Eastern Shore Wind Ensemble to Present “Splendor of the Season”

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“Splendor of the Season” is the theme of the Eastern Shore Wind Ensemble’s 2017 holiday concert.

Music Director Dr. Keith A. Wharton will conduct this free concert, beginning at 4 p.m. on Sunday, December 17, at Emmanuel Episcopal Church at Cross and High streets, Chestertown. The church is handicapped-accessible, via the ramp and automatic doors on the courthouse-green side of the building. All are invited for refreshments in the church hall after the concert.

The concert features “March of the Toys” by Victor Herbert from his 1903 operetta “Babes in Toyland,” “Nativity Carol” by John Rutter, and “A Hanukkah Festival,” an arrangement of Festival of Lights music. Traditional Christmas carols are the basis for several pieces: “All Through the Night,” “All is Calm,” “On a Catalonian Carol,” “And All the Bells Shall Ring,” and “Gesu Bambino.” “Carols from the British Isles” offers another medley of favorites, and “A Christmas Festival” is a musical summation of the season by Leroy Anderson. “The Ultimate Christmas Sing-along” is the audience’s opportunity to join with the band in celebrating the music of the season.

The Eastern Shore Wind Ensemble is an all-ages community concert band. It was formed in 2001 to offer area wind and percussion musicians the opportunity to continue or return to the pleasures of playing quality music in a large ensemble. New members are always welcome, without audition or fee.

Rehearsals for the next concert on March 18th will begin on Monday, January 8th. They start promptly at 7:00 p.m. and run until 8:30 p.m. in the Washington College band room in Gibson Center for the Arts.

For more information, call 410-778-2829, send a message to ESWEemail@yahoo.com, or go to facebook.com/EasternShoreWindEnsemble. The ensemble is partially supported by a grant from the Kent County Arts Council.

Summer Jobs at Church Hill Theatre

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The cast of CHT’s Green Room Gang Senior production of Seussical JR, the 2017 Green Room Gang production

 

 

Church Hill Theatre is accepting applications for the following paid staff positions for the 2018 Green Room Gang program. The theatre requires a Green Room Gang Sr. director and a Green Room Gang, Jr. director along with two interns to work with the directors during the 5-week summer program.

Green Room Gang is a summer theatre workshop that consists of two camps. GRG Sr. is a five-week, full day program of theatre instruction for youths entering grades 6—12 that culminates in a fully staged musical for public performance. GRG Jr. is a four and a half week, half day program for youths entering grades 1—5 which also culminates in a fully staged musical production. Both camps are in session Monday through Thursday.  GRG Sr. begins June 18, 2018 and ends with performances July 19, 20 and 21, 2018; GRG Jr. starts June 20 and culminates with the production at the same time.

The directors of Green Room Gang are the instructors and artists who oversee and orchestrate the theatrical education of the Green Room Gang students and the mounting of fully scripted productions by creatively facilitating all aspects of the productions.  The directors have the challenging task of bringing together the many complex pieces of a production—the script, actors, set, costuming, lighting, sound and music—into a unified whole.  They will be responsible for all aspects of the production; however, the focus of the position is the instruction of the students and the casting, directing and rehearsing of the show.  Applicants should have extensive formal education and experience in all aspects of theatre, and should be able to work closely with young people.

The interns of the Green Room Gang will have duties that vary with the nature of the script, the director, the designers and the production facilities. An effective intern will adapt to the needs of each production. He or she will always make it his/her priority to see that the director has everything he/she needs to bring the play’s vision to the stage.  They will work closely with the directors of both GRG Jr. and GRG Sr. and will assist in instructional, directing and production aspects of the camp. The two intern positions require a HS diploma as well as college training in a variety of the aspects of theatre.

For more information and applications for any of these positions, please contact the Church Hill Theatre Executive Manager Hester Sachse at 410-556-6003.  The deadline for applications to be received by Church Hill Theatre is December 15, 2017.

