Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Bringing home the gold

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Brian Lewis⁄The Gazette
Drew Abramson, 17, of Laytonsville with the trophies he won at the U.S. Twirling Association national competition earlier this month. Abramson is the senior men’s champion.
The world of baton twirling has a new champion: Drew Abramson, 17, of Laytonsville.

Abramson, who teaches twirling and dance at the Shining Stars School of Performing Arts in Damascus, is the new national men’s senior champion. He is also the senior champion in the doubles event, where he partnered with Mackenzie Snyder of Bowie. In the overall competition, where he competed against twirlers of both sexes, Abramson placed third.

Since May, Abramson has won the state, regional and national men’s titles. He has been twirling competitively for six years. Next week, he will compete on the U.S. team in the World Twirling Competition in Hamilton, Ontario.

Black Hill hosts Junior Duck Stamp winners

Black Hill Regional Park visitor’s center is hosting an exhibit of this year’s winning entries in the Maryland Junior Duck Stamp contest. The exhibit will run through Aug. 6.

The Junior Duck Stamp Program is sponsored by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and teaches children about the importance of wetlands and waterfowl conservation.

This year’s Best of Show winner in the state competition is Richard Zhao, 15, a student of Rulei Bu at AA Studio Inc. in Boyds. Zhao’s oil painting of a Canada goose, entitled ‘‘Peaceful Goose on a Lake,” was selected from more than 680 entries.

His entry will compete with other state winners in the national competition, which will determine the print for the official collectible Federal Junior Duck Stamp.

‘‘We are pleased to be selected as one of the host site locations for this year’s display,” said Jim McMahon, park manager.

The display travels around the state all year. For more information about the Maryland Junior Duck Stamp Program, visit⁄duckstamps⁄junior⁄JDprogram⁄Maryland.htm.

The park visitor’s center is located at 20926 Lake Ridge Drive in Boyds.

Audition for DamascusTheatre’s ‘Gypsy’

Open auditions for “Gypsy,“ the Damascus Theatre Company's fall show, will be held Aug. 1, 2 and 6 at Clearspring Elementary School, 9930 Moyer Road in Damascus.

Anyone auditioning will need to sing 16 bars of an up-tempo song and come prepared to dance.

Gypsy is loosely based on the memoirs of Gypsy Rose Lee, the famous striptease artist, and focuses on her struggle with her mother, Mama Rose.

It contains many songs that became popular standards, including “Everything's Coming Up Roses“ and “Let Me Entertain You.“

“Gypsy“ will be performed Oct. 26-28 and Nov. 2-4. Rehearsals will start Aug. 11.

Rachelle A. Horn is directing the show and Elli Swink is producing. “Gypsy“ will be choreographed by Lauren Lowell and music directed by Marci Shegogue.

Call 301-253-6210 to make an audition appointment. A piano accompanist will be available.

Also needed for the production are people interested in building and painting sets and working on the tech crew. Newcomers are welcome and will be trained.

For more information visit

Items appropriate for People and Places must be received by 9 a.m. Friday. They can be sent by mail to Damascus-Clarksburg Gazette, 1200 Quince Orchard Blvd., Gaithersburg, MD 20878. They can also be sent by fax to 301-670-7183 or e-mailed to