When the freedom of the school holidays turns to boredom there always comes the question that parents dread - "What can I do now?" This summer the arts have an answer for everyone from preschoolers to teenagers. In Montgomery and prince George's counties special classes and arts camps will offer a wide choice of activities.
For junior high school students, the Prince George's County arts division will hold a Fine Arts Camp from July 3 to 14 and from July 17 to 28. The program will include indoor and outdoor arts activities as well as swimming and sports. Limited scholarships are available for the camp, which costs $60 a session. For details call 277-2200, ext. 396.
For children who will be entering grades 1 through 6, the Jewish Community Center will have five sessions of a coed art camp, with the first starting June 26. Activities include puppet runs from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, with an extended day optional. May 20 is the registration deadline for the first two sessions; July 1 for the others. For details call 881-0100.
The Montgomery County arts division and Street 70 Theater Company will offer three sessions of arts day camps for preschoolers and children in grades 1 through 6. Mime and theater makeup will be included for the older group. The preschoolers will learn yoga, cooking and theater arts and crafts. The sessions, to be held in Rockville, Silver Spring and Bethesda, will be held Monday through Thursday, beginning June 26. There will also be a theater camp for children going into grades 4-7. For details call 468-4172.
Street 70 will hold a brass ensemble camp on the Hood College Campus in Frederick June 25-30. An audition is required for experienced musicians, grade 7-12. For details call 468-4172.
Creative drama classes will be offered in several locations. At the theater in Glen Echo Park, Adventure Theater will have two sessions, June 26-July 10 and July 17-28. There are classes for various ages starting with children who will be first graders next September through a theater workshop for teens. For details call 320-5331 weekdays 10-2.
For children ages 5 through 13, the University of Maryland theater division will offer creative drama classes the end of July and the first part of August. Registration materials and information will be available in mid-June; Call 454-2541.
In Bladensburg the Publick Playhouse will hold children's theater classes beginning in July. Details will be available in June by calling 277-1710.
For junior and senior high school students Street 70 Theater Company will conduct the Theater Apprentice Program from July 5 to Aug. 9. The program, which includes professional theater training and ends with a stage production, will be held in Rockville and Chevy Chase. For information call 468-1172.
Street 70 also needs summer volunteers to work as painters, carpenters, stage crews, seamstreeses. To volunteer call 468-4172.
Street 70 also needs summer session, July 17-Aug. 19, the Maryland College of Art and Design in Silver Spring will offer courses, taught by its regular faculty, to younger students. For ages 11 to 14, courses in drawing and painting and cartooning will be offered. In addition, students 15 to 18 can take photography and commercial art. Instruction for children younger than 11 is being considered. For information call 649-4454.
Glen Echo Park has a number of courses, including architecture for ages 6 to 9, dance as a contact sport for ages 6 to 12, photography for ages 10 to 16, children and teen's modern dance and a teen jazz dance class. For details on all classes call 496-6282. Chelm Players
The Chelm Players will present "Shep Nachus" at 8 p.m. May 20 and 21 at the Jewish Community Center in Rockville. The group won best director and best overall performer awards in the D.C. One-Act Play Tournament and the Maryland One-Act Play Festival this year and was given the best production award in the Maryland Festival and the Eastern States Regional One Act Play Festival. For ticket information call 881-0100. Choral Performance
One of the great frustrations in performing arts is to attend an even that features a good performance but a less than enjoyable experience. Such was the case recently when the Prince George's Choral Society, under the direction of Ron Freeman, performed at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.
During the performance tourists and tour guides wandered through, talking and snapping pictures. There was no printed program, and only an insignificant sign announced the event.
Following two works by Brahms, the feature of the program was Haydn's "Mass in D Minor" (Lord Nelson). The singers were well prepared for the challenge of the Shrine's acoustics, never allowing themselves to overbalance the hall and generally holding back tempos in the interest of clarity. Choral balance and intonation were excellent.
Balancing a solo quartet, however, is an age-old problem and this performance did not find the solution. Con Viva Musica
The repertoire for small vocal ensembles is enormous, and a recent concert by Con Viva Musca at the Church of the Redeemer in Bowie provided listeners a sample of its breadth. Consisting of 15 Prince George's County residents, the ensemble usually performs madrigals, but on this occasion added works by such diverse composers as Isaac. Hassler, Buxtehude, Mozart, Houston Bright, Brahms and Elgar.
With such varied program some works suited the ensemble better than others. When the music and performers matched well, the results were superb. A "Benedictus" by Ludovico Viadana, with its long, smooth lines, was a model of clarity and beauty of choral sound. Indeed, Con Viva Musica was generally most successful in works calling for such restraint.
The singers genuinely seemed to be having a good time and wanted to share their own joy with the audience. This helped make for an enjoyable evening.