 

 

 

Miracle on 34th Street Opens Dec. 1 at Garfield

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Veteran Director Jim Landskroener has assembled a cast of new and familiar local faces for the production of Miracle on 34 th Street, which opens during the Dickens of a Christmas weekend, Friday, December 1st at the Garfield Center for the Arts. This play version is adapted from the Twentieth Century Fox motion picture, and based on the novel by Valentine Davies. &quot.

“This is a tale that we want to believe in, that creates a world we seem to desperately desire, free of the blatant commercialism that surrounds us, where love and decency and generosity of spirit are their own rewards. What we want Christmas to be all about.” So writes the Santa Cruz Sentinel of this most heartwarming holiday
story.

By chance, Kris Kringle, an old man in a retirement home, gets a job working as Santa for Macy’s. Kris unleashes waves of good will with Macy's customers and the commercial world of New York City by referring parents to other stores to find exactly the toy their child has asked for. Seen as deluded and dangerous by Macy’s vocational counselor, who plots to have Kris shanghaied to Bellevue Psychiatric Hospital, Kris ends up in a court competency hearing. Especially at stake is one little girl's belief in Santa. In a dramatic decision, the court confirms Kris as the true Santa, allowing Susan and countless other children to experience the joy of childhood fantasy.

The cast in order of appearance on stage:
James Diggs – Dr. Pierce
David Ryan – Kris Kringle
June Hall – Bag Lady
Rich Person – Laura Crabtree
Shellhammer (Shelly) – Lori Wysong
Doris Walker – Natalie Lane
Susan Walker – Izzie Southworth
Fred Gayley – Zac Ryan
Drunk Santa – Tom Dorman
Macy – Allan Price
Sawyer – Diane Landskroener
Gimble – Special Cameo
Judge Harper – Gil Rambach
Finley – Tom Dorman
Mara – Mike Heffron
Halloran – June Hall
Duncan – Laura Crabtree
Mara, Jr. – Aaron Sensenig
Assorted Elves: Ben Anthony, Thomas Martinez, Ellie Morton, Shane Saunders
Children & Parents: Lia & Sarah Schut, Quentin & Phyllis Bergenholtz, Joe Diggs, Aaron Sensenig and Josie
Merton.

Take advantage of the Garfield’s recurring opening night discount; get $5 off when you wear your Garfield t-shirt! The show runs three weekends, from December 1 to 17. Friday and Saturday shows begin at 8 p.m, and Sunday matinees begin at 3 p.m. Tickets are $20 general admission, $15 for military and.seniors 65+, and $10 for students.

Tickets can be purchased online at www.GarfieldCenter.org or by calling the box office at 410-810- 2060. The Garfield Center for the Arts is located at 210 High Street in Chestertown. This production is sponsored by Sutton Building & Remodeling, who recently installed the Garfield’s new movie screen.

Photo credits — Jeff Weber

Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra Celebrates Holiday Season

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The only professional symphony orchestra on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, the Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra (MSO), is celebrating 20 years of bringing enchantment to audiences from Ocean City, MD to Wye Mills, MD.

Audiences can ring in the holiday season with “Holiday Joy,” in early December celebrating the spirit of the holidays with traditional seasonal favorites. The concerts will be held on Thursday, December 7, 2017 at 7 p.m. at the Avalon Theater in Easton, MD; Saturday, December 9, 2017 at 3 p.m. at the Mariner’s Bethel in Ocean View, DE; and Sunday, December 10, 2017 at 3 p.m. at the Community Church in Ocean Pines, MD. The concerts will feature such favorites as “Sleighride,” selections from Handel’s “Messiah,” Wendel’s “Hanukah Overture,” and selections from Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker,” as well as familiar carols and hymns. Soloists include Leah Hawkins, Soprano; Joe Burgstaller, Trumpet; and Chaz’man Williams-Ali, Tenor.

Pictured are soloists for the Mid-Atlantic Symphony’s “Toast to the New Year” concerts: Sharin Apostolou, Soprano and Ryan McPherson, Tenor.

