Summer Concert Series

Looking Forward to More Outstanding Summer Concerts

With three successful 2023 events in the rearview mirror, a committee has already started preparing for Glen Mar’s 2024 Summer Concert Series season. All concerts in this Series, which started in 2017, are free.

Mark your calendar for two of next year’s concerts: Beau Soir Ensemble (a trio playing the flute, viola, and harp) on Friday, May 31 at 7:00 pm and Charm City Junction on Friday, June 21 at 7:00 pm with a jam session after the concert. Other 2024 concerts have not been finalized.

Footworks Percussive Dance Ensemble  

With energy and joy, Footworks Percussive Dance Ensemble bounded onto the Spirit Center stage on August 4 to perform the last 2023 concert in this year’s Series. Three hundred people witnessed the dazzling rhythmic magic, much of it delivered at lightning speed. Even toddlers watched in awe as five hoofers demonstrated step and gumboot dances, soft shoe slip jigs, Irish reels, clogging, and hamboning. The dancers were sometimes accompanied by singing and instrumentalists playing the banjo, fiddle, guitar, and a drum. Performances were rooted in different cultures, including Irish, African, and Native American.

John Barnes called the event “super,” while Joanne Miliner remarked, “It was educational and entertaining at the same time.” Another audience member commented that people would have paid over $50 to see that performance at the Lyric in Baltimore.

Baltimore Symphony Youth Orchestra

The Baltimore Symphony Youth Orchestra performed the second concert in the 2023 Series in the Spirit Center on June 18. BSYO Artistic Director and Conductor Jonathan Rush exuded energy as he led the 77 middle- and high-school musicians and three adult BSYO staff members.

The musicians enthralled the 400-strong audience with well-known pieces: Danse Negre by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, An American in Paris by George Gershwin, Mambo from West Side Story and Symphony No. 9 in E Minor, Op. 95 “From the New World” by Antonin Dvorak.

Far and Away, a piece BSYO Interim Director of Education and Community Engagement Brian Prechtl wrote, was premiered.

Bayside Big Band

Bayside Big Band performed the first concert in the 2023 series on May 19. While 350 people watched on chairs and blankets, the band’s 17-piece orchestra and singer, Monica Gillam, performed well-known classics such as “Come Dance with Me,” “Big Spender,” and “Over the Rainbow” outside of Glen Mar’s Early Learning Center entrance.

Three food trucks – Greek on the Street, Kona Ice, and Breaking the Borders – also drew folks to the area.

“The band packed a lot of good music into an hour,” praised Lauri Mendenhall who drove to the event from her home in Stevensville, MD.

Our 2023 Supporters

These concerts are free thanks to community support. In 2023, the Howard County Arts Council awarded Glen Mar’s Summer Concert Series a $5,500 grant. Other major benefactors in 2023 are Harry H. Witzke’s Family Funeral Home for its sponsorship, and two generous contributors, “Friends of the Music Program at Glen Mar Church” and a donation made in memory of Karen Angle.

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), Ellen Dan, 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 2024 series, email summerconcerts@glenmarumc.org.