Guest Performers Announced For Howard County Arts Council's Celebration Of The Arts Gala

The Howard County Arts Council is pleased to announce the guest performers for the 22nd Annual Celebration of the Arts in Howard County gala. Featured this year are Misako Ballet Company; The Young Columbians; Ana Lane and Lindsey Litka; last year's Rising Star Award winner, Junghoon Park; and accompanist Patricia Hammer. You can catch them, along with the six finalists in the Arts Council's Rising Star Performing Arts Competition, at the Celebration gala on March 23, 2019 at 8 p.m. Emcee for the event is Joseph Ritsch, Producing Artistic Director for Rep Stage.

Misako Ballet Company presents ballet with a Japanese twist. Its repertory includes classical and contemporary works and Japanese-themed story ballets. Misako Ballet has a small company of dedicated professional dancers and also provides performance opportunities for Misako's students. Artistic Director Misako Aoki studied at the Royal Ballet School in London and toured with Rudolf Nureyev. Misako's extensive teaching credentials include the Royal Academy of Dance, Moscow Ballet, Washington Ballet, Towson University, and UMBC.

Created in 1975 for the Bicentennial, The Young Columbians are a unique ensemble of talented youth who have performed their Spirit of America, Broadway, and Christmas shows at many prestigious events. Venues include the White House, Wolf Trap, Disney World, The Kennedy Center and Merriweather Post Pavilion. Each Young Columbian performance has a polished innocence and freshness rarely seen in our youth today.

A sophomore at Friends School of Baltimore, Ana Lane has played Violet in Side Show with the Dundalk Community Theater; Snoopy in You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown, Ursula in The Little Mermaid, Mary Poppins in Mary Poppins, and Eponine in Les Miserables through Friends School; Jovie in Elf, Gertrude in Seussical, The Musical, and Make-up Girl in Singing in the Rain with the Children's Playhouse of Maryland; and Elizabeth in Robert and Elizabeth through Three Ring Theater.

Lindsey Litka received her degree in musical theatre performance in 2014 and has been performing in the Baltimore area since 2016. Notable roles include Audrey in Little Shop of Horrors (purple light theatre company), Judy Bernly in 9 to 5 The Musical (Annapolis Summer Garden Theatre), and Daisy Hilton in Side Show The Musical (DCT). She performed as a finalist in last year's 2018 Rising Star Performing Arts Competition and continues to support local theatre.

2018 Rising Star Award winner Junghoon Park is a graduate of University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Junghoon has studied with Drs. Kristina Suter, Alon Goldstein, and Audrey Andrist to obtain a vast knowledge of repertoire and chamber music concert experience, delighting audiences throughout Maryland. He has participated in prestigious music festivals and competitions such as the National Music Festival, Wonderlic Competition, Liszt-Garrison Competition, and International Keyboard Institute Festival. Junghoon was awarded a Special Honors award at the 2016 Paderewski Competition in Hartford, CT and competed in the Premio Scriabin Competition in Grosseto, Italy; 2017 International Chopin Competition in Hartford, CT; and International Gershwin Competition in New York City.

Patricia Hammer has been a professional musician for over four decades. She holds bachelor's and master's degrees in music education and has been a public school music teacher for thirty-one years, the last twenty-eight in Howard County. Favorite performances include the White House, The Kennedy Center, and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland. Patty has been nominated for four Howie Awards in the categories of Outstanding Arts Educator and Outstanding Artist.

The Celebration is a multi-faceted signature event, showcasing and promoting the arts and raising funds for Howard County artists and arts organizations. In addition to the main stage performance, the evening also features a reception from 6-8 p.m. with an Art Auction of work by local artists and delectable edibles from area restaurants. Reception entertainment will feature Dragon Scales, Howard Community College's first a capella group and musicians from The Columbia Orchestra under the musical direction of Jason Love.

The Celebration will take place in Columbia at Howard Community College's Peter and Elizabeth Horowitz Visual and Performing Arts Center. Information and tickets are available online at hocoarts.org or by phone at 410-313-2787.

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