Blake Thompson: A Blues Journey at the Mainstay, May 3


Blake Thompson: A Blues Journey brings a musical history of the blues and his band to the Mainstay in Rock Hall, Maryland on Saturday May 3 at 8:00 pm as part of the Mainstay’s blues series, MainstayBlues. Admission is $20.

Blake Thompson has made his name as a hard-rocking guitarist with a deep love of the blues, for his blistering rock leads and his powerful blues chops. While he was, for a time a fixture on the local scene, he is now based in New England. This concert marks his return and will let him delve deep into the blues he loves.

This foot-stomping, hard-driving blues journey will travel from the roots of the blues in the rural South with stops along the way in Detroit, San Francisco, Austin, New Orleans, New York and more. Thompson will play everything from acoustic bottleneck slide guitar to an electric set with the full band featuring Kate Russo on violin. Featured will be the blues from Robert Johnson to Muddy Waters, Janis Joplin to Mike Bloomfield, Ry Cooder to Stevie Ray Vaughan and many more mainstays of the blues.

Blake Thompson is originally from Kent County, MD and has toured and or performed with Macy Gray, Steve Miller Band, Dave Matthews Band, The Gin Blossoms, Edwin McCain, Gavin DeGraw, David Crosby and Little Feat, among others. He also performs and tours with singer/songwriter/rock violinist Kate Russo, with his band, The Elliots and with The Blake Thompson Band.

For information and reservations call the Mainstay at 410-639-9133. More information is also available at the Mainstay’s website:

The Mainstay (Home of Musical Magic) is the friendly informal storefront performing arts center on Rock Hall’s old time Main Street. It is a non profit dedicated to the arts, serving Rock Hall, MD and the surrounding region. It is committed to presenting local, regional and national level talent, at a reasonable price, in an almost perfect acoustic setting.

Speaker Shares Taste of Coffee for a Cause April 25


On Friday, April 25, Washington College welcomes Tebabu Assefa, founder and ‘chief storyteller’ of the Takoma Park-based benefit corporation Blessed Coffee. His program, “Blessed Coffee: Cultural and Economic Convergence for Sustainable Development,” will take place in Hynson Lounge, Hodson Hall. It will begin at 4 p.m. with a “coffee signing,” followed by a talk at 4:30 p.m. and a coffee tasting reception afterward.

Assefa is a community leader and social entrepreneur who received the Obama Administration’s Champions of Change award for his work with the Virtuous Exchange model. The model encourages direct connections between small farms and producers and the consumer, with the aim of promoting social justice, community resilience, and economic prosperity.

Blessed Coffee, which supports 205,000 coffee farmers in Ethiopia, was the second company in the United States to register as a Benefit Corporation—a hybrid of the profit and non-profit models. In the coffee-growing regions of Ethiopia, for example, Blessed Coffee has shared its profits to help fund schools, health clinics, safe water wells, and other community programming there.

“In Ethiopia, coffee is like wine is to the French,” Assefa once explained to the Gazette newspaper. “It’s a ritual.”

Assefa lives in Takoma Park with his wife and business partner, Sara Mussie, and their children.

Washington College Jazz Combo at the Mainstay, April 27


The Washington College Jazz Combo under the direction of Dr. Kenneth Schweitzer will present a free concert at the Mainstay in Rock Hall, Maryland on Sunday April 27 at 4:00 pm. Donations will be accepted.

The Washington College Jazz Combo is made up of six talented student-musicians under the direction of Washington College Music Department Chair Dr. Kenneth Schweitzer. In addition to a rhythm section, they will feature trumpet, alto saxophone, and flute. For this free concert, they will present an eclectic repertoire, including a wide variety of swing, bebop, Bossa Nova, and Latin jazz standards. In addition to their talented instrumentalists, several of their pieces will feature the wonderful vocal renditions of Kent County’s own Anna Black.

For information and reservations call the Mainstay at 410-639-9133. More information is also available at the Mainstay’s website:

The Mainstay (Home of Musical Magic) is the friendly informal storefront performing arts center on Rock Hall’s old time Main Street. It is committed to presenting local, regional and national level talent, at a reasonable price, in an almost perfect acoustic setting.

