City Scene

Gaithersburg Chorus Holds Open House Sept. 6

The Gaithersburg Chorus enters its 29th year and welcomes new members at an Open House on Tuesday, Sept. 6 from 7:30-9:30 p.m. at the Activity Center at Bohrer Park, 506 South Frederick Ave. in Gaithersburg. Potential new members can meet Chorus Director Daniel Hopkins, sing, snack and socialize. They will hear about the varied repertory planned for the December concert and have a chance to sing together. Formal weekly rehearsals will start the following week on Tuesday, Sept. 13.

Director Daniel Hopkins is a solo pianist, accompanist and conductor pursuing his Masters of Music in Piano Performance at the University of Maryland. He is co-founder and music director of OperaTerps at UMD and is an active chorister, having sung in choirs with the Baltimore and National Symphonies. Hopkins served as accompanist for the chorus last season and is excited to take up the baton as the artistic leader. His plans include “introducing the group to a wide variety of musical styles and focusing on musical growth. We’ll spend time on good vocal technique, finding our best choral sound, and making each piece of music meaningful for us and the audience.” Hopkins believes in the other values besides music that the Gaithersburg Chorus holds dear. “Most important, I want the chorus to continue to be a space for friendship, community and fun!” he said.

This non-audition chorus welcomes new members who are high school age and older and sing soprano, alto, tenor or bass/baritone. There is a registration fee ($100 for City of Gaithersburg residents; $120 for non-residents), and need-based financial aid is available through the new Linda May Scholarship Fund. For more information, visit or call 301.258.6394.

Planning Commission Recommends Johnson Property Annexation

At an Aug. 3 meeting, the Gaithersburg Planning Commission voted to recommend that the Mayor and City Council approve annexation of the 23-acre Johnson property located at 12201, 12251, 12301 and 12311 Darnestown Road. The commission found that the annexation aligned and comported with the city’s master plan, was zoned appropriately as a Mixed-Use Development (MXD), and has public facilities adequate for the proposed development.

Long Range Planning Manager Rob Robinson said that 21 emails in opposition of the annexation had been received during the public comment period that ended July 28. In addition, 15 form emails had expressed support for binding design elements.

Binding elements sent over by the Montgomery County Council with its approval of the annexation on Aug. 2 include a ceiling of 110 residential units, an additional 10,000 square feet of commercial space, and a one-acre park.

The Johnson property annexation public hearing is scheduled for the Mayor and City Council meeting on Sept. 19.