Avery Grace

February 12, 2000

Avery GraceBy KATE COLEMAN / Staff Writer

photo: RICHARD T. MEAGHER / staff photographer

Avery Grace is a pop-rock band in progress.

Its name came in part from a former member's "infatuation" with the name Avery, said the self-taught drummer, Maureen White of Smithsburg.

cont. from lifestyle

But looking in the dictionary, Maureen and keyboard player, Erin Bushko, found that they liked the meaning of a word that shares most of Avery's letters. Aver means to state strongly in a positive manner.

For the 16-year-olds, grace means that things go well through the grace of God.

The name "stuck" because it meant something.

Erin, of Jefferson, Md., has been playing piano as long as she can remember. Both sing.

Maureen played a little with a band in 1997, and Erin wanted to form one. They met through mutual friends late in the summer of 1998. The halfway point was Francis Scott Key Mall, and Erin knew Maureen because she was holding a sign that said "Moe."


They were nervous about meeting, but didn't have to be.


Maureen White

Food: Chinese, Mexican, Italian

Movie: "Good Will Hunting," "The Breakfast Club"

Book: "The Mermaids Singing"

Erin Bushko

Food: macaroni and cheese

Movie: "The Princess Bride," "The Little Mermaid"

Book: anything by Edgar Allan Poe

"We clicked immediately," Maureen said. They both are big Hanson fans and were at the same concert earlier that summer.

"She had better seats," Maureen grumbled good-naturedly.

Both members of Avery Grace giggled while admitting that they cover Hanson's "MMMBop."

The new band, which included Frederick, Md., residents Sally Lamarque and Jess White, got together to play a few times, but Sally went on to other things, and Jess got busy with soccer. Soon Avery Grace was just a duo, and that's OK.

So far performances include playing for a family reunion and a gathering of her dad's auto racing buddies at Maureen's house. Erin recently wrote and performed a song at the junior ring ceremony at her high school, St. John's at Prospect Hall. Maureen wanted to be there, but couldn't get out of her classes at Smithsburg High School.

They have an opportunity to make a CD. Jan Sadowski, who recorded the choir at Erin's church, has a studio and agreed to help. That's slated for March.

Their album will be a collection of their original songs.

"This is who we are," Maureen says.

They've written more than 100 songs - not all completed. Erin composes most of the music because it's hard for Maureen, who doesn't play a melodic instrument.

Their repertoire includes a lot of love songs, and "Forever With You," the first song they wrote, fits in that category.

The pair sends lyrics back and forth through cyberspace, and although they like to talk to each other by telephone, online messages help with the long-distance bills.

The girls appreciate their parents' support. The band wouldn't have come this far without parents driving them the distance between their homes

Avery Grace is open to adding a female guitar player. Only female? They don't rule out the possibility of a guy playing, but their goals for their band are specific.

"We want to preserve - like the female innocence," according to Maureen.

"We want to be different," Erin said.

They hope to find a manager, someone to arrange their gigs. They see some possibilities at local carnivals, festivals and fairs.

"We want to have a say in what happens to us," Maureen said.

"We want to be ourselves," Erin added.

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