Category Archives: Blog

STEP UP! Frederick Student Songwriting Contest

Chords of Courage presents the inaugural STEP UP Frederick! Student Songwriting Contest in Frederick County, Maryland. Using songwriting as a catalyst for social change, the contest encourages middle and high school age students to write compelling songs about people of particular courage. At the Awards Concert, Friday evening April 6 at Frederick Community College’s JBK Theater, winning students will encourage the audience to join them in acts of STEPPING UP! to make a difference in their community inspired by their courageous song subjects. Is a great way to empower teens to be active members of their community and an incredibly profound experience for everyone.

The deadline for song submissions is Friday, March 2 at 11:59pm. Prizes include cash, recording studio time, YMCA summer memberships and more. FCPS strongly encourages student participation to complement growth and endeavors.

To provide support to interested students, Chords of Courage and the Frederick Acoustic Music Enterprise, F.A.M.E., are offering free songwriting sessions Saturday mornings February 10 and 24 from 10:00am-1:00pm at New Spire Arts.

A Chords of Courage student songwriting workshop participant said, “I really like what we did with Chords of Courage because it was something special. (When writing with others) we had to work with a group, to work together and listen to each other, to find out what we really wanted to say. And we made a really great song about a man who made a difference. And I like how I got to do this with one of my closest friends and I feel like we made a difference”.

With the Delaplaine and Ausherman Family Foundations as sponsors, and organizations like F.A.M.E., SHIP, the Boys & Girls Club, and the YMCA as partners, this is truly a Frederick County project,” says Chords of Courage Founder and CEO Caron Dale. Chords of Courage is the non-profit, 501(c)(3) charitable organization, who is presenting this opportunity to Frederick County middle and high school age students. Chords of Courage believes strongly that songwriting promotes civil discourse and reinforces the belief in the power of one song and songwriter to make a real difference.

Words by Chords of Courage.

Frederick Children’s Chorus Presents 23rd Annual Messiah Sing-Along

The Frederick Children’s Choruses’ Messiah Sing-Along, a community tradition since 1994, will return to the Weinberg Center for the Arts on Tuesday, December 19 at 8:00pm.Artistic Director Judith DuBose will conduct a forty-voiced chorus, twenty-piece orchestra, and four soloists through select choruses and arias of “Messiah” by G. F. Handel. A Messiah Sing-Along is unique, as it encourages the audience to sing along. In the audience, faithful singers return to the Weinberg Center year after year, carrying their well-worn copy of the music, ready to sing the choruses. Families and friends meet annually, making this a holiday tradition, and general admission seating allows friends to meet up and sit together. Copies of the full vocal score will be for sale in the lobby of the Weinberg Center for $10.

The general admission event benefits The Frederick Children’s Chorus. Tickets may be pre-purchased by contacting the Weinberg Center Box Office at 301-600-2828 or online at

The audience members report that they look forward to singing what is probably the most well-known of the choruses; “Hallelujah.” “Messiah” is the most frequently performed major work world-wide. Messiah Sing-along concerts are prevalent throughout the United States, Europe, Africa, and Asia.

Photo provided courtesy of the Frederick Children’s Chorus.

A quartet of talented young professional vocalists is selected to perform the arias. This year the students are pursuing advanced degrees in vocal performance at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University in the vocal studio of Dr. Stanley Cornett.

Soprano soloist, Teresa Ferrarro, is a Washington, D.C. native who has performed at the Kennedy Center as a solo vocalist on the Millennium Stage, and in the Terrace Theater and as a supernumerary with the Washington National Opera. She has received many awards for her singing, including the Award for Excellence in the Arts from the National Society of Arts and Letters, The Washington Post Music and Dance Scholarship Award, and 3rd place in the Friday Morning Music Club Sue Goetz Memorial Competition for Singers two years in a row.

Mezzo soprano soloist, Elizabeth Sarian recently received a Master of Music in Vocal Performance and Pedagogy at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, and is currently pursuing her Graduate Performance Diploma at the Peabody Institute. For the 2017-2018 season, Elizabeth will be seen as Olga in Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin with Bel Cantanti Opera, and in the title role in Massenet’s Cherubin with Peabody Opera. Originally from Long Island, New York, Elizabeth holds a Bachelor of Science from Hofstra University in Vocal Performance.

Photo provided courtesy of the Frederick Children’s Chorus.

