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New performing arts center features stage, space for classes

LISA CAPITELLI ¦ Assistant Editor

Around Sound Music co-owner Gina Servant, left, and creative director Kate Russell sit in the facility’s new performing arts center, which includes a stage, tables and chairs for guests and ample space for classes. 
OCEAN CITY TODAY/LISA CAPITELLI Around Sound Music co-owner Gina Servant, left, and creative director Kate Russell sit in the facility’s new performing arts center, which includes a stage, tables and chairs for guests and ample space for classes.OCEAN CITY TODAY/LISA CAPITELLI(Nov. 9, 2012) When Around Sound Music opened in August 2011, owners Lori Thompson and Gina Servant wanted to provide an environment for students of all ages to express their creativity and passion through music. Their objective was to instill confidence, pride, discipline and a love of music into everyone who visited the West Ocean City studio.

Around Sound Music, located in the Decatur Business Center on Route 611, just offered private and group vocal and instrumental lessons when it opened last summer in six state-of-the-art rooms, painted different colors with isolation panels on the ceiling and acoustic material on the walls in each space for highquality sound production.

Currently, 45 students are taking lessons at the studio. Several of the students have formed a band, under the direction of Thompson. A few intermediate and advanced students will participate in a competition in February in Gaithersburg, Md.

In early September, Around Sound Music expanded into the unit next door. A doorway was cut out in the lounge area of the business as an entrance into the new space.

“We’re very happy. We’re fortunate we were able to move next door and provide a place for our kids to perform. It’s something Lori and I wanted to do when we first opened,” Servant said. “The space is really for the community. That’s why we opened it. It’s a place for kids to hang out and express themselves through music or art.”

Added Around Sound Music creative director Kate Russell, “We’re trying to reach out to the community as much as possible. We expanded two months ago and we’re trying to spread the word. There’s nothing like this around here.”

Walking into the performing arts center, the first thing guests will see is a large stage with a drum set, keyboard, speakers and microphones.

The room is painted dark gray. Partitioned nooks are painted different colors — light and dark blue and green — and a table and chairs are set up in each private section. There is also a lounge area in the back of the center. Wood pieces and metals give the space a rustic, industrial look.

“The kids just love it. They feel grown up in there,” Russell said.

Since taking over the space next door, Around Sound Music has expanded its offerings, now providing art and drama/theater classes as well as special activities.

Around Sound Music will present a holiday musical recital. Students and children in the community are invited to participate in the event, which will be directed by Alicia Burton, who teaches theater classes and singing lessons at Around Sound Music.

The first practice was scheduled for yesterday, Nov. 8. Participants will practice each Thursday from 6-8 p.m.

Around Sound Music students and area youngsters can also join the studio’s caroling group. Children will practice weekly and perform this holiday at different locations, including The Globe and Wal-Mart in Berlin and Chick- Fil-A in West Ocean City and residential neighborhoods. Russell said they hope to form a children’s choir in the near future.

Around Sound Music plans to again have floats in the Berlin and Ocean City Christmas parades, where students will perform. Last year, the facility won a thirdplace award for best commercial float in the Ocean City parade and third place for youth performing unit during the Berlin event.

Activities are also scheduled nearly every weekend at the studio.

Next Friday, Nov. 16, will be movie night for boys and girls 13 and older from 7-9:30 p.m. The cost is $7 per person, and drinks and snack will be available. Other movie nights are also on tap.

The next day, Saturday, Nov. 17, NASA pilot Mark Russell, who works at Wallops Island, will teach a mad science class from 1-3 p.m. for youngsters ages 7-15. Students will take part in several experiments. The cost is $7 per participant.

An open mic night at the studio has been well received. The monthly event is open to Around Sound Music students and non-students.

Around Sound Music continues to offers rentals of new and used instruments. Onsite minor instrument repair is also available. If an instrument needs to be sent out for repairs, a loaner will be provided. Several instruments, accessories, books and sheet music can be purchase at the facility.

Lesson rooms are available for rental if an individual, group or band wants to use it for practice. The new performing arts center space can also be rented for birthday, holiday or any other party.

For more information about lessons, classes or special events, call 410-213-1353 or visitwww.aroundsoundmusic.com.

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