Monday, November 4, 2013

Pasadena Singers Shine With The Harbor City Music Company Show Chorus

Published in the Pasadena Voice on Oct. 16th.

Harbor City Music Company Show Chorus (HCMCSC) will make an exciting costume reveal on Saturday, October 23, at 7:30pm with a free Friends and Family Night show for members of the Chesapeake Arts Center, as well as for members’ friends and families. Only a few weeks away from an international competition, chorus and quartet members will use this night as a dress rehearsal to be fully prepared to take a hopeful win in Honolulu at the Sweet Adelines International competition.

The vocal group of 67 women will sing four-part a cappella music onstage for Chesapeake Arts audiences and for other quartets and choruses from around the area that were invited to attend.

"HCMCSC will open the show with two songs, an uptune and a ballad," said HCMCSC marketing coordinator Ericka McLeod. "Harbor City will then leave for a costume change, and then quartets will come on."

Lustre Quartet will perform first and sing two songs, then will be followed by another quartet, Escapade, which will also sing two songs. "Lustre comes back on and will sing several compiled songs, called a competition package," McLeod informed.

After the quartets, HCMCSC members will return onstage with the exciting reveal of their costumes and another five songs to dazzle the audience. "They will have a combination of familiar songs and some Broadway songs," said McLeod.

Pasadena resident and chorus member Tina Brady will be a front line dancer and will sing the lead, which is the melody of the songs. An 18-year veteran with the chorus, Brady is grateful her mother tricked her into auditioning as a newlywed. She made the cut and has been singing with the group ever since, except for a small break to care for her newborn.

"I got hooked," admitted Brady. “[HCMCSC] is like a second family. I do it for the friendships, my love of singing and the traveling."

Pasadena native Mandy Kohli will also perform with the chorus for her eighth year with her mother, Susan Kohli, also a member of the chorus. "I will be singing at the top and I will sing the tenor, the highest part and a harmony part," she said. To prepare for her shows, Mandy is often found practicing with Susan, whom she convinced to join.

Mandy took voice lessons with the director when she was 20 years old and joined the chorus shortly after. "I love the people. I love the sisterhood. I love to compete and try to do my best,” she exclaimed. “I think our chorus is a unique and creative group.”

The company’s talent has been regionally, nationally and internationally recognized. Currently holding the title of 2012 Region 19 champions, the chorus always surprises the audience with a show that incorporates "harmony with a twist," which is full of movement and energy.

"The Chesapeake Arts Centers wants to give back to the community, so we hope everyone can come attend this magical evening with HCMCSC," said Nicole Parsons, Chesapeake Arts Center Marketing Coordinator.

Always looking for new members, the HCMCSC invites singers to join the chorus on Wednesday nights at 7:24pm at the Chesapeake Arts Center, where participants can discover their inner performer and no experience is necessary. To learn more about the chorus, how to join and other upcoming events, visit

Thursday, October 3, 2013

An Evening with Hal Linden

Published in the Severna Park Voice on Sept. 6th.

On Tuesday, September 24, Golden Globe- and Emmy-nominated actor Hal Linden will perform with his seven-piece band at Severna Park High School as the opening to the concert season provided by the Anne Arundel Community Concert Association (AACCA). The performance begins at 7:30pm, and doors will open 30 minutes prior.

“An Evening with Hal Linden,” as the cabaret-style act is titled, will showcase Linden’s many talents. “He’s going to talk about his long-term career, and there will be instrumentals and singing,” said Gale Gillespie, board member of AACCA. “It will feel as if you went to a night club.”

Linden will sing and play clarinet to big band hits, Broadway show tunes and jazz songs. “I did a lot on Broadway and not many people know about that,” noted Linden. “So I will be singing songs I sang on Broadway and songs I wish I had sung on Broadway.”

For the dialogue aspect, Linden wants the audience to take away something from his show. “The performance will have an attitude of resiliency – meaning no matter what I’ve done, I am still here,” he divulged. “It’s inspired by a version of ‘I’m Still Here’ from the musical ‘Follies.’”

