100-Voice Choir Plans Nov. 22 Concert As Its Final Fundraiser for Hynson Scholars


The 100-Voice Choir, Kent County’s celebrated gospel group, will perform its final benefit concert for the Vincent Hynson ’87 Scholarship Fund on Saturday afternoon, November 11, 2014 at Kent County High School in Worton. The concert is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m.; doors will open at 3:15 p.m.

100-Voice Choir 2013Choir organizers Sylvia and Bill Frazier, owners of S&B Productions, founded the choir in 2005 and produced the first 100-Voice concert that year as a fundraiser for the Vincent Hynson ’87 Scholarship. Named in memory of a beloved teacher, coach, pastor and community leader in Kent County, the scholarship is awarded to a Kent County resident from an underserved population who is an outstanding scholar and who emulates Hynson’s personal qualities and values. The College remains committed to the scholarship in Hynson’s name and to continuing to grow its endowment.

Sylvia Frazier says this will, indeed, be one of the last performances by the 100-Voice Choir. “It’s just time to bring it to end,” she says. “It’s been a very good 10 years, and I’m going to miss it, but health concerns have slowed us down and many of the original choir members have passed on.” Membership, which had started at 102, has diminished over the years to today’s 48 active singers.

Frazier is proud of both the quality of music the 100-Voice Choir has offered over the years and the way it has brought the community together. “It had been a dream of mine, a vision,” she says. “We had a lot of seekers. And I always told them, if you want to sing the gospel, this is the place to come.” That open door policy brought a diverse group together. “We have teachers, preachers, professors, people from all walks of life,” says Frazier.

This year’s 100-Voice Concert is co-sponsored by Washington College and the Kent County Arts Council. Advance tickets ($5) for the concert will go on sale November 1 at local retail outlets including Big Mixx’s Salon, Twigs & Teacups, The Bookplate, and Music Life. Admission at the door will be $7.

Out of town guest artists who will appear with the choir include The Sisters in Song (Delaware), Purpose (Grasonville) and The Second Generation Choir (Federalsburg). Kent County talent will include members of the Chester River Chorale, Serenity, The Sensational Stars, and God’s Wealth. Brother Clark Kennard, of Emmanuel U. M. Church, will serve as master of ceremonies.

For more information on the concert, contact S&B Productions at 410-778-6006. To learn more about the scholarship fund, visit the Office of Financial Aid page on the Washington College Web site: www.washcol.edu.

Promoting Awareness Through Earth Stewardship Days

Among the works juried into the Art of Stewardship exhibition is “Crow Sihouette” by Susan Hostetler

Among the works juried into the Art of Stewardship exhibition is “Crow Sihouette” by Susan Hostetler

Earth Stewardship Days, a four-day event created in collaboration with the Chester River Association, Massoni Art and the Art of Stewardship project, aims to increase our community’s understanding of the issues surrounding the importance of caring for the Earth, to create inspirational experiences, and to promote the design of personal and collective stewardship actions. The first annual Art of Stewardship Exhibition, showing in the RiverArts Galleries, will feature works that express and exemplify the importance of being good stewards. Other partners in the weekend are G.A.R. Charles Sumner Post #25; The Garfield Center for the Arts and the SANDBOX program at Washington College.


Earth Stewardship Days Schedule of Events

Art of Stewardship Preview Reception and Awards Ceremony
Judges Greg Mort and Rebecca Hoffberger will speak on stewardship and award prizes.
5:30 to 7:30 pm | RiverArts Gallery | Tickets $10 in advance, $15 at the door


Art of Stewardship Opening Reception
5:00 to 8:00 pm | RiverArts Gallery | Free


Exhibit of African American Watermen painted by Marc Castelli Opening Reception
Exhibition courtesy of Dr. Mel Rapelyea, Marc Castelli and the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum
5:00 to 8:00 pm | G.A.R. Charles Sumner Post #25, 206 S. Queen Street | Free


Sandbox Event: John Ruppert’s Phragmites Thatching Sculpture
10 am | Quaker Neck Road | Free

John Ruppert's concept of the phragmites sculpture shown with toothpicks, each of which represents a long bundle of phragmites.

John Ruppert’s concept of the phragmites sculpture shown with toothpicks, each of which represents a long bundle of phragmites.


