current info

An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. "A fight is going on inside me," he said to the boy.

"It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil—he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego." He continued, "The other is good—he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you—and inside every other person, too."

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, "Which wolf will win?"

The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."

First People - The Legends. Cherokee Legend of Two Wolves. November 16, 2004. [accessed April 7, 2012].

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Redistricting and Gerrymandering - Columbia Law School

What Maryland's Congressional Districts would look like without poilitical party interests being taken into account

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Early Voting Sites (& other voting information) in Prince George's County, Maryland

Early Voting

Saturday, October 27, 2012  through Thursday, November 1, 2012
10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. (Sunday Hours Noon – 6:00 p.m.)
Early Voting Sites
College Park Community Center
Bowie Library
Upper Marlboro Community Center
Wayne K. Curry Sports & Learning Center
Oxon Hill Library
Absentee Ballot Application Deadline
Tuesday, October 30, 2012

4:30 p.m. – 11:59 p.m.
Late Absentee Ballot Application Begins
Wednesday, October 31, 2012
General Election Day
Tuesday, November 6, 2012 (7:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.)

·         To be prepared to vote YOU MUST DO THE FOLLOWING:
·         ·       Register to vote! Maryland offers ONLINE VOTER REGISTRATION for individuals who have a valid Maryland-issued State ID or driver’s license! You can register or update your voter information online:
·         ·       If you are registered to vote, check your voting status to ensure you are eligible to vote on November 6, 2012 online:
·         ·       Know where you are assigned to vote by checking online: 
·         Early Voting will be October 27th through November 1st. Visit our website for early voting locations:
·         The deadline to request an Absentee Ballot is Tuesday, October 30, 2012
·         ·       Vote by absentee ballot if you are not able to vote at the polls during early voting or on Election Day. 
·         You will receive a specimen ballot 10 days prior to the Election. Please read it and bring it with you to the polls.
· Tips for Voters:
·         ·       Check your voter registration status
·         ·       Know your polling place - know where you are assigned to vote
·         ·       Read your ballot questions before arriving at the polls
·         ·       Vote Early! (October 27 – November 1)
·         ·       Expect long lines at the polls during peak hours
·         ·       Vote during non-peak hours (10:00AM and 4:00PM)
·         For more information, please contact our office at (301) 430-8020 or visit our website:

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Maria Ioudenitch and her Violin Touch the Stars in First Concert of the 2012-2013 Prince George's Philharmonic Season

Maria Ioudenitch,
2012 Johansen International Competition and  soloist with the Prince George's Phil;harmonic Oct. 13, Bowie, MD, 2012

               Wow! Last night was the first concert of the 2012-2013 Prince George's Philharmonic season. I arrived with a minute to spare to a nearly packed house at the Bowie Center for the Performing Arts in Bowie, Maryland. Finding a seat a few rows from the front on the far left, I was immediately standing for a rousing rendition of the Star Spangled Banner that, for a moment, made me think, just for the briefest of moments, of  the play-offs I was not watching.  

               The first piece on the night's musical offerings was Wagner's 'Prelude to the Die Meistersinger von N├╝rnberg' (The Mastersingers of Nuremberg). Earlier, I had gently explained to some wary concert goers that fear of Wagner was unwarranted especially in this 10 minute or less beginning of a four hour plus masterpiece - no Valkyrie this night. Maestro Ellis started firmly and never lost his focus. The orchestra responded with precision and gust never losing its way. While I was expecting a faster tempo, once again Mr. Ellis' showed his artistic command of the music with his considered tempos that  allowed him to showcase the various sections of the orchestra from brass to strings, from percussion to woodwinds - woodwinds of which I will speak more later.   

               The beautiful tones, intonations, tempos, attacks of the orchestra in the Wagner set the stage for a truly thrilling performance of Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto in E Minor, Op. 64 by a dazzling virtuosa, Maria Ioudenitch, 2012 Johansen International Competition winner.  Mendelssohn, the child prodigy, left behind a glittering gift of music to the world of which his Violin Concerto is a supernova that exploded 167 years ago and never dimmed.  And last night, a second musical supernova, Maria Ioudenitch, partnered with Mendelssohn, Maestro Ellis and the Prince George's Philharmonic to create an awe inspiring musical moment.

               Maria Ioudenitch made the virtuosic passages melt with her artistry and held infinity in her grasp from her ricocheting arpeggios to when she reached upwards to shimmering overtones that shifted from reality to imagination and back again as if she were holding the universe on the head of a pin - one dared not take a breather. If you were not there, you missed an extraordinary half hour of technical mastery and emotional wizardry. I could feel the audience wanting to jump to its feet at the end of the first movement; and 'feeling' that Mr. Ellis must have anticipated this and was ready for it. He seamlessly brought the solo bassoon in just in time to hold the audience's emotions in check. Ms. Ioudenitch handling of the tremulous accompaniment near the end of the second movement perfectly framed the ensemble performance. The orchestra was brilliant when it needed to be, but did not over shadow the soloist. The structurally innovative concerto ended with fireworks that I only wish could have gone on forever. The stellar performance of Ms. Ioudenitch exceeds my paltry lexicon's ability to describe. The Prince George's Philharmonic's mastery of the music permitted them to excel as a matched musical partner in their bravura performance highlighting not only the soloist but their own individual and technical artistry.    