The orchestra’s “Toast to the New Year” will celebrate the New Year with revelry and music on both New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. The concerts will be held on Sunday, December 31, 2017 at 7 p.m. at Christ Church in Easton, MD; Monday, January 1, 2018 at 1 p.m. at the Community Church in Ocean Pines, MD. The concerts will feature such compositions as Fledermaus Overture, Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake – Second Movement, 2nd; a duet from “West Side Story,”  “Nocturne from a Midsummer Night’s Dream,” along with an “Auld Lang Syne” sing-along. Soloists include Sharin Apostolou, Soprano and Ryan McPherson, Tenor.

The Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra is supported in part by the Maryland State Arts Council, the Talbot County Arts Council, the Worcester County Arts Council, Sussex County, Delaware and the Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore, Inc.

Tickets to the MSO concerts are available online at midatlanticsymphony.org or by telephone (888) 846-8600.  For further information, visit midatlanticsymphony.org.

Christ Church to Host Annapolis Chamber Ensemble and Two World-Class Pianists

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The Christ Church Concert Series in Easton continues its 2017-18 season this Sunday afternoon at 4 pm featuring the Annapolis Chamber Players.  The ensemble whose members have been collaborating for more than fifteen years is composed of some of the finest musicians in the Baltimore-Washington DC area.  Known for their eclectic programs with repertoire ranging from the eighteenth through the twenty-first centuries, the ensemble specializes in mixed chamber music for winds, strings, and piano. Unlike homogeneous chamber groups, such as a string quartet or woodwind quintet, the Annapolis Chamber Players’ diverse instrumental colors and flexible instrumentation offers a variety of musical colors and styles.

Woobin Park and Stefan Petrov

While all six of the ensemble’s members unite to amass a most impressive cache of honors and distinctions, its two pianists, each a world-class talent, will perform on Sunday’s concert. Dr. Woobin Park made her Carnegie Hall debut in 2010 to critical acclaim. The New York Concert Review raved“…Park gave a brilliant performance, handling the virtuosity with beautiful sense of style…” She has appeared throughout the United States and South Korea in solo and chamber recitals as well as solo performances with orchestra. Park has performed in distinguished concert venues including Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Steinway Hall in New York, Strathmore Hall in Washington D.C., Elizabeth Horowitz Performing Arts Center in Maryland, Tedmann Concert Hall in Minneapolis, Auer Concert Hall in Bloomington, Indiana and Preston Bradley Hall of the Chicago Cultural Center. Her live performances have been nationally broadcast on WFMT in Chicago and KSJN in Minneapolis. Woobin has earned prizes in several competitions including the Los Angeles Liszt International Piano Competition, where she was also awarded “Best Performance of the Required Work,” San Nicola di Bari International Piano Competition in Italy, University of Minnesota Concerto Competition, and American Protege International Competition of Romantic Music. On Sunday, Dr. Park will perform Carl Frühling’s Trio for Clarinet, Violoncello and Piano, Op. 40 with clarinetist and ensemble director, Phyllis Richardson and cellist Dorotea Racz.  In addition to her performing career and masterclasses throughout the country, Dr. Park serves on the piano faculty at Washington College.

American-Bulgarian pianist Stefan Petrov, whose arresting interpretations and broad musical versatility has captivated classical music audiences as a soloist and a chamber musician in venues across Europe, North America and the Caribbean, will perform Johannes Brahms’ Trio in E-flat Major for Piano, Violin and French, Op. 40 along with violinist Kristen Bakkegard and hornist, Heidi Brown. Mr. Petrov’s performances have been broadcast on CBC (Canada), WDAV(NC), WFMT (Chicago), WMRA(VA) and Bulgarian National TVand Radio. He has appeared in Steinway Hall (New York, NY), Steinway Series at the Smithsonian Museum (Washington D.C.), the Bulgarian National Palace of Culture, Teatro Nacional (Dominican Republic), Chicago Cultural Institute and others. Equally at home as a collaborative pianist, Stefan partners frequently with Israeli-American cellist Amit Peled in recitals across the U.S., while also serving as head of the collaborative piano department at the prestigious Heifetz International Music

Sunday’s concert is partially funded by a grant from the Talbot County Arts Council and the Maryland State Arts Council.  Doors open at 3:30 pm, and the public is invited.  A freewill offering will be received to support this and upcoming concerts.  Christ Church is located at 111 S. Harrison Street in downtown Easton. For information call 410-822-2677 or visit www.christchurcheaston.org.