Join John Ruppert to create a phragmites sculpture from a lovely, natural material that is in reality an invasive species in our area. Learn about the ecological impact of phragmites while also reflecting on how something deemed beneficial in part of the world has become detrimental in another. The event will take place in the open field between the Lelia Hynson Pavilion and the Armory.


A Talk by Pete Lesher and Mark Castelli
11:00 am | G.A.R. Charles Sumner Post #25, 206 S. Queen Street | Free

Pete Lesher, Chief Curator of the Breene M. Kerr Center for Chesapeake Studies at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels, MD, joins artist Marc Castelli.

Film: No Impact Man (2009)
7:00 pm | Garfield Center for the Arts, 210 High Street | Tickets $5

Author Colin Beavan finally snaps, swears off plastic, goes organic, becomes a bicycle nut, turns off his power and generally becomes a tree-hugging lunatic who tries to save the polar bears and the rest of the planet from environmental catastrophe while dragging his baby daughter and Prada-wearing, Four Seasons-loving wife along for the ride. And that’s just the beginning.

River Soundings: A Journey in Harp & Poetry with Meredith Davies Hadaway
11:00 am to 1:00 pm | Chester River Packet | Tickets for Brunch and Talk $35

Proceeds to benefit the Chester River Association
Sponsored by Occasions Catering, RiverArts, Massoni Gallery, and the Chester River Association

Poet, teacher, and musician, Meredith Davies Hadaway is the author of The River is a ReasonFishing Secrets of the Dead and, forthcoming, At the Narrows (Word Poetry, 2015). Hadaway serves on the Board of Directors for the Chester River Association and was the 2013-14 Rose O’Neill Writer-in-Residence at Washington College.

Translations from Bark Beetle: A Reading by Jody Gladding
2:00 pm | The Book Plate, 112 S. Cross Street | Free
Sponsored by the Kent County Arts Council, Echo Hill Outdoor School and The Chestertown Spy

Acclaimed poet and translator, Jody Gladding has published three full-length collections of poetry, and two letterpress edition chapbooks. In her inspired new collection, Translations from Bark Beetle (Milkweed Editions 2014), Gladding examines how language arises from landscape, evoking both the fragility and the resilience of the more-than-human world in words, images, rubbings, installations, and inscribed objects. Read more.


To learn more and to purchase tickets to any of the ticketed events, please go to http://chestertownriverarts.org/events/earth-stewardship-days/. You can also register over the phone, 410-778-6300, or in person at the RiverArts Gallery and Gift Shop, located at 315 High Street, Suite 106 in Chestertown.

Winner of 2014 Washington Book Prize Presents: Losers’ Side of the American Revolution


History glories in tales of victorious warriors and farsighted statesmen, yet quickly shunts aside the losers. While many writers on the American Revolution celebrate the heroism of colonists overthrowing a despotic, overseas government, Andrew Jackson O’Shaughnessy, winner of the 2014 George Washington Book Prize, takes a different tack. In The Men Who Lost America: British Leadership, the American Revolution, and the Fate of the Empire he tells us the story from the losers’ point of view — and shows that perhaps they weren’t such losers after all.”

Andrew Jackson O’Shaughnessy, winner of the 2014 George Washington Book Prize

Andrew Jackson O’Shaughnessy, winner of the 2014 George Washington Book Prize

O’Shaughnessy will share his insights at this year’s George Washington Book Prize Celebration at Washington College on Thursday, November 6, at 5:00 p.m. in Decker Theatre, Gibson Center for the Arts. Preceding his talk, a British High Tea reception and book signing will begin at 4:00 p.m. in the Gibson Center’s Underwood Lobby. Hosted by the C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience, both events are free and open to the public.

A full day of activities is planned for O’Shaughnessy’s visit to Chestertown, beginning with an informal coffee and conversation with the author from 10-11 a.m. at the Kent County Public Library. Back on the College campus, a special British-themed lunch menu will be served in the dining hall, and the Maryland Loyalist Brigade will drill in Martha Washington Square starting at 3 p.m. and culminating at 3:55 p.m. with a musket salute to the award-winning author.

