Inside the Hall: Maryland Hall News Blog | Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts

Inside the Hall: Maryland Hall News Blog

The Naval Academy Band returns to Maryland Hall to present a series of free concerts this Fall. Beginning Sunday, September 22 at 4 pm, with a Chamber Winds and Brass Ensemble Concert, the band will perform a total of four free concerts at Maryland Hall this Fall. 

"We are very pleased to be partnering once again with Maryland Hall to produce free public performances for our community by the outstanding musicians of this premier military band,” says Lt. Cmdr. Patrick K. Sweeten. "Both organizations’ dedication to the performing arts make our long-term collaborative efforts exciting for Annapolis and our region. We look forward to a continued association with Maryland Hall and are grateful for the opportunity to represent our Navy and the United States Naval Academy through upcoming performances."

Upcoming concerts at Maryland Hall include:

  • Friday, October 11, 2019 at 7:30 pm - Navy Birthday Concert (Main Theatre) | Reserve a Seat

  • Sunday, October 13, 2019 at 4 pm - Superintendent's Combo (Bowen Theatre) | Reserve a Seat

  • Monday, November 11, 2019 at 7 pm - Veterans Day Concert (Main Theatre) | Reserve a Seat

The Naval Academy Band has been providing music for the Brigade of Midshipmen and the surrounding community since 1852. Located at the Naval Academy, in Annapolis, this premier military band offers world-class ensembles which perform a variety of musical styles, ranging from classical to contemporary. Naval Academy Band concerts are free and open to the public.

Advanced reservations at marylandhall.org are recommended. For more information, contact the Maryland Hall Guest Services Team at 410-280-5640. Box office hours are Monday - Friday from 9 am – 5 pm.  For more information about the band, please visit the band’s website at usna.edu/usnaband.

September 14, 2019

In a joint statement, the Maryland Hall Board of Directors and Margaret Davis today announced that she is leaving the organization as President and CEO effective immediately. Board Chair Barbara Jackson said, “Maryland Hall thanks Margaret for her leadership for the past two years and wishes her the best.”

Davis stated, “I’m so proud of what the staff, Board, and I have accomplished together in such a short period of time, including new program and audience development, increases in revenue, and establishing the Michael E. Busch Center for the Arts at Maryland Hall.  I wish the organization well.”

In accordance with the succession plan outlined in MHCA’s by-laws, Emily Garvin, MHCA’s Chief Creative and Operations Officer, will serve as Acting President for the immediate future.  Emily has served the organization in many capacities during her 20-year tenure at Maryland Hall, serving previously as Director of Education and Vice President of Programs before being promoted to Chief Creative and Operations Officer in 2018.  Jackson said, “Emily will continue to provide the imaginative programmatic vision for Maryland Hall during this transition and will lead Maryland Hall’s capable staff in carrying out our mission to deliver “art for all” to our community.”

Maryland Hall’s mission-based programs to deliver “art for all” are planned 6 to 12 months in advance.  Maryland Hall’s experienced staff, supported by our 22-member Board, will carry out Maryland Hall’s 2019-2020 artistic programming in education, performing arts, and exhibitions and will continue uninterrupted during the transition.

The Board will begin a search for a new President and CEO this fall, with a more detailed process and timeline to be announced.

We are grateful to you – our Maryland Hall donors, supporters, and friends -- for your support of Maryland Hall and our mission. 

 

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An Evening With Broadway Star Rebecca Luker

Live Arts Maryland opens the 2019-2020 Season with Broadway Star Rebecca Luker on Saturday, September 14. An Evening with Rebecca Luker is a one night only event! Known for her many performances as well as her interpretation of the American Songbook, Ms. Luker will open the season. Ms. Luker has long been recognized for the skillful combination of her distinctive fine soprano voice and rare dramatic sensibility. 

After the concert, step onstage for a special reception celebrating the new season.


In honor of our 40th Anniversary, we interviewed Live Arts Maryland: 

Making Connections with Live Arts Maryland

Founding Resident Company Live Arts Maryland is approaching its 50th Anniversary! We talked with Artistic Director J. Ernest Green about what keeps their audience coming back year after year.

