Letters to the Editor

 Vol. 10, No. 40

October 3-9, 2002

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Praise for Poet Laureate and His Chronicler

Dear Bay Weekly:
I was so pleased to see Patrick McNabb’s wonderful article about Maryland Poet Laureate Michael Collier [Vol. X, No. 39, September 26]. I’ve known Patrick since high school, when he was a page at the library, so it was a delight to see him develop ideas for a story and come up with such a fine product.

As I looked back after reading, I realized the main photo shows Collier in our Prince Frederick reading room during his appearance in June.

The Calvert Library finds a very strong interest in poetry in the county right now and presents many programs related to poetry, with workshops with poet Elisavietta Ritchie, open-mike evenings and special events for adults and teens all related to poetry. Collier was certainly a natural fit. He makes his poetry accessible to every person and is an excellent choice for Maryland’s poet laureate.

— Pat Hofmann, Director: Calvert Library

Organist Monte Maxwell Pulled out All the Stops

Dear Bay Weekly:
Thanks to the great advance coverage by the Bay Weekly [Vol. X, No. 37, Sept. 12], the dedication of a new organ at St. James’ Episcopal Church in Lothian was packed with about 200 music lovers Sunday, Sept. 15.

The fact that an internationally renowned concert organist gave a recital designed to demonstrate the instrument’s “beautiful colors” helped, of course. But Monte Maxwell, organist at the U.S. Naval Academy, exceeded all expectations with his virtuosity, good humor and scholarship.

When some of the keys of the Rodgers Trillium 957 three-manual digital organ with 55 stops played without the help of an organist, he told a story while technical help came to the rescue.

Bach was asked how difficult it is to play the organ. The great composer replied, “It simply plays itself.” And so it did.

Mr. Maxwell laughed with the audience and resumed playing.

The organ was placed in front of the altar to allow the audience to watch its lights and Mr. Maxwell’s playing. The new dove-white and pale-mauve paint and the deep red carpeting that had just been installed provided visual stimulation to go along with the incredible sounds heard in the historic church that day.

The congregation also joined in singing with the combined Celebration and Senior Choirs and attended a reception the choirs hosted after the 4pm event.

The organ was donated in the memory of Gertrude Councilman Owens, a parishioner in the late 1800s, by the Norman G. Owens Foundation. Mitchell G. Owens, her great-grandson, is treasurer of the foundation and a vestry and choir member.

To quote Mr. Maxwell, “It was a grand day!”

— Val Hymes, Edgewater

We welcome your letters and opinions. We will edit when necessary. Include your name, address and phone number for verification. Mail them to Bay Weekly, P.O. Box 358, Deale, MD 20751 • E-mail them to us at [email protected].

Copyright 2002
Bay Weekly