The full schedule is as follows:

Thursday, November 6

10:00 a.m. – Coffee and Conversation with the author, Kent County Public Library, The Chestertown Library Inc. Building, 207 Calvert Street, Chestertown
3:00 p.m. – Maryland Loyalists Militia, Martha Washington Square, Washington College
4:00 p.m. – Book Signing and British High Tea, Underwood Lobby, Gibson Center for the Arts
5:00 p.m. – “Making History,” a Conversation with Andrew Jackson O’Shaughnessy and Adam Goodheart, Decker Theatre, Gibson Center for the Arts

The Washington Prize jury praised The Men Who Lost America as “ground-breaking” and “a major contribution to the history of the American Revolution.”

The Men Who Lost America: British Leadership, the American Revolution, and the Fate of the Empire

The Men Who Lost America: British Leadership, the American Revolution, and the Fate of the Empire

Countless popular books and Hollywood films have portrayed the Redcoats and their leaders as blundering nincompoops at best, sneering sadists at worst,” said Adam Goodheart, director of Washington College’s C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience, which administers the Washington Prize. “O’Shaughnessy’s work ought to kill these stereotypes once and for all — and, in the process, give Americans a richer and more nuanced understanding of our nation’s origins.”

A dual citizen of Britain and the United States, O’Shaughnessy is the Saunders Director of the Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies at Monticello and a professor of history at the University of Virginia. Garnering popular and critical acclaim on both sides of the Atlantic, The Men Who Lost America was nominated for BBC’s History Magazine Book-of-the-Month and received the New-York Historical Society’s prize for American History, the Cincinnati History Prize, and the Fraunces Tavern Museum Book Award. A scholar who specializes in the 18th century Atlantic world and the British Empire, O’Shaughnessy previously authored An Empire Divided: The American Revolution and the British Caribbean.

The $50,000 Washington Prize was awarded to O’Shaughnessy at a black-tie dinner at George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate in May. Sponsored by Washington College, the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, and George Washington’s Mount Vernon, the Washington Book Prize is one of the largest literary prizes in the nation. Awarded annually for the year’s best book about America’s founding era, it particularly recognizes well-written books that contribute to a broad public understanding of the American past.

Learn more about the George Washington Book Prize at washcoll.edu/gwbookprize.

“Red Devil Moon”: A Discussion With Robert Earl Price and Pam Ortiz


Considered a modernist masterpiece, Jean Toomer’s book Cane sent a flare into the literary night sky and helped to ignite the African-American cultural movement of the 1920s known as the Harlem Renaissance.

Cane impressed Washington College Lecturer in Creative Writing and Drama professor Robert Earl Price so much that he wrote a play about it, “Red Devil Moon.” Influenced by Pam Ortiz’s gift for music, Price decided that “Red Devil Moon” would be artistically amplified as a musical. A collaboration was born.

The production, with many of Ortiz’s 16 songs performed with a gospel group and the Pam Ortiz Band, will be presented at the Garfield Center for the Arts on November 15 and 16. Fort tickets, go here.

“This is a way for us to see how the musical can approach going into full production in a larger scale,” Price says.

The Spy caught up with the creative duo and talked with them about the author Jean Toomer and how the musical came about.




Rake Up the Bargains at the Friends of the Kent County Library Fall Book Sale


The leaves are falling; there’s a nip in the air. It’s a busy time of year: Halloween, Election Day, preparations for the upcoming holidays …. So what else marks the season? The Friends of theKent County Public Library hold their semi-annual Used Book Sale!

Drop by the library to browse through hundreds of books, fiction and non-fiction, everything from classics to popular mysteries to children’s books. You might just find that novel you’ve been meaning to read or discover a fabulous cookbook to inspire you to new culinary heights. Mad for boats or dogs or …? We got the book for you. In fact, it’s hard to think of an interest that’s not represented at the sale. Besides books, we also offer DVDs, games, music, and puzzles. Best of all, you’ll pay just a fraction of the original retail price on any item, so you’re sure to find some irresistible bargains.

Here are our hours:

• Thursday, November 6, 5:30 to 7:30

Thursday is the exclusive Preview Night for members of FOL. Members need only bring the

invitation they received in the mail for admittance. Non-members can join at the door for

$10 per person. Preview Night attendees will get first crack at the large, diverse selection of

sale items. To add to the festivities, beverages and light snacks will be served.