               And then it was intermission - the perfect place for me to single out the woodwind section for the exceptional performance throughout the evening, both in its ensemble work as well as when each addressed a solo part.  

               And then came the mighty Fourth of Tchaikovsky. The "Fate" Symphony No. 4 in F Minor, Op. 36 is a technical virtuosic series of Mt. Everests for a conductor and his orchestra. The one-of-a-kind internal structure demands that the conductor internalize both the emotion and the rationale or logic of the entire piece. The danger is allowing either to overpower the other. And if this were not a large enough challenge, the orchestra itself is faced with myriad technical challenges that would tax the concentration of the conductor in any case.

               The performance had multiple moments of stunning electric, knock-you-off-your-seat, emotional punches. The famous sonic slam that starts the fourth movement was physically in your face as it should be - everyone "felt" the music and "got" the point. The strings were absolutely on point in the third movement.  Displaying "dazzling deftness straight from Mendelssohn", the strings collaborated with the on-a-roll woodwinds in a bravura performance. The pizzicato work of the strings in the scherzo produced a balalaika sound that shifted and shimmered back and forth across the stage adding a spatial dimension to sound. The brass rose to the occasion many times to reinforce the up-close-and personal possibilities inherent in the score. When partnered with artistic and technical artistry of the percussion section the result really did reach out and grab me. Wow comes to mind.

               And so I try to address that uneasy feeling I had from the very beginning when the fanfare attack was off for a split second right at the very beginning. This is the classic example of the technical difficulties of the 4th. You cannot go back and you cannot hide, but you can close ranks and use the structure, the intellectual logic of the piece, to move on and reach the mountain top. Associate conductor of the Prince George's Philharmonic, Shawn Storer, was forthright in his opening remarks that he and the orchestra would explore the emotional moments of the 4th Symphony. He told us that the famous chords at the opening repeated throughout the composition follow Beethoven's famous 5th knock on the door but in this case the chord of fate break the door down. This is a great picture, however I think Mr. Storer took some of the door jam with him in his forceful emotional demands of his orchestra. I had the distinct feeling that if only the orchestra could find additional funding through subscriptions etc. that would allow one more rehearsal, the small nagging problems of attack and intonation would have been easily overcome. I would love to hear Mr. Storer's performance once he had full control of his musical machine. It was if as if he were racing in a Maserati for the very first time on a brand new race track. Faced with adjusting the performance of his machine to the needs of the race, Mr. Storer had to keep down shifting to stay on the track.

               Fate, as it were, kept us from hearing what surely would have been an exceptional performance from an artist with musical ideas to share with us. So although I was trying to figure out exactly what was off throughout the entire piece, I was at the same time often brought close enough to the mountain top to see what Mr. Storer was trying to share. I am eager to hear him again and to go with him on another musical adventure of the first rank.   


post scriptum: Maria Ioudenitch Plays During a Lesson
LauraSpencer 5 months ago 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The first concert of the 2012-2013 season of the Prince George's Philharmonic

The first concert of the 2012-2013 season of the Prince George's Philharmonic is set to take place Saturday, October 13, 2012 at 8:00 pm at The Bowie Center for the Performing Arts, Bowie Maryland. Click here for directions.

The program features violinist Maria Ioudenitch, a 2012 Johansen International Competition Winner, in a performance of Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto. The concert opens with Richard Wagner's Prelude to Die Meistersinger. These first two works will be led by our Music Director, Charles Ellis. Shawn Storer, our Associate Conductor, will lead the second half of the concert with one of Tchaikovsky's perennial favorites, his Symphony No. 4.

Saturday, October 13, 2012 - 8:00pm
Bowie Center for the Performing Arts, Bowie, MD
Charles Ellis and Shawn Storer, conductors
Maria Ioudenitch, violin, Johansen International Competition Winner

Wagner                       Prelude to Die Meistersinger
Mendelssohn              Violin Concerto in E Minor, Op. 64
Tchaikovsky                Symphony No. 4 in F Minor, Op. 36

Artist Interview with Maria Ioudenitch

by Susan Pearl


QN: Thank you so much, Maria, for taking the time to talk to us today. We are very much looking forward to performing the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto with you at our October concert. Could we start with a little about your training so far and your plans for the future?

MI: I began playing the violin when I was three years old, and am now studying with Professor Ben Sayevich at the International Center for Music at Park University (Missouri). I still have two more years of high school, and I then hope to concentrate on violin performance studies with a solo career as my goal.