Tell us about your career and how you came to Live Arts Maryland.

​I was born in Baltimore and my family moved to Cleveland but I have a lifelong connection to Annapolis; every year I spent chunks of my summer visiting family here. In the ‘80s, I was the Orchestra Assistant at Peabody and assistant to my teacher. When I was finishing my doctoral work, my teacher said, “I want you to do this job with the Annapolis Chorale. It’s perfect for you.” Because I was also assisting with the Opera program, I had a reputation for working with singers and orchestras – it’s unusual to move easily between the two. My teacher thought I’d be the perfect fit for the Chorale and told me to go and make something of it. So I did!

Very quickly the orchestra established itself and the chorus became a really strong ensemble that was musically vibrant in the community. At the same time, I traveled back and forth to South America to conduct opera in Brazil. I did that for 4-5 years while also building the chorale. Guest conducting took me all over Europe and America. When I put down roots, I ended up at the Kennedy Center as conductor with the National Symphony for 12 years. From there, I began working with Marvin Hamlish developing part of my life as a pops conductor. Today, most of my guest conducting is orchestral and my residencies last a few days. “Live Arts” is now in the middle of what I consider its third or fourth iteration since I came in ’85.

What can an audience expect from your “fusion” programs?

In the classical concert music world, we’ve created a “museum repertoire.” The bulk of what we do was written in the mid 1800s to early 1900s. That’s over a 100 years old! That doesn’t always connect with us. So, our programs combine chorale traditions with new, contemporary pieces. Our goal is to find connections with music that may sometimes go unnoticed and share that with our audience. Doing new pieces and fusing them together ensures we’re creating something that is part of our time.

What are Live Arts’ keys to success?

We constantly re-evaluate and assess what we’re doing in the context of what the community needs. Not necessarily what it wants but what it needs and how to serve them. That’s the secret to longevity. It’s all well and good to do what you do, sing, perform music, dance, but you have to be careful that you’re not creating a museum. Last season, we did a tremendous amount of repertoire of this time and that resonated with our audience.

How do artists become part of the Orchestra and Chorale?

The chorus is a mostly volunteer chorus with some section leaders on staff. It is a community group of singers drawn from the region. To join, there is a quick voice placement audition and then they come and sing with us. The process is simple and not scary. We want to be as welcoming as we can.

The Annapolis Chamber Orchestra is made up of professional musicians from the area as well. They are some of the best players in the region. Our soloists are drawn from all over the country and the world.

The Chorale has a loyal following. What keeps patrons coming back?

In everything that we do, we try to share the joy that we have in making, sharing and presenting music. I want the audience to feel like they are welcome. They should feel like we’ve invited them into our house and we’re playing music. It’s just a slightly bigger house with lots of seats. Sharing a piece of music at a concert is a big statement and we embrace it. If our audience knows we’re excited about it, they become excited about it.

What is unique about the upcoming season?

We’re really focused on building connections across the season and across the repertoire that resonate with the audience. Connections unfold in that original program and across the whole season. The audience will see the music through the same lens we look through. They are an active participant in what happens on stage.

“I’ve never seen a bad cat photo,” says Maryland Hall Photography Teaching Artist Joe Yablonsky. He says it as a joke but there’s truth in his humor: Yablonsky’s eye for photography has no room for pretension. “I’m the first one to admit there isn’t only one good way to take a photo. I think every student should bring their personality into the process and take photos that are uniquely their own.” Yablonsky developed his own love for photography on the campus of Princeton University. In the late 90s, he lived near the beautiful grounds and found inspiration in the gothic architecture and gargoyle sculptures.

“I specialize in photos of public sculptures and architecture, always trying to find the obscure out of the sculpture and historic architecture,” Yablonsky says. His body of work includes works by master sculptors such as Augustus Saint-Gaudens, Daniel Chester French and Isamu Noguchi, to contemporary artists involved in community public art projects. His photographs are only taken when a rare combination of lighting and atmospheric conditions are present in the scene to highlight the sculpture and its environment. All photos are hand printed using a traditional darkroom on fiber paper and are selenium toned to increase their archival permanence.

