Contemporary School of the Arts and Gallery Inc. hosts holiday performance

January 03, 2012
  • The Rev. Tracy Brown, far right, performs a Christmas skit with children from her church and the audience at Contemporary School for the Arts and Gallery Inc.'s holiday show.
Submitted photo

Eyes were aglow and hearts were full of cheer Dec. 4 as students and community members performed for family and friends at the first holiday production of the Contemporary School of the Arts and Gallery Inc.

Held at the Review and Herald Publishing Association, families were treated to a variety of piano and guitar student performances, vocal presentations by Leonard Cooper, a mini Christmas play by the Rev. Tracy Brown and her church members, and jazz renditions of Christmas carols by music directors Michael Tyson (guitar) and Aaron Worthy (saxophone).

 "(The presentation) had something for everyone to enjoy," said gallery founder Ron Lytle, who was pleased at the 75-person turnout for the gallery's inaugural holiday event.

 "The parents were thrilled," Tyson said.

 Tyson, who started the music program two years ago, has seen his students progress since they were beginners and is impressed by their increased skill and confidence.

 "Last year my oldest guitar group was playing three-string chords. Today they played 'Jingle Bell Rock' and 'Twist and Shout,' using melodies and bar chords," he said. "Now, I can't wait to see how this year's beginners progress."

 In addition to the students, families enjoyed "The Christmas Song" performed by Cooper, whose baritone voice warmed the crowd and brought about smiles. Cooper runs a barber shop in downtown Hagerstown and said he sings for fun.

 "I don't ask anything for singing. I love these kind of events," Cooper said.

  Brown performed a miniskit of "The Little Drummer Boy," with children from her church.

 "The children loved to tap the drums on stage," said one parent, referring to Brown's presentation, in which more children from the audience were invited onstage to play and sing.

 The gallery is a nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing art awareness to the community and affordable art and music education to youth. It holds free after-school art classes from Monday through Thursday from 4 to 7 p.m., and group guitar and children's choir classes on Wednesdays from 2 to 6:30 p.m.  Piano and woodwind lessons are offered from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.  The gallery also has musicians who can play for community events.  

For more information, call 301-791-6191, send an email to or go to

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