Strings clinic helps prepare Lackey musicians for performances

News Release, Charles County Public Schools

Strings students at Henry E. Lackey High School spent a recent afternoon honing their skills as musicians when guest conductors set up shop in Dr. Alan Freeman’s classroom.

“I love doing this … it’s my seventh or eighth time here,” said Stephen Czarkowski, a conductor and cellist. “This orchestra just gets better.”

Czarkowski, a conductor of the Frederick Regional Youth Orchestra, and others, was joined by YaShauna Swan, a coach with FRYO, and Nathan Wisniewski, a U.S. Air Force master sergeant and arranger for the Air Force Strings. The three were brought to Lackey by Freeman with the help of a Charles County Arts Alliance Arts in Education grant.

The orchestra is preparing for a festival in the spring and working on “Albinoni’s Adagio,” a popular piece arranged by Lauren Keiser. “We work extremely hard at mastering notes and rhythm before the clinicians arrive,” Freeman said. “But notes and rhythm aren’t enough. We also try to play expressively.”

While the music selections change year to year, the habits instilled in the musicians build and grow. “… Certain professional habits are reinforced over and over again,” Freeman said. “And a lot of kids are back every year.” 

The Southern Maryland Chronicle is a local, small business entrusted to provide factual, unbiased reporting to the Southern Maryland Community. While we look to local businesses for advertising, we hope to keep that cost as low as possible in order to attract even the smallest of local businesses and help them get out to the public. We must also be able to pay employees(part-time and full-time), along with equipment, and website related things. We never want to make the Chronicle a “pay-wall” style news site.

To that end, we are looking to the community to offer donations. Whether it’s a one-time donation or you set up a reoccurring monthly donation. It is all appreciated. All donations at this time will be going to furthering the Chronicle through hiring individuals that have the same goals of providing fair, and unbiased news to the community. For now, donations will be going to a business PayPal account I have set-up for the Southern Maryland Chronicle, KDC Designs. All business transactions currently occur within this PayPal account. If you have any questions regarding this you can email me at

Thank you for all of your support and I hope to continue bringing Southern Maryland the best news possible for a very long time. — David M. Higgins II

© 2019 The Southern Maryland Chronicle. All Rights Reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.