Currently viewing the tag: "Berna LaForce"

The Thurmont Middle School (TMS) Show Choir is entering its competition season. The performing arts group has performed at the TMS Winter Concert and practices weekly to prepare for a very large chorus and show choir competition in Midlothian, Virginia. The Koste Classic (mid-March) invites middle and high schools from the Atlantic region to compete, bringing along their own musicians and choreography teams.

TMS Show Choir is directed by music and theatre arts director Berna LaForce. LaForce has a reputation as one of the best middle school directors in this part of the country. TMS Show Choir will also compete in early May at Music in the Parks in Hershey, Pennsylvania. They plan to perform again at the TMS Spring Concert on May 7, 2019, at 6:30 p.m. in the TMS auditorium (open to the public).

TMS Show Choir is supported as a school club by donations, membership fees, and fundraisers. If you’d like to donate to the program and keep the performing arts alive for our middle school youth, please mail your donation to TMS Show Choir, 408 E. Main Street, Thurmont, MD 21788.

Thurmont Middle School Show Choir (from left): (front row) Erin Miller, Abby Moreland, Emma Stream, Richie Coursey, Aubrey Summerall, Daniel Martin, Colette Hartman, Lilyann Welty, Caitlin Werlang; (middle row) Kylie Perhach, Kaysalee Romero, Madelyn Greco, McKenna Gisriel, Zeke Frei, Dustin Zimmerman, George Hawkins, Nathaneal Hahn, Kacey Perhach, Jazmyn Weedon, Ariana Onley; (back row) Morgan Ridenour, Emily Burrier, Abigail May, Hailey Dawson, Colin Byrne, Alex Contreras, Patrick Dugan, Faith Bentz, Sophia Daly, Alison Brawner, Natalie Hoyt. Not Pictured: Mason Healy and Hunter Hurley.

Theresa Dardanell

The Thurmont Spirit Show Choir (TSSC) is a performing arts group of Thurmont Middle School (TMS) sixth-, seventh-, and eighth-grade students, who participate in local and regional competitions. They also sing and dance during the annual talent show, as well as in the winter and spring programs at TMS.

The performances have themes, such as broadway songs, contemporary music, popular music, or love songs. To commemorate the eighteen years that Berna LaForce, TMS music and theater arts director, has been directing the TSSC, the group will be performing many of LaForce’s favorite songs and dances during the “Stroll Down Memory Lane” shows at the Middle School, as well as in competitions.

This year, there are forty students in the TSSC. These students must demonstrate good character, keep up good grades, and be willing to work hard during the weekly practices.

LaForce said that she is impressed with the talent of these students.  Carrie Payne, one of the presidents of the TSSC booster organization, said that, “Berna Laforce goes above and beyond all the time for these children. She spends so many hours to help these kids bring their talent out.”


Berna LaForce and Thurmont Spirit Show Choir.

Experience Art in Motion! Join in for the ESP Performing Company Showcase Fundrasier on Saturday, February 25, 2017, at 7:00 p.m. in the Catoctin High School auditorium. This is your opportunity to experience the award-winning ESP Performing Company live onstage in your hometown community. ESP is thrilled this year to share the stage with Thurmont Spirit Show Choir and “The Bald Ballerina.”

Maggie Kudirka, “The Bald Ballerina,” has been dancing since she was four years old. In 2014, while dancing with The Joffrey Ballet Concert Group, Maggie was diagnosed with stage 4 metastatic breast cancer. Maggie shares her journey and speaks to groups around the country to help bring awareness about metastatic breast cancer. Maggie also teaches master ballet classes and continues to dance while fighting this terminal disease.  You can follow Maggie on her Bald Ballerina Facebook page.

The Thurmont Spirit Show Choir (TSSC) is a performing arts group under the direction of Berna LaForce. All of the TSSC members attend Thurmont Middle School.  They perform at school functions and compete both locally and regionally. Last year, they brought home many first-place awards. This year, the group will be competing in Martinsburg, West Virginia; Hershey, Pennsylvania; and Myrtle Beach, South Caronlina. If you have not seen them perform, you are in for a treat!

The choreography and dances presented by ESP in the showcase have already won numerous awards this season. They are excited to present these performances to their community, as well as continuing to travel the east coast this competition season.

Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. Concessions will be available, as well as 50/50 drawings and gift basket raffles. Tickets are available for purchase in advance. Student tickets are $5.00 and adults are $10.00. Tickets may be purchased by contacting ESP Dance at 301-271-7458, by visiting the studio at 15 Water Street, or by contacting any ESP Company dancer or TSSC member. Tickets will also be available for purchase at the door: $6.00 for students and $12.00 for adults. Please join them on February 25 at Catoctin High School, and help keep art alive in Thurmont!

Also keep in mind that registration is still open for spring 2017 classes at the studio, culminating with their annual recital at the Weinberg Center on Saturday June 17, 2017. All levels of classes are available.  ESP specializes in all types of dance, including tap, ballet, jazz, hip hop, lyrical, acro, and pointe. Participating in dance class is a great way to build confidence, strength, and to have tons of fun!

Contact the studio office at 301-271-7458 or for further information. Check them out on Facebook at ESP Dance and ESP Performing Company, and view their advertisement on page 31.

ESP Performing Company (from left, front to back): Annaliese Doolitttle, Tierney Burns, Adeline Ridenour, Georgia Wiles, Maria Fry, Evie Price, Abigail Shriner, Rose Weedy, Claire Daly, Olivia Gamer, Kristen Felichko, Olivia Ecker, Kimberly Stanley, Jaiden Pastick, Mackenzie Garrett, Julie Beech, Jack Estep, Robin Tucker, Nikita Burris, Sophia Daly, Lyla Zelenka, Catherine Estelle, Ashlyn Summerall, Victoria Stanley, Emily Mitchener, Lucy Estep, and Cheyenne Favorite.

Maggie Kudirka “Bald Ballerina.”