Christ Church of Easton Host Annapolis Chamber Ensemble and Two Pianists

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Woobin Park

The Christ Church Concert Series in Easton continues its 2017-18 season Sunday, Nov. 19 4 p.m. featuring the Annapolis Chamber Players.  The ensemble includes some of the finest musicians in the Baltimore-Washington area.  Known for their eclectic programs ranging from the 18th through the 21st centuries, the ensemble specializes in mixed chamber music for winds, strings, and piano, a flexible instrumentation that offers a variety of musical colors and styles.

While all six of the ensemble’s members have gathered an impressive cache of honors and distinctions, its two pianists, each a world-class talent, will perform on Sunday’s concert. Woobin Park made her Carnegie Hall debut in 2010 to critical acclaim. The New York Concert Review raved, “Park gave a brilliant performance, handling the virtuosity with beautiful sense of style…” She has appeared throughout the United States and South Korea in solo and chamber recitals as well as solo performances with orchestra. Park has performed in venues including Carnegie Hall and Steinway Hall in New York, Strathmore Hall in Washington, and Elizabeth Horowitz Performing Arts Center in Maryland. Her live performances have been nationally broadcast. Woobin has earned prizes in several competitions including the Los Angeles Liszt International Piano Competition, where she was also awarded “Best Performance of the Required Work.” On Sunday, Park will perform Carl Frühling’s Trio for Clarinet, Violoncello and Piano, Op. 40 with clarinetist and ensemble director, Phyllis Richardson and cellist Dorotea Racz.  In addition to her performing career and masterclasses throughout the country, Park serves on the piano faculty at Washington College.

Stefan Petrov

American-Bulgarian pianist Stefan Petrov, whose arresting interpretations and broad musical versatility have captivated audiences across Europe, North America and the Caribbean, will perform Johannes Brahms’ Trio in E-flat Major for Piano, Violin and French, Op. 40 along with violinist Kristen Bakkegard and hornist, Heidi Brown. Petrov has appeared in Steinway Hall (New York, NY), Steinway Series at the Smithsonian Museum, the Bulgarian National Palace of Culture and others. He partners frequently with Israeli-American cellist Amit Peled in recitals across the U.S., while also serving as head of the collaborative piano department at the prestigious Heifetz International Music

Sunday’s concert is partially funded by a grant from the Talbot County Arts Council and the Maryland State Arts Council.  Doors open at 3:30 p.m.  A freewill offering will be received to support this and upcoming concerts.  Christ Church is located at 111 S. Harrison Street in downtown Easton. For information call 410-822-2677 or click here.

The Chester River Chorale Presents: A Chester River Holiday

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The Chester River Chorale and Youth Choir in concert

Alleluias and hand bells will ring out as the 90-voice Chester River Chorale heralds Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanza with their 19th annual presentation of A Chester River Holiday, celebrating the season of jubilation, good will, and awe with songs of reverence, remembrance, and hope for peace.

For the fifth year in a row, the 22 treble voices of the Chester River Youth Choir will join in for the celebration in the beautiful sanctuary of the Presbyterian Church of Chestertown for two performances, the first at 7:30 p.m. Friday, December 1, and the second at 4 p.m. Saturday, December 2.

“There’s something for everybody in this program,” said Douglas Cox, artistic director. “Programming for A Chester River Holiday is one of my favorite things to do because of the many musical possibilities it offers. The holiday season brings out an array of music from many faith traditions, as well as secular favorites that are ever present in the American holiday experience.”