“How I learned to Drive” Opens This Month at the Garfield Center


The Garfield Center for the Arts at the Prince Theatre presents their first theatrical production of 2014, Paula Vogel’s How I Learned to Drive, opening April 25th.

How I Learned to Drive is a passionate coming-of-age story set in rural Maryland during the 1960s. As Li’l Bit navigates the perils of her teenage years, she must also contend with a noxious relationship with her Uncle Peck as he gives her driving lessons. Told through a series of flashbacks, narrated by an older and wiser Li’l Bit, Vogel describes the show as a “walk down memory lane.”

Directed by Garfield Center Spring 2014 Artist-in-Residence Jeff Woodbridge, How I Learned to Drive stars Washington College senior Rachel Fisher, a newcomer to the GCA stage, as Li’l Bit, alongside Sam Little, Garfield Center production assistant, who is making his onstage debut as Uncle Peck.  GCA veterans Julie Lawrence and Bryan Betley, along with newcomer Sharaea Tiller, fill out the cast as the Greek Chorus, each playing multiple roles.

How I learned to Drive received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1998, the Obie Award for Playwriting in 1997, and the New York Drama Critics Award for best play. Vogel is also the author of  “The Baltimore Waltz” and “The Oldest Profession,” among other plays.

How I Learned to Drive runs April 25th, 26th & 27th, and May 2nd, 3rd & 4th. Friday and Saturday shows are at 8:00pm, with Sunday matinees at 3:00pm. Tickets are $15; students with a valid ID pay $5.

Ticket reservations can be made by emailing, by calling 410-810-2060, or online at  Box Office hours are Tuesday through Friday 10am-3pm and Saturdays 11am-2pm.  The Garfield Center Box Office is open 90 minutes before show time; main theatre doors open 30 minutes prior to show time.

Note: This show contains adult material and themes, and may not be suitable for all audiences.



Queen Anne’s County Arts Council Offering a Variety of Classes in Visual Arts


The Queen Anne’s County Arts Council has a variety of Visual Arts Classes available in our Summer Class schedule. Our skilled instructors are offering classes designed to renew existing artistic interests and develop new skills. Classes are limited in size to ensure quality individual instruction.

Learn to paint birds. The journey begins with information on avian anatomy as an aide to understanding their characteristics. Instructor Ric Conn will teach a variety of painting techniques with an emphasis on “Painting Birds in Gouache”. Classes will be held Tuesdays May 6 – June 3 from 10-noon.

Enjoy the fun of learning the basics of “One-Stroke” painting, loved by beginners and experienced artists as well! Ann Pyper will provide step-by-step instruction in the painting techniques of using One-Stroke to create beautiful designs…to decorate your home, paint a gift for a friend, or even start your own business. One-Stroke blends, shades and highlights all in one stroke. Painting with acrylics allows you to paint on almost any surface including mirrors, glassware and ceramics, mailboxes, slates, wood, walls, fabric, and canvas. You can find examples of Ann’s work on display at The Creamery. Classes will be held Wednesdays from 1-3 pm May 7-21.

Wye River Designs, Candice Liccione, will offer several classes including her popular “Clay Mosaics”. Take mosaics to a different level by creating your own mosaic pieces and combining them with other elements to create a 12”x 12”mixed media mosaic. Making clay mosaics allows you to personalize a mosaic with names, favorite words or symbols. Join Candace Liccione for an afternoon of rolling out clay, stamping it, painting and embellishing your clay creations for your project. The workshop is June 8 from 1-3 pm.

Make a work of art to wear and learn” Epoxy Clay Jewelry Making”. For those who didn’t win this much sought after piece during Small Works, come and create your own amethyst jewelry with Instructor Janice Colvin. Using two-part epoxy clay and crystals you will design your own incredible necklace and earrings. Class will be held June 14 from 1-3 pm.

Learn to weave a beautiful woven vase with a glass liner in a matter of hours. This is a great project for a group of friends! Award winning local fiber artist and basket weaver, Instructor Heidi Wetzel welcomes all skill levels. Spend an afternoon learning this timeless technique. Class will be held July 26 from 10-2 pm.