Henry Hubbard is a tenor from Richmond, Virginia. He is currently pursuing a masters in Vocal Performance and Pedagogy at the Peabody Institute of the John’s Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. He is currently covering the role of Nemorino in L’elisir d’amore, and will be performing the role of Captain Ricardo in Chérubin later this year. This past summer, Henry performed the role of Don Ottavio in Mozart’s Don Giovanni at the Centre for Opera Studies in Italy. Shortly before this, he performed Die Schöne Müllerin at the Staunton First Presbyterian Church with pianist Mun Fei Chor. Other credits include Ferrando in Cosi Fan Tutte and Little Bat in Susannah, with the Halifax Summer Opera Festival.

Baritone, Ross Tamacchio holds a Bachelor of Arts, Vocal Performance from Shepherd University and is a 2018 candidate for Master of Music, Vocal Performance from the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University. His performance experience includes opera with Peabody Opera, Shepherd University, Loudon Lyric Opera and Victorian Lyric Opera. He has held chorister and section leader positions with Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, The Bridge Ensemble, Baltimore Choral Arts Society and Emmanuel Episcopal Church, Baltimore.


The Weinberg Center for the Arts is one of the region’s premier performing arts presenters, offering film, music, dance, theater, and family-focused programming. Located in the historic Tivoli movie theater in downtown Frederick, Md., the Weinberg Center strives to ensure that the arts remain accessible and affordable to local and regional audiences alike. Weinberg Center events are made possible with major support from the City of Frederick, the Maryland State Arts Council, Plamondon Hospitality Partners, and other corporate and individual donors.

A complete listing of artists and performers scheduled for the 2017-2018 season can be found at

Helping those in Need this Holiday

Whether you’re in need or you’d like to help those less fortunate this Holiday, there are ways you can get involved in the community. Check out this list of great non-profit organizations in Frederick dedicated to helping our neighbors in need.

United Way of Frederick County

Bernard W. Brown Community Center
629 N Market St
Frederick, MD 21701
(301) 663-4231
This organization offers a plethora of programs for a variety of people in need in Frederick. They offer services to people who earn more than the Poverty Level but can’t cover the basic costs of living, what they call ALICE. They offer tax preparation services, financial coaching, job placement assistance, and job skills training as well as the FamilyWize Program for prescription assistance, just to name a few. They have meaningful partnerships with other organizations throughout Frederick, like the YMCA of Frederick County and the Frederick Rescue Mission. You can support this great organization through becoming running a workplace campaign,volunteering for their Day of Action or hosting or participating in a Poverty Simulation. During the holidays, you can nominate someone for a brand new high-efficiency heating system through A Gift of Warmth.

Frederick County Salvation Army

223 W. 5th St.
Frederick, MD 21705
(301) 662-2311
They have a few holiday programs, including the Christmas Angel Tree and Red Kettle programs, as well as the distribution of free winter coats. Low income families, including senior households, can receive support. An extensive array of resources are administered. You can support this organization through donating money or airline miles, household goods, or your car they will even come pickup your donations. You can also volunteer or serve on a local advisory board.

The Religious Coalition

27 DeGrange St.
Frederick, MD 21701
(301) 631-2670
They offer an extensive list of programs and services including emergency shelter program for individuals and families, rental assistance, energy assistance, health care programs, food banks, as well as resources for children. You can support this organization through volunteering or donating through their Adopt-a-Night Angel program, or donating household items. Check out their wishlists.

Way Station

230 W Patrick St.
Frederick, MD 21701
(301) 662-0099
They offer resources and support for adults with mental illness, developmental disabilities, and substance addictions as well as support for children and teens with emotional behavioral challenges and veterans with service needs. They have multiple volunteering opportunities and you can support them by donating money or home goods like appliances, furniture, etc.

Frederick Rescue Mission

419 W South St.
Frederick, MD 21701
(301) 695-6633
They offer a plethora of resources for homeless and substance-addicted adults in Frederick, They offer programs like recovery programs, the Faith House for homeless women and children, and resources like a shower room and a soup kitchen that serves breakfast and lunch every day. You can support this organization by volunteering either individually or in a large group. They also accept donations of food, clothing, cars, and they hold a backpack drive for children going back to school in the fall. You can check out their wishlist.

Flu-Fighting Foods

Does the change in season have you feeling under-the-weather? Try some of these foods in addition to your medicine to ease your symptoms and get on your feet faster.



The anti-inflammatory gingerols and shogaols in ginger root will help to relieve a sore throat. Ginger is also good for an upset stomach and easing queasiness.