QN: You come from a very distinguished musical family - your father won a gold medal at the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in 2001, and both of your parents are greatly involved not only in piano performance, but in musical education.

MI: Yes, they are very busy people, and have recently spent time in China where my father was performing and giving master classes, and my mother was teaching. I owe them so much! When I was three years old they gave me a violin - a tiny 1/16 size instrument! Most of my family members were and are pianists, but my grandfather was a violinist - I guess it seemed right that I should take up the violin.

QN: We understand that you began this year to enter performance competitions, and that you took first prize in the Kansas City Symphony Young Artist Competition, with the result that you played the Khachaturian concerto with the Kansas City Orchestra. Congratulations! And of course it is your success at this spring's Johansen International Competition that brings you to solo with the Prince George's Philharmonic. Can you tell us a little about the experience of participating in these competitions?

MI: Yes, taking part in these competitions is quite wonderful, and it's a special learning experience for a young performer. The Young Artists Competition was wonderful for several reasons. It was a blind competition, which means that the judges were separated from the competitors, and did not know who the performers were. I found that this relieved the pressure - I could forget about the judges and truly play for the joy and the beauty of the music.

QN: And we are so pleased that because of your success at the Johansen, you will be playing the wonderful Mendelssohn concerto with our Philharmonic. So let us finish our conversation by talking about this wonderful concerto, and some of your feelings about it.

MI: I think that the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto is one of the most beautifully pure pieces of music ever written. In some ways it is not quite as complex as the Beethoven or the Brahms concerto, but it has such beauty in its purity. The first movement is very lively, but the progress is so fluid into the second movement, which seems so deceptively simple. And then, again, it so perfectly plunges right into the very festive third movement finale. I've been working on this beautiful concerto for about three months, and I love

Pumpkin Picking in Prince George's County - Laurel, MD Patch

  • C&E Farms at 11415 Old Pond Dr. in Glenn Dale hosts Harvest Fest on Sundays in October from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m with pick-in-the-patch pumpkins, hayrides, face painting, a petting zoo and seasonal fresh produce.
  • Montpelier Farms, located at 1720 North Crain Highway in Upper Marlboro is open September through November, Fridays 5 p.m. to 11 p.m., Saturdays 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.  Montpelier has a pumpkin patch of already picked pumpkins, hayrides, a moon bounce, hay bale mazes for all ages and snacks available for purchase.
  • Patuxent Nursery at 2410 North Crain Highway in Bowie is holding a Fall Fest, offering  a pumpkin patch of already picked pumpkins, pony rides, straw or hay bale mazes for all ages, face painting, a bounce house and more. Fall Fest will run for three weeks in October, opening on Oct. 13, from 10 a.m to 3 p.m. Admission is $10 per child. Parents and babes in arms are free.
  • Queen Anne Farms at 18102 Central Ave. in Mitchellville has pumpkins for sale in the farm stand or pick-your-own pumpkins in the patch, hayrides, pumpkin pies, a corn maze and more. Open every day through mid-November from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Know of any local farms or pumpkin patches in Prince George’s County that we missed? Leave the names and addresses in the comments.

Pumpkin Picking in Prince George's County - Laurel, MD Patch

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Beltsville Agricultural Research Center (BARC): The Science of Organic Farming Presented by John Peter Thompson

The Laurel Historical Society and The Laurel Public Library
Beltsville Agricultural Research Center (BARC):
The Science of Organic Farming 

Presented by John Peter Thompson,
President of the National Agricultural Research Alliance

October 10, 2012; 7 pm; Laurel Library
507 7th Street
Laurel, MD 20707

BARC has been at the forefront of agricultural research for over 100 years.
Come learn more about the “farm” as it has been affectionately called by
those who lived in Laurel and worked at the
internationally known research facility.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Prince George’s County, Maryland, Champion Tree Tour

See and learn about Prince George’s tallest residents on M-NCPPC’s and Prince George’s Forestry Board for the Prince George’s County Champion Tree Tour on Saturday, Oct. 27 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., beginning at the Prince George’s County Equestrian Center at 14900 Pennsylvania Avenue, Upper Marlboro.

Registration is $20 and seating is limited to 60 people.  Participants must RSVP by Friday, Oct. 19 by sending the check to Prince George’s County Forestry Board , Attn: Steve Darcey , 5301 Marlboro Race Track Rd. #100 , Upper Marlboro, MD 20772. Please include your contact info, phone number and email, with your check.

Those who register for the tour will get a guided bus tour of 10 to 11 champion trees, noted for their height, spread and canopy.  The national champion American Holly will be included in the tour as well as the state champion Swamp White Oak and Persimmon.   They will also receive a copy of the new Prince George’s County Tree Champion book along with a willow oak seedling.

For more information, contact Chris Garrett, M-NCPPC Senior Park Ranger at 301-627-7755.