A cascade of bells, strings, and harp will set the holiday mood before the Chorale launches into Exsultate Justi, written 1987 by John Williams for the soundtrack of Empire of the Sun to express the jubilation of prisoners liberated from a Japanese internment camp. The triumphant piece, sung in Latin and reminiscent of centuries- older church music, is associated with the holidays from many holiday performances presented by The Boston Pops during Williams tenure as music director.

Another piece in Latin follows, this one an excerpt from a Vivaldi 18th century Gloria. The Baroque masterpiece will be followed by an excerpt from a 20th century gospel-style Gloria in English.

Lo V’Chayil, sung in Hebrew and English, will call for putting aside the use of might and power in favor of making peace. Another, Cuando El Rey Nimrod, a rousing Sephardic folk song with roots in the Ottoman Empire, tells of the birth of Abraham, who will father the Jewish nation. It is sung entirely in Ladino, the Spanish-Hebrew dialect of Iberian Jews.

Songs of love and Christmas, and yearning for the holiday celebrating the humble nativity in Bethlehem, along with some popular seasonal standards—some of which the audience just might be asked to join in on—pepper the program.

Assistant Director Michelle Sensenig will be singing soprano when she is not directing several of the pieces in the program including a show-stopping arrangement of the traditional spiritual Go! Tell it on the Mountain. Another Chorale soprano, Julie Lawrence, will direct the Youth Choir, which she founded at the Garfield Center for the Arts, in three songs, including a spiritual and a Norwegian folk song. The Youth Choir ranges in age from 8 to 15, meaning that, counting the Chorale as well, the singers will range in age from 8 to 80 plus.

The Youth Choir will also perform an a cappella piece with the Chester Chamber Singers, the auditioned subset of the Chorale.

The Chamber Singers will then perform what Director Cox describes as “a set of ancient carols set to exquisite new music by Minnesota composer, Stephen Paulus, with a harp and oboe accompaniment.”

Sammy Marshall, the Chorale’s accompanist, will play the piano. Other instrumentalists, besides the harp and oboe, include a five-piece string ensemble, flute, organ, and percussion.

Suggested donations at the door are $15. No tickets will be sold. The Chorale has been performing to full houses for the past several years, so patrons are urged to come at least 15 minutes early to be assured of being seated.

Chorale members are amateur singers drawn mainly from Kent and Queen Anne’s counties. If you love to sing, come join us in January for our upcoming 20th anniversary season. No audition is required.

The Chester River Chorale is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization funded in part by the Kent County Arts Council and by an operating grant from the Maryland State Arts Council, an agency dedicated to cultivating a vibrant cultural community where the arts thrive.

The CRC’s mission is to provide opportunity, education, and inspiration for amateur singers to strive for artistic excellence. CRC performances entertain diverse audiences and enrich the cultural life of the community. For more information, click here or call 410–928-5566.

A Soldier’s Return to Civilian Life: Modern Warrior Live to Debut in Easton this Weekend

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When United States Army Veteran Jaymes Poling returned from Afghanistan, he was hit with a difficult decision: share his personal accounts of combat with others and risk a change in their perception of him or internalize everything he’d been through?

“A lot of veterans run into that,” he says. “I didn’t want to become the sum of my stories.”

Dominick Farinacci and Jaymes Poling

So, the finance major decided to do something to change the narrative often told of a veteran’s journey. It’s a theatrical production called Modern Warrior Live and it debuts in Easton before its New York City-run—and inevitable nation-wide distribution—on Saturday, November 18 and Sunday, November 19 at the Avalon Theatre in Easton.

This live experience combines dynamic musical performances, led by renowned jazz musician Dominick Farinacci, and the autobiographical details of Poling’s three years as an infantryman with the 82nd Airborne Division.

“It spans all generations of music,” Farinacci says. “The audience can expect to hear a lot of songs they’ve heard before, but in a completely different context, as well as completely new material.”

It all began over a year ago, when a mutual friend introduced Poling to Farinacci, who was searching for insight from a veteran to help better perform a cover song. That initial meeting lasted several hours, as the two spoke about Poling’s experiences and how they could collaborate on something more than that one piece.

