Sounds of eclectic music kick off HCCA season

September 23, 2002|by KEVIN CLAPP

Elisabeth von Trapp - yes, that von Trapp - sits on a park bench in Bellefonte, Pa., enjoying her afternoon.

A nearby river disappears into the distance, and a small flock of ducks waddle about.

The scene sounds quite idyllic, really. In fact, the park is alive with the sound of ...

... quacking.

All right, so it's not "Do-Re-Mi" or "Edelweiss," but it'll do. Because the granddaughter of the famed Maria and George von Trapp is having the time of her life traveling the countryside with her music.

And yes, there is the obligatory nod to her heritage. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

"I tell the story of growing up as a von Trapp, which people are always interested in hearing about," the Waitsfield, Vt., resident says. "But I really try to focus on the music."


Monday, Sept. 23, Elisabeth von Trapp kicks off the Hagerstown Community Concert Association, taking to The Maryland Theatre stage with an eclectic blend of standards, show tunes, hymns and maybe even a little Jimi Hendrix for good measure.

Hers is the first in an eclectic season of four concerts continuing through April.

"That's what we try to do," says association board member Helen Hubbard. "We don't have a great budget but with the budget we have we try to bring in the best and most entertaining concerts we can afford."

Other performances include 23-year-old master fiddler April Verch; Mr. Jack Daniel's Original Silver Cornet Band, which recreates a Lynchburg, Tenn., concert as it would have taken place in 1892 right down to period costumes and instruments; and Jim Post starring in Mark Twain and the Laughing River, a show about the writer and humorist.

Talent selection committee chair Jane Guyton says the diverse line up is a direct result of trying to broaden the association's audience.

"We are appealing to a wide range of musical interest and also a very broad age spectrum," she says. "Obviously, if you can interest young people, you're going to interest their parents."

One way to attract younger audiences has been through an outreach program that brings some performers into the school system for workshops. Students are invited to the subsequent concert, and the hope is that once introduced to the community concert experience they will come back.

Instituted in the last couple of years, Guyton says the program is beginning to pay dividends.

Having seen a video of von Trapp at work, Hubbard says her appearance should be a crowd pleaser.

"She's a really good singer and her personality is good," Hubbard says. "She comes across as a very interesting, nice person. I can't describe it in any better words. She comes across as a very well-rounded person."

In the midst of her most extensive tour ever, von Trapp loves hitting the road to bring her music to the people. She lives for the time on stage when audience and artist become one.

And because each crowd is different, every concert has its unique spin depending on audience response and the singer's mood on any given evening.

"The consistent performing live is very important for developing music and developing who I am as a performer. I call it paying my dues, connecting with people. I really love connecting with live audiences," she says.

"It's the relationship of songs meeting the hearts of people and getting connected and finding people really enjoy the music. When you're in the zone of having the right sound, the right people there, it's quite magical."

If you go . . .

Elizabeth Von Trapp, granddaughter of Maria and George von Trapp, a Hagerstown Community Concert Association performance

7:30 p.m.

Monday, Sept. 23

The Maryland Theatre

21 S. Potomac St.


Season subscriptions cost $32, $10 for students, and include admission to the three other HCCA performances, with family rates available. Subscriptions also include admission to Community Concert Association performances in Chambersburg, Waynesboro and Gettysburg, Pa., and Westminster, Md.

For information, call 301-739-0587, 301-733-7842 or 301-582-2734.

Other performances in the Hagerstown Community Concert Association 2002-03 season:

Friday, Nov. 8

April Verch, fiddler

Monday, Jan. 13

Mr. Jack Daniel's Original Silver Cornet Band, a recreation of a Lynchburg, Tenn., concert as it would have been performed in 1892

Tuesday, April 8

Mark Twain and the Laughing River, starring Jim Post

All performances are at 7:30 p.m. at The Maryland Theatre, 21 S. Potomac St., Hagerstown.

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