltimore-based father-son duo Ken and Brad Kolodner, along with fellow musician Rachel Eddy, staged a memorable, toe-tapping concert for 265 people on June 29.

"I couldn’t keep my feet from stomping and my hands from clapping (during the concert)," stated Eydie Clifford.

Ken Kolodner’s fabulous skills as a world-renowned hammered-dulcimer player were on full display at the event. Using two small spoon-shaped mallet hammers, Mr. Kolodner struck the strings of this percussion-stringed instrument with lightning speed. He also played the fiddle and hammered mbira, an African instrument consisting of a wooden board with attached staggered metal tines.

Obviously, Ken’s musical genes were passed down to his 28-year-old son, Brad, a rising star among clawhammer-banjo players. In addition to the aforementioned instrument, Brad played the guitar, fiddle, and gourd banjo at the event (yes, the same gourds that are used for food and objects of art can produce earthy tones when put into the right hands). Brad also sang and provided light-hearted, amusing banter between songs – a skill he fine-tunes regularly as a DJ for WAMU’s bluegrass and folk radio station in Washington, D.C.

Rachel Eddy, who hails from rural West Virginia, grew up listening to local fiddlers, and became a fiddler herself early in her life. She expanded her world by living in Sweden for five years and playing old-time music throughout many European countries. At the concert, she exhibited extraordinary gifts on the fiddle, guitar and banjo in addition to her vocal talent.

While the trio performs together frequently, each has also played with other groups. Ken has hit the stage with Helicon, Brad with Charm City Junction, and Rachel with The Early Mays. All three have recorded albums.

Among the songs they performed at Glen Mar’s concert were "Richmond Blues," "Popeye My Lulu Gal," "Chilly Winds," and "Deep Elum Blues."

Old-time is a style of North American music that dates back centuries, even preceding bluegrass. Old-time has strong African and Celtic roots. Both Kolodners compose music in the old time and Celtic styles.

The audience expressed its appreciation with a standing ovation at the end of the concert. Some attendees plan to go to a concert at Brad’s home in Baltimore where old-time, bluegrass, Americana and folk groups from across North America perform. For more information about these shows visit http://www.bradkolodner.com/house-concerts-at-brads.html.

"It was a wonderful music," commented former Glen Mar Minister of Music Carrie Grams. "You don’t hear it very often."

"You can tell they practice a lot together," noted attendee Andy Newton, who listens to bluegrass at home. "They all hit the notes at the same time."


Funding for these free concerts comes from sponsors, donations, and grants. We are very grateful to our 2018 sponsors, the Harry H. Witzke’s Family Funeral Home and Howard County Arts Council, and to an anonymous donor for a donation in honor and memory of a charter members of Glen Mar.

Howard County Center for the Arts CouncilWitzke Funeral Home Logo

Sponsor or Donate: If you are interested in sponsoring or donating to the 2018 Glen Mar Summer Concert Series, contact Dr. Hong at summerconcerts@glenmarumc.org.


In early 2017, Glen Mar Director of Music Dr. Sophie Hong formed a volunteer committee to help with the concert series. Committee members meet a few times a year to offer advice on prospective performers and other aspects of the concerts. Committee members acquire sponsors and donors, submit grants, publicize the events, and handle refreshments served during the concerts.

Members of this committee are Connie Ballenger (director of publicity), Scott Carter, Lois Hildebrand, Patty Hutton, Estelle King, Fred Sadler (executive director), and Susan Straumanis. Additional volunteers help with ushering, greeting, child care, and technology.

Sign Up to Volunteer: If you are interested in volunteering for the 2018 Glen Mar Summer Concert Series, contact Dr. Hong at summerconcerts@glenmarumc.org.

A Slideshow of our 2017 Concerts