Yablonsky made photography his career in 2003 when he found himself looking for a change after leaving his engineering job. “I went for creativity and photography was something that was already growing out of control in my life so I started teaching.” In addition to MD Hall, where he began teaching in 2017, Yablonsky also teaches at the Smithsonian, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, VisArts in Rockville and Anne Arundel Community College, among others. His classes at Maryland Hall range from the technical in How Do I Use my Digital Camera to the experiential and creative in Travel Photography.

“I want to teach people who want to learn how to use their camera, how to use every button and help them develop their eye. Whether that’s film or digital,” Yablonsky says. For those ready to take their photography skills out into the world, Yablonsky’s Annapolis at Night is an alternative learning experience. Students get out of the classroom and get immediate feedback in the field. Bring gloves for this year’s class – it takes place downtown during Midnight Madness! “You’re only cold for three hours and then you have the photos for the rest of your life. It’s a blast,” Yablonsky says. All classes are for all skill levels and interest and open to digital or film shooters.

In a digitally driven world, Yablonsky strays away from apps and editing. He is not keen on post-production work and he teaches his students how to take photos that don’t require it. “Students in my classes gain a much better understanding of how to use their camera and how to take better photos on a more consistent basis, without relying on post production,” he says. The key is to “think more and shoot less -- do more thinking before you press the shutter release button -- and therefore take less photos. And learn from both your successes and your mistakes.”

Yablonsky designs his classes to create a strong foundation of the concepts of photography that help photographers find their own vision. When asked what his greatest accomplishment as a teacher is, he says, “Seeing when people get it; when they truly understand and move forward and the material becomes second nature.”

As for his favorite place to take photos in Annapolis? The answer is easy: “wherever the light is good,” he says.


Register for a Fall Photography Class with Joe Yablonsky

Outside of Jay Fleming's studio on Maryland Hall's third floor.

Maryland Hall has been focusing on fostering relationships with local artists and finding ways to collaborate on deeper creative levels - to both heighten the art experience for our staff and visitors as well as provide artists with a community of patrons that they can connect with. We are lucky to have local artist and photographer, Jay Fleming, as an in-house artist on our third floor to do just that.

Our in-house artists are part of a new visual arts initiative at Maryland Hall and act as a source both for internal creative support as well as a hub for our educational outreach and community engagement programming. In-house artists will serve to support staff with creative projects involving photography, design, marketing, and promotion while also utilizing their studios to grow in their profession as artists and create work. They will be educators to local students, engage with community members, and participate in special events hosted by Maryland Hall.

  

A look inside Jay's studio space at Maryland Hall

"Having a studio at Maryland Hall has given me the opportunity to become part of a great community of artists and art professionals in Annapolis. I look forward to future opportunities to work with art students from area schools (bates, st. annes, etc...) to share my passion for photography while providing hands on learning opportunities." - Jay Fleming

Follow the Maryland Hall social media pages and website or Jay's social media pages for opportunities to visit Jay during his studio office hours or at a Maryland Hall event. Find information on our other in-house artists here.

 

(Left) Jay's studio, (Right) Portraits of Jay Fleming while documenting the seasfood industry on the Chesapeake Bay

Maryland Hall's Facebook

Jay's Instagram

Jay's Facebook

Every kid should take an art class. It teaches them flexible thinking and to be a careful observer of the world. I can’t think of a profession where those two skills don’t come into play.

Teaching Artist Holly Rosario knows how to connect with young artists. “My philosophy is to create as much of an authentic studio environment as possible. When you offer the studio environment, studio materials and the opportunity to explore, you discover that without a lot of strict guidance kids do the most amazing thing. Kids are natural artists. They don’t need to be coached as far as artistic thinking; it’s just teaching the skill,” says Rosario who teaches parent and child classes up to age 13.