“Everything [Poling] said was running contrary to what I’d heard. And there was so much substance, we kept going back and forth for months until we realized we should create a stage production,” Farinacci says. “And having [Poling] tell his own story just makes it that much more powerful.”

Poling was initially hesitant to participate in the endeavor, however, as he worried he might perpetuate stereotypes, like the wounded or hero veteran. He was well aware that in our current “soundbite culture,” one vet’s story becomes generalized to represent all veterans’ stories and he didn’t want to exacerbate the issue.

But, he eventually realized how the venture could not only benefit himself in a therapeutic sense, but also help the general public gain a better understanding of a veteran’s time in combat and their reintegration as a civilian. And, most importantly, start a dialog between veterans and their local communities.

“I felt like I couldn’t sit here and complain about the narrative and not do anything about it,” Poling says. “What I really like about the stage production is we’re able to share all those [experiences], yet the audience doesn’t walk away seeing somebody as a victim of that one violent experience.”

With Poling on board to write and narrate his own story, Farinacci coordinated with about 10 different musicians, from percussionists to vocalists, to create a soundtrack that portrays the veteran’s psychological experiences.

“This is a universal story. It’s not specific to an American who served,” says Farinacci. “It’s really a story of growth and struggle and adversity and psychological challenges and, ultimately, the positive growth that can come from that.”

Catch Modern Warrior Live at 8 p.m. Saturday, November 18, or 2 p.m. Sunday, November 19, at the Avalon Theatre in Easton. Complimentary tickets are available to all veterans/active military and one additional guest. Jazz on the Chesapeake is a program of Chesapeake Music. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit Jazzonthechesapeake.com or call 410-819-0380.

 

 

 

Celtic Duo Cassie and Maggie at Garfield Center Nov. 12

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Cassie & Maggie, the Nova Scotian sister duo, bring their unique style of Celtic music to the Garfield on Sunday, Nov. 12 at 7 p.m. The Garfield has once again joined forces with Rock Hall’s home for live music, The Mainstay, to bring this incredible group to Chestertown for a one-night only concert performance.

Born to a family with a rich musical heritage and raised in Nova Scotia, a province steeped in musical culture and traditions, the girls have used their unique up bringing as a springboard for their own brand of Celtic Roots music. Equally at home playing tunes passed down through generations of musicians, as seamlessly weaving themes from the Moonlight Sonata into sets of sure fire reels, Cassie and Maggie are turning heads wherever they go.

Their accolades and awards speak of a young duo that will surely continue to do great things; 2016 Live Ireland “Female Singer of the Year”, 2015 Live Ireland Radio “New Group of the Year”, Canadian Folk Music Award nominees for “Young Performers of the Year”, two time East Coast Music Award nominees for Traditional Album and Traditional/Roots group album and double Music Nova Scotia Award nominees for New Artist and Roots Album of the year.

“Of the numerous East Coast artists the club has featured, these two young ladies inhabit the rare air of the greats. At an age (each in their early twenties) where they only have more to achieve and develop as performers and writers, Cassie & Maggie MacDonald gave the sort of performance you’d expect from seasoned veterans of their craft.” -The Calgary Herald

“Cassie & Maggie both play and sing with a wonderful combination of verve and skill on a program of original and traditional songs and tunes. This is traditional music played with a modern edge” –New Classics, UK

“The dynamic duo, two sisters whose deep family musical heritage is the launching pad for the finest Nova Scotia fiddle tunes, vocals and step dancing. They are the ‘real deal’ whose talent is only exceeded by their charm and passion.” – Warren Robinson (Artistic Director Goderich Celtic Roots festival/ past VP of Folk Alliance)

Co-sponsored by The Mainstay and The Garfield Center for the Arts, the concert on November 12th is at 7 p.m. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased online, over the phone by calling 410-810-2060, or in person at the Garfield Center box office. The Garfield Center is located at 210 High Street in Chestertown.