Summer Concert Series

Looking Forward to the 2023 Summer Concert Series

After two outstanding concerts offered at no charge during 2022, the Summer Concert Series announces it will expand to three concerts in 2023. This expansion is made possible by the awarding of a $5,500 grant to the series from the Howard County Arts Council. Concerts will remain free.

Military Concert Uplifted Crowd

The Quantico Marine Corps Brass Band and Jazz Combo drew a crowd of 300 people at the first event in Glen Mar’s 2022 Summer Concert Series. This free concert was held June 17 in Glen Mar’s Spirit Center.

The Jazz Combo got the action started by performing numerous songs, including “Isn’t She Lovely,” on the saxophone, keyboard, electric guitar, and drums. When the Brass Band energetically marched into the Spirit Center, they further pumped up the crowd with favorites like “When the Saints Go Marching In” and “I’ll Fly Away,” sometimes singing along with the music. 

The audience appreciated the musicians’ enthusiasm and musicianship.

“I loved it,” commented Jackie Mueller from Damascus, who added that she was glad she could expose her daughters, ages 13 and 7, to good music.

“The singers and instrumentalists were fabulous. They were so energetic that you couldn’t help but feel uplifted,” commented Catonsville resident Richard Henkel. “The performers enjoyed themselves and took their audience with them,” added Richard’s wife, Glenda Henkel.

“Everybody was so perfect in their timing,” praised Charlie Borcherding, a professional pianist.

Ayreheart Combined Old and New

Ayreheart, a progressive folk trio, took the Spirit Center stage at the second free event in the 2022 Summer Concert Series. The group played traditional Irish, Scottish, and English music along with original songs composed by two of its musicians. Three hundred people attended the August 12 performance.

The trio’s lutenist, Ronn McFarlane, amazed the crowd with his lute playing, including performing on one with 24 strings. McFarlane is renowned for taking the lute, the most popular instrument during the Renaissance, and bringing it into today’s mainstream music. He founded Ayreheart in 2010.

Willard Morris flawlessly played the bass, violin, and colascione (a bass cousin of the lute) while Mattias Rucht, the percussionist, wowed the audience with a variety of sound effects on unusual drums and other musical instruments. 

“I love the non-traditional instruments. It’s something you don’t normally see,” commented Rebecca Toler. “They are very talented musicians.” 

The trio’s music was “subtle, rhythmic, energetic, melodic, and very enjoyable,” praised Laurel resident Marcus Sims who composes music and plays the mandolin.

Ayreheart “combined ancient and modern instruments and they sounded great together,” raved Patrick Wagner. 

About the Summer Concert Series

Glen Mar Music Director Dr. Sophie Hong started the Summer Concert Series in 2017. Funding for these free concerts comes from sponsors, donations, and grants.

This series has offered a wide variety of quality musical experiences featuring nationally and internationally known artists.

Volunteer 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, and publicize the events. Members of this committee are Connie Ballenger (director of publicity), Lois Hildebrand, Patty Hutton, Fred Sadler (executive director), and Susan Straumanis.

Additional volunteers help with ushering, greeting, and technology.

Sponsor or Donate

If you are interested in sponsoring or donating to the Glen Mar Summer Concert Series, email