Rosario’s own life as an artist began at an early age. “I’ve been drawing since elementary school and it was always in the corner of papers or tests or wherever I could fit it. I thought of it as a nervous habit for a while. Then, in high school I discovered it was what I loved to do and wanted to do,” she says. As Rosario’s interest in drawing transitioned to painting to papercuts to anything she could get her hands on, she learned art was an immense stress reliever and something she could spend hours on top of hours doing. “I realized if that’s what I wanted to do all the time, I should pursue it professionally,” she says.

After getting her Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts at Maryland Institute College for the Arts (MICA), she went into the Masters in Teaching program. “What I loved about the MICA program was its focus on holistic education and art as a bridge to children understanding themselves,” Rosario says, “In an educational system where everything is so to the numbers and whether kids are proficient or not, art is the one place we have left where kids can express themselves and have it not be right or wrong but about growth and understanding themselves.”

Rosario started her teaching career in public schools in 2012 and has been teaching at Maryland Hall since 2016. During her first year of teaching in public schools, she made her mark in a school that had not previously had stability in its art program. From a classroom in a trailer with no running water, Rosario led her students to present a schoolwide art show at the end of the year. “It was one of the biggest events ever at the school and we got to display a piece of art from every single student. Everyone in the school attended.”

For Rosario, art is a way to connect with others. “Art becomes a bridge to talking with people you never would have spent time with before,” she says. Working with children especially is what drives her. “We don’t make enough room for emotional education and teaching children to be kind to each other and themselves. Having to critique art teaches kids to grow and be critical without thinking anything is their fault or a struggle to succeed; it’s not putting yourself down to see where you can go. The beautiful thing about teaching art is seeing that self-reflection and growth.”  

Rosario’s classes focus on teaching skills, connecting with students and personalizing her teaching. “With the age level that I work with, the hardest part is getting them to understand there is a beginning, middle and an end to making artwork. And the most important part is the struggle that starts in the beginning. Getting the child to hold on, not crumple up their paper and see mistakes as part of the process – the struggle is the learning process. In the end, they’re so happy they didn’t give up! That’s when I’ve succeeded as a teacher,” she says.

Rosario gets animated when talking about the classes she teaches at Maryland Hall. “We get into really interesting classes like handmade animation. It’s really fun to see the process of animation and then see what the kids create on their own.” She’s especially excited for a painting class she’ll offer this summer called “Beyond the Brush.” The class is about being as experimental as possible with what goes onto the canvas and seeing where the skills go when students lose tight control. “I find it so fulfilling to see what their awesome little minds come up with,” Rosario says.

Check out Holly Rosario's Summer 2019 Classes for Children Under 6 here and Children 6-12 here.

 

Maryland Hall mourns the loss of Dr. Dennis Younger whose contributions to the founding of Maryland Hall and long standing dedication on our Board of Directors lent to the success and longevity of our region’s cultural hub.

A strong personal commitment to the arts, Dr. Younger was one of the founding members of Maryland Hall. He served as a long time board member and nine years as President. Later, in the Directors Circle. He also served as President of the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra and was Member emeritus of the Annapolis Opera Board. Dennis also served on the Anne Arundel Arts Council, Mitchell Gallery Board of Advisors, also serving as its Chairman. He was the first recipient of Annie Award for Patron of the Arts, presented by the Arts Council of Anne Arundel County and was awarded the Paul Harris Service Award by the Rotary Club of Parole.

We thank him for his efforts in the arts and express our condolences to Dr. Younger’s family and friends.

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Paul Reed Smith and Maryland Hall Launch Music School/Summer Camp

Legendary Drummer Dennis Chambers to Headline Music Master Class Summer Camp

This Summer, guitar maker Paul Reed Smith, world renowned drummer Dennis Chambers and legendary rhythm section Gary and Greg Grainger will fulfill a long time dream at Maryland Hall: open a music school/camp for Maryland! The 1st Annual Music Master Classes for Aspiring Musicians is a 6-day music event and summer camp for ages 12 and up. Session Directors Greg Grainger, Gary Grainger and Paul Reed Smith along with special guest teachers and artists including Dennis Chambers will guide aspiring musicians through a legendary week of Master Classes this August 19-24.