Although Linden may be best known for his work on the television show “Barney Miller,” the concert will give audiences a glimpse of his versatility. In his teens, Linden learned to play the clarinet and soon after found himself performing with symphony orchestras. He later sang and entertained troops as a member of the United States Army Band. This sparked his interest in acting, which he subsequently pursued to many successes, such as his seven-year stint as Barney Miller.

After many acting roles, Linden chose to revive his musical inclinations and began performing with a big band where he played clarinet and discussed his life and career. This eventually transformed into “An Evening with Hal Linden.”

“This is a show that will appeal to anyone, even kids. A wide range of people can find something they like about this show,” said Gillespie.

Linden added, “The songs I sing are not just melodies, they’re pieces of the show that are hopefully distributable to everyone.”

Although AACCA’s shows are typically two hours long with a 30-minute intermission, Linden has requested the association omit the recess. “Linden’s manager says he prefers not to break [the show] up, since there is a progression to his act, and when you have an intermission, you lose that momentum,” explained Gillespie.

AACCA hopes that bringing in a celebrity will spark great interest from the Anne Arundel community. “We had several calls from people to see him or to join just to go to the ‘Barney Miller’ concert,” Gillespie shared. “It’s good to have an eye-catching entertainer.”

AACCA member subscriptions are available and priced for individuals and families. Members who pay the AACCA subscription fee have access to all concerts at Severna Park High School as well as to the South County Concert Association’s series at Southern High School. But for those who want to be dazzled and enlightened by Linden in particular, tickets to the one-night-only event can also be purchased at the door for $20. To learn more, visit

The Anne Arundel Community Concert Association’s season of not-to-be-missed performances will continue through spring with four more shows following "An Evening with Hal Linden.” Listed below, all performances begin at 7:00pm and are held in the auditorium at Severna Park High School.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Alternative medicine for those suffering with digestive issues, such as bloating, abdominal pain

After extensive research and interviews with pharmacists, there are many ways to treat digestive issues, such as symptoms common with IBS, such as bloating, gas or abdominal pain.

The informative and scientific book, It Starts With Food, shares that fish oil (1000 mg preferred) can help decrease gut inflammation after a period of time. Dr. Mark Hyman attests to the same as well as other digestive enzymes to regulate healthy gut bacteria, such as a daily regimen of probiotics.

These probiotics should be taken for a few months so that healthy bacteria can replenish and bad stomach bacteria can diminish. Dr. Hyman suggests a specific probiotic strain, S. Boulardii. An effective and reasonably priced brand is Lane Labs Flora 3. ( This contains a prebiotic, probiotic, is lactose and gluten-free and should be refrigerated. If not kept cold within four weeks, the perishable item will go bad just like yogurt.

While probiotics are a great first step, drinking distilled water in combination will also help normalize stomach bacteria. Chlorine found in most city water will destroy the good bacteria, according to Dr. Ohhira, who has a Ph.D in microbiology and who has formulated his own probiotic line.

Probiotics take some time before one can see the positive effects though for some, positive results can be seen a few weeks later if compliant with daily doses.

For temporary relief for problems with digesting, digestive enzymes supplementing meals may help break down foods. A suggested brand is Enzymedica's Digest Gold. ( This capsule should be taken once or twice with any meal and contains high doses of amylase (carbohydrates), protease (proteins), maltase (starch), lipase (fats), cellulase (plants) and much more.

It is also wise to cut down on gluten or lactose-containing food items as there has been an increasing number of lactose and wheat-related digestive issues in the United States. To read more about the prevalence of food intolerances, check out this article from Truth Stream Media:

Nontraditional medicine may not always be the answer. Keep a food diary to figure out what is making you feel ill. Then eliminate foods that contribute to adverse symptoms. Once this happens, taking probiotics and other useful vitamins can get your digestive system back on track and you can start from square one by replenishing your body with natural and healthier foods that make your stomach happy.


It Starts With Food by Melissa Hartwig, Dallas Hartwig​‎

Dr Mark Hyman, a family physician:

Dr. Ohhira's Probiotics- Health Tips