Receive discounts on events and classes by signing up for a yearly membership now – $25 individual/$35 family. Visit for our full listing of classes and events. You can register on our website or call the Arts Council at 410-758-2520. Classes are held at the Queen Anne’s County Centre for the Arts, 206 S. Commerce Street, Centreville, MD 21617 unless otherwise noted.

The Queen Anne’s County Arts Council, Inc., is a non-profit organization committed to promoting, expanding and sustaining the arts.

Tom Stoppard’s “The Real Thing” at the Cadby Theatre at Chesapeake College April 17-19


Written in 1982, “The Real Thing” follows idealistic playwright Henry and his actress wife Annie. Topics explored include marriage, art, love and pop culture.

Patrick Cribben, who is Guest Director at Chesapeake College this year, directs the production and the role of Henry. The cast also includes: Daniel Meeks (Brodie), Danielle Waters (Debbie). Sam Martin (Billy), Michael Beverly (Max), Mary Hacker (Charlotte) and Juliet Smith (Annie).

Patrick Cribben and Danielle Waters appear in Tom Stoppard’s “The Real Thing” in the Cadby Theatre at Chesapeake College April 17-19 at 7:30 p.m.

Patrick Cribben and Danielle Waters appear in Tom Stoppard’s “The Real Thing” in the Cadby Theatre at Chesapeake College April 17-19 at 7:30 p.m.

The show will be presented in the Cadby Theatre, located in the Kent Humanities Building on April 17, 18 and 19 at 7:30 pm. General admission tickets are $12 and student tickets are available for $5. Tickets are available at the door before each performance, or in advance at the Business Office.

For more information, please call 410-827-5825.

Stoppard’s Arcadia at the Decker Theatre April 16-19


Love, mystery, history, math jokes … Tom Stoppard’s award-winning play Arcadia has it all. And April 16-19, 2014, the Washington College Drama Department will share it all, with a production directed by Assistant Professor Brendon Fox.

Opening 21 years ago at the Royal National Theatre in London, Arcadia has been the subject of extensive critical acclaim. In its debut year, 1993, it received the Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Play, soon followed by a Tony Award for Best Play and, in 2011, one for Best Revival of a Play. It is often referred to as one of the best dramatic works of the contemporary age.

Director Fox says it was not this impressive reputation that inspired him to bring the play to the Washington College stage, but rather how well it matched what he saw as the ethos of the college and its drama students. “This is a play I’ve wanted to do for over 15 years,” says Fox, who joined the Drama Department last fall. “But when I got to Washington College and saw how passionate the students were about learning, widely and for its own sake, I decided that Arcadia was a great match for them. The play is about people whose interests overlap, and that especially related to people at this college.”

Arcadia is, indeed, a play of overlaps. Set simultaneously in the early 1800s and the 1990s, the production focuses dually on 13-year-old genius Thomasina Coverly and, 180 years later, the writers and academics attempting to unravel the mysteries of the past. The juxtaposed plotlines explore art, science, religion, sex, love and more, eventually blurring the lines between past and present.

“The play is in many ways a mystery,” says Fox. “These characters are talking about things, writing things down and leaving clues for the people in the future to decipher. It’s not about being right or wrong, it’s about learning more, getting a little closer to the truth, working together and collaborating to solve a puzzle.”

The students involved in the production, too, have engaged with the work’s mystery. Cast and crew were included in a “boot camp” of special presentations about topics that Stoppard wove into the script. The Chief Horticulturalist from the city of Annapolis talked about the history of landscape architecture, Assistant Professor Heather Russell talked about Fermat’s Last Theorem and other related math items, Professor Richard Gillin talked about Byron and the Romantic poets, and Associate Professor Aaron Krochmal lent his expertise about turtles and tortoises.

According to Fox, the twelve student actors and countless design and tech assistants are “really enjoying discovering all the mysteries and fun in the play. These students are not just talented,” he continues, “they’re always hungry to do more.” The diverse cast includes students from freshmen to seniors, and a variety of majors, and the script includes some particularly great roles for women, Fox notes, adding, “It’s a great ensemble play. Everyone is helping each other understand. It’s not just one person taking the lead; it takes a village.”