The legendary drummer Dennis Chambers of Santana, Parliament-Funkadelic (P-Funk) and John Scofield fame will headline Master Classes in this special summer camp/music school experience. The classes are open to anyone ages 12 and up. All attendees will be given real ways to view music, experience music and improve their abilities to play music in a weeklong classroom and Master Class environment. The teaching staff includes some of the best professional musicians Maryland has to offer including Paul Reed Smith and the Grainger brothers.

Open to all skill levels and instruments, the Master Classes will delve into three main areas: Rhythm, Harmony and Melody. The 6-day event includes 5 days of Master Classes and a final Performance Showcase Day. The Showcase will feature some of the students who have shown special skills, growth and dedication. As part of the Master Classes’ mission to become a Music School for all students in Maryland - scholarship opportunities are available.

The Master Class Summer Camp is ideal for anyone with a passion for music: parents of children looking for a music summer camp, adults interested in a unique way to spend their summer vacation, and retirees who want to learn alongside legends!

Smith and The Grainger Brothers introduced their Master Class model at Maryland Hall last December. Young guitarist Nathan Wickham of the band Annapolis Revival said of the experience, "Paul Reed Smith’s emphasis on rhythm made a lot of sense. Thank you!" Other feedback included, “Master class was excellent. Can’t wait until Maryland Hall has another one!,” “Loved the class and the interaction with the band teachers!,” and “The master classes were terrific. Can’t wait until Maryland Hall does it again!

 

What: 1st Annual Music Master Classes for Aspiring Musicians. Tuition: $500/person | $625/person with lunch

When: Monday – Friday, August 19-23, 9:30 am - 4 pm (Master Classes) & Saturday, August 24, 2 - 6 pm (Showcase).

Where: Maryland Hall, 801 Chase Street, Annapolis, Maryland

How: For more information, visit MarylandHall.org/prs or call 410-263-5544. For Scholarship information, call the Maryland Hall Education Department at 410-263-5544 x20.

 

About the Session Directors & Guest Teachers:

Paul Reed Smith – Session Director

Smith is an internationally known guitar maker, musician and guitar player. In addition to performing and recording with his own band, Paul has played with artists such as Vertical Horizon, Creed and Santana. He was honored by Vintage Guitar Magazine as a Hall of Fame inductee 2011 and was named Maryland’s Small Business Owner Person of the Year in 2002.

Gary Grainger – Session Director

Gary Grainger’s seamless approach to virtually any style of music makes him one of the most sought after bass players in the world.  He has performed and done thousands of recordings, tours and TV appearances with such notable artists as John Scofield, Dennis Chambers, Nancy Wilson, Roger Daltrey, Rod Stewart, Nick Lowe, Nelson Rangel, George Duke, Acoustic Alchemy and Eric Marienthal.

Greg Grainger – Session Director

A skilled architect of rhythm, Greg Grainger is surprisingly fresh in his artistry and musical perspective. Upon hearing him, it is easy to see why Whitney Houston signed him for her 1988 world tour, why Britain’s Rhythm Magazine called his work “solid and tasteful” dubbing him a “rhythm master” and why he is the drummer for international jazz artists such as Acoustic Alchemy and Kim Waters. Along with being a highly skilled drummer and teacher, he was the Musical Director for Maysa (the voice of Incognito’s Deep Waters and A Shade of Blue).

Dennis Chambers –Guest Teacher

Chambers is an American drummer who has recorded and performed with John Scofield, George Duke, Brecker Brothers, Santana, Parliament/Funkadelic, John McLaughlin, Niacin, Mike Stern, CAB, Greg Howe, and many others. He was inducted into the Modern Drummer Hall of Fame in 2001. Despite a lack of formal training, Chambers has become famous among drummers for his special techniques and speed. Chambers is particularly regarded for his ability to play "in the pocket." He has helped many young drummers, the most prominent being Tony Royster, Jr. Chambers began drumming at the age of four years, and was gigging in Baltimore-area nightclubs by the age of six.