• Friday, November 7, 10:00 to 8:00

On Friday we extend our hours in honor of November’s First Friday. If you’re downtown,

why not take a stroll up High Street by the light of a full moon to visit the sale?

• Saturday, November 8, 10:00 to 3:00

Saturday might be a good day to bring the kids in to make their selections. There’s a lot to

choose from in the children and young adult sections.

• Sunday, November 9, 10:00 to 3:00

This fall Sunday marks the last day of the sale when everything must go. Bring a box, fit

as many books as you can into it, and pay a mere $5.00. The “specials,” our more upscale

merchandise, will be marked half off.

So give yourself a treat, or get a head start on holiday shopping. Join us at the Kent County Public Library, 408 High Street, Chestertown MD, 21620 to take advantage of the Friends’ fall sale. We accept cash and checks. Not only will you be delighted with your finds, every purchase you make benefits this wonderful local resource, our public library, by subsidizing the purchase of new books, underwriting needed upgrades, and supporting a variety of community outreach programs.

If you’d like more information about the sale, call (410) 778-9238. Or, if you’d like to volunteer to help set up before the sale or assist during it, please call (410) 810-1487.

Eastern Shore Wind Ensemble Concert is Nov. 2


In the spirit of the Halloween season, on Sunday, Nov. 2, the Eastern Shore Wind Ensemble will present a free band concert with a theme of “Mysterious Musical Moments.” The program, conducted by Dr. Keith Wharton, will begin at 4:00 p.m. at Emmanuel Church, Cross and High streets in downtown Chestertown.

“Dance of the Spirits,” as the Native American Cree tribe refers to the aurora borealis, or northern lights, will open the program. Using a variety of unusual sounds and effects, quickly changing textures and surprises, composer Michael Sweeney captures this phenomenon’s beauty and unpredictable nature in this musical depiction.

In “Hocus Pocus,” James Syler intertwines a 6/8-time tarantella and a minor-key march in a tale of autumnal mischief and spooky fun. After extensive interchange and development of several themes, they are brought back simultaneously and build to a clever ending.

“The Valley of Darkness,” by Barry Kopetz, depicts the story of an expedition into an uncharted, strange, and eerie land. As imaginary scenes are portrayed, there is a sense of dread, foreboding, and suspense. As the explorers near their journey’s end, their speed and urgency to escape quickens at the piece’s powerful conclusion.

In a change of pace, the band will play highlights from the musical “Wicked,” the hottest show on Broadway in 2004, and still playing there and elsewhere. Long before Dorothy drops in, two other girls meet in the land of Oz. One, born with emerald-green skin, is smart, fiery and misunderstood. The other is beautiful, ambitious and very popular. “Wicked” tells how these two unlikely friends grow to become the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good.

Next, a trombone quartet will play “Inveni David,” a religious offertory motet written by Anton Bruckner in 1868 for a four-part men’s choir and four trombones.

“House of Horrors” is a medley of familiar themes from classical works that have come to be considered spooky. Interspersed with ghoulish touches, the musical sources include Bach’s “Toccata and Fugue in D Minor,” Moussorgsky’s “Night on Bald Mountain,” Chopin’s “Funeral March,” and Gounod’s “Funeral March of a Marionette.”

In “The Heart of Madness” three of Edgar Allan Poe’s literary works (“The Bells,” “The Raven,” and “The Tell-Tale Heart”) are depicted musically. Poe (1809-1849) was best known for his Gothic writing of imaginative tales and images of horror and the macabre.

“Who’s That Masked Man?” features the intense but entertaining theme music related to favorite film and TV characters who always wear masks: the Lone Ranger, Spider Man, the Phantom of the Opera, the Incredibles, and Zorro.

The always popular “Sabre Dance,” from Khachaturian’s Gayane Ballet, will conclude the program. The music accompanies a fast and furious Armenian dance, performed by men whirling ferocious-looking sabres. Over a simple repeated rhythmic pattern a dance melody drops by chromatic degrees, suggesting the flashing of the sabres and lending a mysterious and somewhat threatening air.

