Musician bringing together jazz, tech at naval air museum
A local musician wants people to realize that art and technology are more aligned than they may appear.
Innovation is the connection, Dominic Fragman said. And to help demonstrate that connection, he is organizing an event that will bring together U.S. Navy personnel along with jazz musicians for an evening of information and entertainment.
“Advancements in art paved the way for technology,” Fragman said, pointing to how sound influenced sonar and radar as examples.
The event, to be held Saturday, Jan. 12, from 5:30 to 9 p.m. at the Patuxent River Naval Air Museum, is designed to connect the community to concepts exploring freedom, innovation and the advancement of ideas, Fragman said. The evening includes a panel discussion and concert highlighting the value and role of improvisation and unconventional thinking in both sound/ music and aerospace technology.
Fragman co-founded the Spirit of Jazz and Democracy to present ideas about “freedom, innovation, democracy and the peaceful toleration of differences,” he said. To that end, he hopes to grow his ideas to meld with technological innovation, specifically related to the U.S. Navy, through the program Spirit of Innovation and Freedom.
The panel will include Pierre Sprey, who helped conceptualize designs for the F-16 and the A-10; Matt Scassero, former Navy test pilot and director of the University of Maryland Unmanned Air Systems Test Site; and Jim McCue, instructor at the U.S. Navy Test Pilot School at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, will take part in the program. Following the panel discussion, master musicians Paul Murphy on drums and Larry Willis on piano will perform a fully improvised concert, with guest performances by poet Jere Carroll and Fragman on drums.
Fragman has presented his programs at St. Mary’s College of Maryland, Regis University Denver, the Voice of America, the College of Southern Maryland, Maryland Humanities and other places. He’s also been invited to speak at the upcoming TEDx presentation in Great Mills scheduled for March.
Fragman, who grew up in Southern Maryland, graduated from Patuxent High School and later St. Mary’s College, said he’s lived in other areas of the country, always in search of a place to perform. Now living in Calvert County’s St. Leonard community, he’s discovered, “If you were doing something new or different, it was going to be hard no matter where you are,” he said.
“The music we’re developing is like a new language,” he said.
In keeping with the evening’s theme of innovation, as visitors gather before the Spirit of Innovation and Freedom program, they will be able to tour a tiny house built for St. Mary’s College, and talk to faculty and students about art projects. The new Enso Kitchen, based at Historic St. Mary’s City, will provide a selection based on environmentally sustainable seasonal and local foods, and there will be a cash bar.
Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. and the program will begin at 7 p.m. Tickets are $25 for members of the public and $15 for members. For information or to buy tickets, visit http:// paxmuseum.org or www. spiritjazzdemocracy.com or call 301-863-1900.
Test your knowledge
A Southern Maryland Jeopardy Tournament will be held at Great Mills High School on Friday, Jan. 11, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., hosted by the school’s engineering club. There will be a student tournament followed by an adult tournament. Cost to attend the fundraiser is
$5 per person. Companies interested in sponsoring a contestant should contact Allen Skinner at caskin[email protected]cps. org. For more, visit https:// schools.smcps.org/gmhs/ clubs/84-engineering-club.
Bluegrass series continues on Jan. 13
The Lonesome River Band will be appearing at the American Legion Post 238 in Hughesville on Sunday Jan. 13, at 2 p.m. The American Legion Bluegrass series is presented by the Sons of the American Legion and Jay Armsworthy. Tickets are $20 per person and may be purchased at the door. Although not required, it is encouraged to bring nonperishable food items for the Helping Hands Food Bank in Southern Maryland. For more information, visit www.americanlegionbluegrass.com or call 301-737-3004.
Apply for scholarships
The 2019 BECA scholarship application is available now. The deadline for the annual common scholarship application, which opens up dozens of scholarships to high school seniors, has been moved up this year to Feb. 15. According to BECA organizers, more than 70 St. Mary’s County students have already requested information about the scholarship opportunities.
A scholarship fair is planned for Tuesday, Jan. 22, from 4 to 6:30 p.m. at the Dr. James A. Forrest Career and Technol- ogy Center, where students and their parents can get more information about the application process and the many local scholarships available.
For more information and to access the scholarship application, visit www.smcbeca.org.
CSM changes Sunday hours for fitness centers
The College of Southern Maryland’s Wellness, Fitness, and Aquatics Department is changing Sunday hours for the La Plata and Leonardtown campuses. Beginning Jan. 6, these facilities will operate from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sundays. For complete hours of operation, visit www.csmd.edu/ programs-courses/non-credit/ personal-enrichment/wellness-fitness-and-aquatics/fitness-center-pool-hours/index.
State grants for land easements awarded
The Board of Public Works last month approved Rural Legacy Program grants totaling $3 million that will provide dedicated state funding to permanently protect working farms and forests, and provide vegetative stream buffers to improve water quality in designated areas across the state.
Working through local governments and private land trusts, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources acquires conservation easements from willing landowners to preserve large, contiguous tracts of land that contain valuable agricultural and natural resources. Two of those grants involve St. Mary’s County.
Southern Maryland Resource Conservation and Development Board will acquire two separate conservation easements totaling more than 183 acres in St. Mary’s, including more than 5,500 linear feet of riparian buffers along tributaries of the St. Mary’s and Potomac rivers.
Also, Patuxent Tidewater Land Trust will acquire a 123.4acre conservation easement in St. Mary’s to protect valuable agricultural and forest lands and provide water quality protection by riparian buffers of tributaries to Locks Swamp Creek.
Sotterley gets grant
The Maryland Historical Trust, a division of the Maryland Department of Planning, recently awarded ten projects $300,000 in Non-Capital Historic Preservation Grants to nonprofit organizations and local jurisdictions, according to a release from the Maryland governor’s office. The grants, made available through Maryland General Assembly special funds, support and encourage research, survey, planning, and educational activities.
Historic Sotterley was awarded $30,000 to conduct an archeological survey on the historic property in Hollywood to assess, expand and update its inventory of archeological resources. The Sotterley property has expanded in size since the last archeological survey, with 52 acres now completely un-inventoried, according to the release.
Special holiday packages available for jazz festival
The Friends of St. Clement’s Island and Piney Point Museums is offering special holiday packages for the 20th annual Potomac Jazz and Seafood Festival, slated to take place next July. Package includes two event tickets, a $20 food voucher, special 20th anniversary merchandise and a commemorative poster for $125. Packages will be available until Jan. 6, after which general admission tickets will go on sale. Visit www.PotomacJazzAndSeafoodFestival.com for more.