This “village” comprises not only Fox and the students, but experts from outside of the College and various faculty members as well. Designer Joe Kucharski, a member of the Board of Directors of the Costume Society of America who teaches at Cedarville University in Ohio, created the wardrobe for the play, representing both modern and antiquated looks. The set designer is New-York based Steven Royal, and dialect coaching has come from D.C.-based actress and voice coach Rachel Hirshorn. Among the faculty contributions, Assistant Professor Laura Eckelman designed the lighting, while Drama Department Chair Michele Volansky serves as the play’s dramaturg. Lecturer Polly Sommerfeld has acted as the choreographer for Arcadia’s dance scenes.

“The audience is always the final ingredient,” says Fox. “Everyone is going to get something different from the production. You don’t have to know anything about history, English gardens, or physics to enjoy it. There’s a line from the play – ‘It’s the wanting to know that makes us matter.’ It’s a journey of discovery, and I’m looking forward to bringing the audience on the ride.”

Arcadia will be staged Wednesday through Friday at 8 p.m. and Saturday at 1:30 p.m. Tickets to the production ($5 for adults; free for students with valid ID) are available in advance at, and at the door as still available.

Chesapeake Chamber Music Gala Supports Shore Music Events

CCM Gala 2014 Katerina

Vocalist Caterina Zapponi, holding the 2014 Chesapeake Chamber Music Gala invitation, fashioned after her.

The recent 2014 Chesapeake Chamber (CCM) Music Gala, “All That Jazz,” benefited CCM’s many programs offered to the public, including the Chesapeake Chamber Music Festival each June, Jazz on the Chesapeake, which features the Monty Alexander Jazz Festival over Labor Day Weekend, and YouthReach’s First Strings and Presto!, a visionary programs of violin lessons in local Mid Shore schools.

Guests enjoyed a concert headlined by international award-winning jazz vocalist, Caterina Zapponi, and her ensemble; a cocktail party featuring the Tidewater Inn’s bountiful buffet; and a silent auction of unique events, art, and experiences.

The Chesapeake Chamber Music Gala was underwritten by Wye Financial & Trust, in partnership with Gilman Hill Asset Management.

OK Now What? A Caregiver’s Guide to What Matters


Head to Wind Publishing is delighted to announce the release of OK Now What? A Caregiver’s Guide to What Matters.

Book cover of "Ok, Now What?"

Book cover of “Ok, Now What?”

What matters most when someone close to you has been diagnosed as terminal? Time and quality of life for both of you. Coping with both the practical and emotional questions of this challenging passage.

This book offers:
• Practical tips for coping with the physical changes that will impact both the person and the caregiver emotionally, physically, financially and spiritually.
• Advice on what to put in place before the person dies to make things a little easier for those they leave behind.
• The stories and examples of others to let people know they are not alone
• Advice and tips for those who are not going to be primary caregiver, but whole are friends, neighbors, colleagues or any other part of the relationships we all share in life.

How to use this book:
Browse the chapter headings.
Skip around in the TIPS for ways to approach or solve specific problems.
Search the Sources lists at the end of the chapters for additional information on a question or need.
Read the stories of others’ experiences.

This book can act as a practical guide, an encouraging friend, and offers hope for the best possible experience as you help to walk someone home. Now available on Amazon in either paperback or ebook.

The Writers:

Sue Collins has been a nurse for 38 years and a hospice nurse for 28 years. She has the extensive experience of the professional caregiver and has seen virtually everything at the end of life. As much as anything this book arises out of the OMG!I-can’t-believe-they-said-that/did-that moments as well as the anger, frustration, grace and poignancy she has witnessed during the last days of patients for whom she has cared.

Nancy Taylor Robson, author of three other books, lost her father to bone cancer, which took approximately three years from diagnosis to departure, and her mother-in-law to a long decline and a series of strokes. She has sat by deathbeds and seen more than one friend through the last months, weeks, days and hours of life and knows that as painful a journey as this is, there can be gifts and blessings along the way. She knows, (at least intellectually), that none of us is getting out of here alive.