Spicy Food

Wasabi, chili and horseradish will help clear up those sinuses from a head cold. However, if your stomach is upset, it would be best to avoid aggravating it further with anything too hot.

Garlic and Onions

Both of these fragrant vegetables contain phytochemicals that help the body clear bronchitis and other infections.

Chicken Noodle Soup

Helps relieve sore throats and ease congestion. It’s also a great source of vitamins and minerals without being too harsh for a queasy stomach.


Blueberries, raspberries and blackberries are full of powerful antioxidants.

Kale, Broccoli, Cabbage, and other dark leafy greens

These veggies contain glutathione, which strengthens your immune system so it can fight off infections.

Fall Activities for Families

Looking for some Fall fun for your little ones? Look no further than these Frederick Farms.

Mayne’s Farm

  • What: Celebrate Fall at Mayne’s Tree Farm Pumpkin Patch in Frederick, MD. Our pumpkin patch is open for fall season. Pumpkins are available in small, medium and large. Fall Activities Include hayrides, a corn maze, tractor pedal cars, apple cider, scarecrow making, moon bounce, straw jumpin and an antique tractor display.
  • Where: 3420 Buckeystown Pike, Buckeystown, MD
  • When: Weekdays: 10 am – 6 pm and Weekends: 10 am – 5 pm
  • Cost: Varies depending on the activity. Prices range from free to $10

Lawyer’s Winterbrook Farm

  • What: Welcome to the home of Maryland’s Largest Corn Maze! There are a total of 4 separate corn mazes with a total of 6.3 miles of trails over 30 acres of corn for you to find all 24 checkpoints in. They also have 2 pumpkin cannons, a barrel train ride, hay maze, hay fort, playground, bouncy ball racing, pick-your-own pumpkin patch, bunnyville, corn box, rubber duck races and a jumbo movie screen.
  • Where: 13001 Creagerstown Rd, Thurmont, MD
  • When: Friday: 5:00pm – 11:00pm, Saturday: 11:00am – 11:00pm, Sunday: 11:00am – 7:00pm. The pumpkin patch closes at 6:00pm.
  • Cost: $10 Regular admission, $7 children under 4, children under 2 are free.

Summers Farm Fall Harvest

  • What: Agri-attractions include 12+ acre themed corn maze, farmer golf, hayrides, pig races, jumping pillows, barnyard animals, pumpkins, hay-slides and more! Enjoy nights at the farm with our Moonlight Maze and campfires. Concessions and gifts at the Country Market, Sweet Shoppe, and Barnyard Grill.
  • Where: 5620 Butterfly Lane, Frederick, MD 21703
  • When: Recurring daily at 10:00 am September 23, 2017 – October 31, 2017
  • Cost: Weekdays are $10, weekends are $17

Gaver’s Farm

  • What: Family fun on the farm includes a corn maze, farm animals, slides, mini mazes, a giant jumping pillow, hayrides to pick your own pumpkins and apples, a farm market, bakery and delicious farm fresh food!
  • Where: 5501 Detrick Rd, Mt. Airy, MD 21771
  • When: September 8, 2017 – November 5, 2017, 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM
  • Cost: $7.75 per person weekdays, $11 per person weekends and kids 2 and under free.

Jumbo’s Pumpkin Patch

  • What: Jumbo’s Pumpkin Patch is a pick-your-own pumpkin patch located in Middletown, MD. We enjoy pinning lots of awesome pumpkin recipes, crafts, and decorating idea. Pick-Your-Own Pumpkins priced by the pound, Corn Maze, Hayrides, Pony Rides, Face Painting, Yummy Food, Fall Fun for the whole family!
  • Where: 6521 Holter Road,Middletown, MD
  • When: Every day from 10-6
  • Cost: Corn Maze – $7 per person, Mini Wagon Rides – $2, Horse Wagon Rides – $3

Butler’s Orchard

  • What: 37th annual Pumpkin Festival is fun for all ages at Butler’s Farm. The events and activities include, hayrides, jump in the hayloft, barnyard buddies, twisted corn maze, playground, spider web, pumpkin cannon, pony rides, pedal tractors, face painting, apple slingshot, pick your own pumpkins, and tons of different food options.
  • Where: 22222 Davis Mill Rd., Germantown, MD
  • When: 10:00 to 5:00, Saturdays and Sundays in October
  • Cost: $12 per person, children under 2 are free.