The entire Maryland Hall family joins with our community in mourning the passing of our good friend, Mike Busch.  Our sympathies go out to his wife Cindy, longtime member of our Board of Directors, and his daughters Erin and Megan.  Every student, young and old, who has taken a class here; every person who has attended a performance or a film in our theaters; every family that has experienced together the wonderful power of the creative arts has Mike Busch to thank for his enduring commitment to helping make Maryland Hall the premier cultural hub in the region.  This building will stand as a lasting tribute to his vision and leadership.  His love for arts education at Maryland Hall and the Performing Visual Arts Magnet Programs in the County are success stories due to his unwavering support. He will be so sorely missed by so many people.

Margaret B. Davis
President & CEO

and 

Linnell Bowen
Past-President & CEO

 

 

 

 

“My favorite thing about teaching is the feeling I get when someone lights up and says, ‘Oh, I get it.’ To share that with someone else and see them feel joy over creating something beautiful; that’s why I do it. The joy and understanding of how you got there is what it’s about.”  

For the 30 years Andrea Olney-Wall has taught art classes at Maryland Hall, she’s ended every class the same way: with an art show. “It’s really important to reward kids for their work,” she says and so on the last day of class she hosts a reception with food and a display of the students’ self-selected best work. Olney-Wall’s own passion for art took off in the 5th grade making doll clothes, weaving belts and creating all kinds of things by hand. “I would see something in a museum like an African belt and go home and try to re-create it,” Olney-Wall says. When asked what inspired her arts career, she reflects for a moment and says, “My grandfather was an artist and even though I didn’t get to meet him, I inherited several of his paintings. I think that’s where it came from.”

Olney-Wall continued her path as an artist through high school and college where her fiber sculptures, weavings and paintings were featured in many shows. Alongside her visual art, Olney-Wall was also a dancer. When she reached a point in college where she had to choose between art or dance, she chose art. “I have a Bachelor’s in Fine Art, not in Art Education because I never believed in telling a child their work wasn’t good enough for an A. I found the grading process counterproductive to how you should feel when you create art,” she says. After graduating from the University of Iowa, Olney-Wall and a friend opened a Fiber Arts supply store and Gallery in Iowa City, IA. Six years later, she met her husband and moved to the Annapolis area and began teaching at Maryland Hall in 1986.

Her first classes at Maryland Hall included tapestry weaving, graphic novellas for kids, clothing design for children and acrylic painting. For nine years, Olney-Wall was also an Artist In Resident with a weaving studio and painting studio that she kept with open doors as much as possible while raising two young daughters. “I’ve never had a day where I didn’t want to go to work,” she says. When asked what students can expect in her classes, Olney-Wall says, “Students will find something, a feeling, they can’t get doing any other kind of thing – except maybe from a dance class – and they will improve immediately, learning more than they can use. It’s all up to them; I’m just showing the way.”

In Olney-Wall’s Open Studio classes, students come in with work they’ve started or ideas for new things. She guides them with questions like what are you doing, are you having trouble and what about trying this? The supportive and open environment helps students take a step back and focus on making their work better. For students who don’t know where to start, she employs a trick, “I have them paint with their opposite hand so they lose control and get a little looser.” This semester she’ll introduce new pastel and fiber arts open studios.

Olney-Wall’s past students have gone on to become Elementary Art teachers, parents who bring their students back for classes and, in the case of Christian Siriano, an internationally known fashion designer. “If you love what you do, you’ll succeed and if you love what you’re working on, you’ll be happy,” Olney-Wall says. When she isn’t teaching at Maryland Hall, Olney-Wall can be found creating in her home studio and working on a set of educational books for drawing, painting and pastel. But you’ll have to take a class with her while you can…she and her husband have a dream to move to Greece or Italy where they’ll host week-long workshops for travelers.

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