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Calm Reflections Photography shares beautiful photographs that can be placed on mugs, mouse pads, canvas, puzzles, T-shirts, coasters and prints. Joanna Macaulay makes souvenirs of St. Mary’s County for tourists and local residents. Information about St. Mary’s County attractions, travel, events and photography can be found at her site. She now does pet photography as well.

To buy my photos, photo cards, and photo crafts of wildlife, pets, holidays and more, visit my Zazzle Photo store at

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Cormorants from St Michael’s Manor in St. Mary’s County.  They were very far away, and my focus was off a little, but I liked the reflection...

Monday, July 26, 2010

River Concerts at St. Mary's College of Maryland

Only one River Concert left this season, and it should be a really good one. Wyle, where I work part-time, is sponsoring Kate Baldwin at the next concert, Friday July 30th 7pm at St. Mary’s College of Maryland. She will be singing Broadway show tunes. Ms. Baldwin has been starring in “Finian’s Rainbow” on Broadway and is nominated for a Tony award for her performance. She should be excellent and have wide appeal. The Chesapeake Orchestra is also playing “Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5”. Who isn’t familiar with that?
My review of last Friday’s River Concert starring José Cueto is now online at The Bay Net. José is a very talented violinist and we always enjoy listening to him.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Fifth River Concert Brought out Some Smiles

Once again, Jim and I attended the River Concert on July 16th at St. Mary’s College of Maryland. A 16 year old violinist, Brian Hong was featured. I arrived quite early and the heat and humidity were particularly oppressive. Minutes before the concert began, a brief storm passed by, cooling off the temperatures considerably. At first I thought about keeping my gear dry, but I couldn’t resist taking out my camera to take these photos of the crowd, showing how delighted folks were to feel the cooling rain. Sometimes the spectators are as interesting as the show. To read my review of the concert, visit the
Bay Net.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

River Concert Wows the Crowd with Singing

At last week’s River Concert at St. Mary’s College of Maryland on July 9th, we got an excellent view of the singing. Jim and I sat in the second row to watch. Sometimes I even crawl in front of the first row to get a better angle of the soloist’s hands or instrument. (As long as I am not blocking some else’s view!) Pictures of music stands and people’s heads don’t really add to the photo! As the evening sky gets darker, I have to remember to keep resetting the ISO rating higher (speed) which adds a grainy look to the pictures. I enjoy trying to catch orchestra members laughing at a small joke or eyeing the soloist with appreciation. I often like to get photos of the crowd as well, especially children enthralled with the music and people having fun. At this particular concert, I enjoyed seeing Olivia and Larry Vote perform, since they were involved with my church choir a few years ago. It was a wonderful concert, leaving me humming the tunes for the rest of the evening.
To read my review of the concert on The Bay Net, go to

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Large Crowd Gathered for River Concert Wasn’t Disappointed.

The third River Concert of the 2010 season, titled “Summon the Heroes”, began with a huge crowd of enthusiastic music lovers on the green at St. Mary’s College of Maryland. “It’s nice to have a small crowd to play for” exclaimed Jeffrey Silberschlag, music director, tongue in cheek. At the concert on Friday evening July 2nd, 2010, the festival vendors were doing a brisk business selling dinners and crafts to the happy crowd. After the extreme heat in the early part of the week, Friday’s Spring-like weather attracted visitors in large numbers.

In deference to the coming holiday, the evening began with a rousing rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner” by the Chesapeake Orchestra, followed by John Williams “Summon the Heroes”, a piece written for the 100th Anniversary of the modern Olympic games, according to the conductor. This majestic piece included lots of trumpets, drums, cymbals and soaring strings.

Morton Gould’s “American Salute” followed, a fairly popular work based on the tune of “When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again”. This was appropriate for an evening with so many patriotic works.

One of the highlights of the evening was a performance by Ian Chaava (pictured), euphophonist and runner-up in the River Concert Young Artist Concerto Competition. Introduced to the Euphonium in his sophomore year in high school, he has progressed at a rapid rate with the instrument. He played Jean Baptiste Arban’s “Carnival of Venice”, a piece most of us would recognize as a complex fingered variation of “My Hat, It Has Three Corners”. The young man gave an excellent performance and was well received with a standing ovation, prompting a huge smile from Mr. Chaava. Well Done!

Perry Goldstein’s nostalgic piece, “The Abundant Air” was a contemporary jazzy work played by the Marine Saxophone Quartet from “The President’s Own” U.S. Marine Band. The Quartet consisted of Steven Temme on soprano sax, Gregory Ridlington on Alto sax, David Jenkins on tenor sax and Otis Goodlett, IV, baritone Saxophonist accompanied by a talented Bass soloist from the Chesapeake Orchestra. The work was sometimes disjointed with lots of stops and starts and some 50’s jazz creating a music story. The Quartet followed with a jazzy rendition of “Sittin’ On the Dock of the Bay”.

After the intermission, the concert saved the best for last with Brian Ganz, piano soloist and local artist-in-residence at St. Mary’s College of Maryland, who played George Gershwin’s “Piano Concerto in F”. St. Mary’s County is so lucky to have such an accomplished and enthusiastic pianist who vibrates with the joy of the music from head to toe. Even though he was the soloist, he also seemed to coax the best out of the Chesapeake orchestra, obviously enjoying the music between solo sections, a definite team effort with the conductor. This rhythmic jazzy work was just superb. Jeffrey Silbershlag also announced that Mr. Ganz just signed an agreement with the Music Center at Strathmore in North Bethesda, MD to play Chopin’s works for 10-15 seasons, starting on January 21st.

The River Concert ended with a Sousa’s “Liberty Bell March” and Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture”, followed by spectacular fireworks over St. Mary’s River.

Next week’s River Concert, “A Grand Night for Singing” will feature guest conductor Larry Vote, soprano Michelle B. Johnson, mezzo-soprano, Olivia Vote and baritone, Brian Major with overtures from “Carmen”, “Porgy and Bess”, “The Barber of Seville” and more.

FYI-the Fireworks photo won 3rd place in the night photography competition at St. Mary's County Camera Club in August 2010.