Playing in the (Pen Mar) park

May 28, 2009|By JULIE E. GREENE

CASCADE -- The phone calls have already begun.

Jim Powers Sr.'s phone has been ringing like crazy as regulars of the Pen Mar Park summer concert series want to confirm The Headliners' date at the dance pavilion on South Mountain.

The day after The Headliners' performance, his phone will begin ringing for two months as people request for the band to return, said Powers, executive secretary of the American Federation of Musicians Local 770. It's been that way for at least 15 years.

So, let's get straight to it. Yes, The Headliners are set to perform Sunday, June 14. The summer concert series starts this Sunday with the Ray Birely Orchestra.


For 19 straight Sundays, a live musical act will set the tone for 1,500 to 2,000, on a good weather day, to jitterbug, waltz, samba, swing, polka, tango or rumba the afternoon away in the shade of a large dance pavilion in Pen Mark Park.

The park opened in 1877. Dancing started at the park at about the same time and continued until the Western Maryland Railway closed the facility after the 1942 season, said Frank Woodring, editor and publisher of Maryland Cracker Barrel. Dancing returned when the park reopened in 1977.

Why the fervor about the Headliners? "You just have to see them and have the experience of the Headliners to understand that," Powers said.

Come on Jim. What gives?

"It's the music. It's the extreme and perfecting talent of each of the musicians. It is just amazing," said Powers, who has his own performance dance at the pavilion on July 19.

Most members of the band are members of the Tindall family. George Tindall, patriarch and leader of the Headliners, jokingly describes the act as some quality family time that got out of hand.

The Headliners perform variety music suitable for ballroom or line dancing, including music by Santana, "Mambo No. 5," and "The Electric Slide" -- music you'd hear on "Dancing With the Stars," Tindall said.

The Headliners consist of George Tindall on bass guitar and vocals; his wife, Carol, on percussion; their son, Josh, on keyboard, guitar and vocals; their daughter-in-law, Elizabeth, on keyboard, flute and vocals; Jeff Burns on drums; and Josh Duma on tenor sax.

If you go ...

WHAT: Summer Concert Series at Pen Mar Park

WHEN: 2 to 5 p.m. Sundays, May 31 to Oct. 4. Rain or shine.

WHERE: Pen Mar Park, 14600 Pen Mar-High Rock Road, Cascade

COST: Free. Baskets are passed around for donations to help with cost of bands.

DIRECTIONS: From Hagerstown, take Md. 64 east toward Smithsburg. Turn right on Md. 491 and go six miles. The road will take a sharp left; continue past former Fort Ritchie military base. Turn left on Pen Mar Road. Go about one mile. Park is on the right.

MORE: Aug. 30 is Everybody's Day, which begins at noon. This is an old-fashioned celebration of the park's beginnings that includes children's games and activities, jitterbug and waltz contests, an exhibit by the Miniature Carousel Builders, Hub City Lindy Hop Dancers, Hub City Model A Ford Club, Moonbounce, a magician and live music.

Concert schedule

o May 31: The Ray Birely Orchestra

o June 7: The Bill Krantz Combo

o June 14: The Headliners

o June 21: Jay and the Jingos

o June 28: Accordionist Cheryl Kataline

o July 5: Arrow Trio

o July 12: Back to Back

o July 19: Organist Jim Powers

o July 26: Spectrum

o Aug. 2: The Andy Angel Quartet

o Aug. 9: Music By Just Us

o Aug. 16: Mike Surratt & The E.C.B.

o Aug. 23: The Holders

o Aug. 30: The Martinsburg Big Band

o Sept. 6: Four Easy Pieces

o Sept. 13: The Dave Winter Group

o Sept. 20: Variety

o Sept. 27: Fancy Brass

o Oct. 4: The Josh Tindall Orchestra


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