Dr. Wharton has been the music director of this all-ages community concert band since its founding in 2001. The band always welcomes new members, without audition or fee. For more information, call 410-778-2829. The band is partially supported by a grant from the Kent County Arts Council. The band’s next performance will be a holiday concert on December 14.

Frank Lloyd Wright Interiors at the Academy With Anke Van Wagenberg


While Frank Lloyd Wright has been revered for over a century for his extraordinary buildings, those who have followed the Wright legacy are the first to point out that it was his interior and furniture design that complete the full story of his genius.

One of those fans of Wright is the Academy Art Museum curator Anke Van Wagenberg. For most of Anke’s professional life as an academic and art scholar, she has particularly been interested in how art and architecture intersect with the famed architect’s lifetime portfolio. In an intimate exhibition of photographs and drawings now on at the AAM (running until January 4) Van Wagenberg has used this background to highlights the rare uniqueness of Wright’s interior design and esthetic, which she discussed during her Spy interview recently.

This video is approximately three minutes in length

Fall Dance Concert at WC: Students Perform Pieces Choreographed by Peers and Faculty


The Washington College Department of Dance presents its first-ever Fall Dance Concert on Thursday, October 30, and Saturday, Nov. 1, offering ballet, tap and modern dance selections choreographed by students and faculty under the artistic direction of Asa Trinh-Smith.

The performances will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday and 1:00 p.m. on Saturday in Decker Theatre, Gibson Center for the Arts, on the College campus, 300 Washington Avenue. They are free and open to the public.

dance concert spring 2014Titled “The Four Seasons,” the fall recital will offer two acts divided by an intermission. As part of the first half, sophomores Brooke Burghardt and Dazhane Merrit will dance solo to their own choreography. Other selections in the first act are choreographed by Trinh-Smith, who teaches ballet and modern dance, and her department colleague Paula Lynn Klopcic, who teaches ballet and tap.

A native of North Vietnam, Trinh-Smith studied dance in Hanoi and was an instructor and featured dancer with the National Dance Company of Vietnam from 1975 to 1987 before coming to the United States. Klopcic’s experience includes performing on Broadway (including Evita and Sophisticated Ladies) and in films (The Cotton Club, Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, and So Fine), and choreographing acts for a variety of venues, from Ringling Brothers Circus to opera stages in Germany and Ohio.

The second act features student-designed dances that interpret the individual characters of summer, fall, winter and spring through physical moves, lighting and sound. The student choreographers are Brook Burghardt ’17, Nicole Morgan ’16, Anna Nazario ’16, Pheobe Shelor ’15 and Trish Langley ’16.

Faculty member Polly Sommerfeld, a lecturer in drama, will narrate the “Four Seasons” performances. Lighting design is by assistant professor of drama Laura Eckelman, and the stage director is Larry Stahl, a lecturer in drama and technical director of the Gibson Center for the Arts.

“I am beyond excited to celebrate the academic dance program and give the students in Asa and Paula’s classes the chance to showcase their work,” says drama professor Michele Volansky, who serves as program director of the dance minor. “Asa’s careful and inspired curation of ‘The Four Seasons’ should make for a tremendous night of dance.”

The Ragbirds: Infectious Folk/Pop Headline Garfield for Halloween


ragssmallUtilizing an arsenal of instruments: violin, mandolin, accordion, banjo, guitar, percussion, The Ragbirds create their own genre of music, a fusion of folk and pop hooks over danceable World rhythms. Led by charismatic front woman, muti-instrumentalist and songwriter Erin Zindle, this five piece band is performing a special Halloween show at the Garfield Center for the Arts in Chestertown on Friday, October 31 at 8 pm. The prodigiously talented Australian guitarist Daniel Champagne is touring with the band and will open the show.

The Ragbirds and Champagne will arrive in Cecilia, their touring bus (named after the patron saint of music) who runs on waste vegetable oil, thus saving on travel expenses as well as contributing toward a healthier world.

Tickets for this show, part of the SULTANA Downrigging Weekend, generally sell out, best to purchase early. They are just $20, and available on line at www.SultanaEducation.org or by chance at the Garfield Center the day of the show.

For more information please call the theatre box office at 410 810 2060.

And as it is Halloween, Prizes will be awarded for best costume.