Garfield Center’s Youth Choir to Perform “Seasons of Song” May 18


The Chester River Youth Choir will take you on a musical journey through the seasons on May 18th, with a concert at the Garfield Center for the Arts at 7:30pm. Under the direction Julie Lawrence, the choir will be accompanied on piano by Michelle Sensenig and Heidi Butler.

The spring youth choir features the talents of singers Lizzy Assante, Madeline Blouch, Abby Glover, Allison Holdgreve, Bob Hollis, Madelyn Hopwell, Nate Peregoy, Sam Peregoy, Denton Reff, Mollie Reff, Kaya Ricketts, Cecelia Schweitzer, Emeline Schweitzer, Aaron Sensenig, Lydia Sensenig, James Walters, Aurora Walters, Elias Williams, Isabella Williams, Liam Williams and Winston Williams. While the concert is FREE, donations to the Chester River Youth Choir are encouraged.

Now in its 5th year, the Chester River Youth Choir is open to treble-voice singers ages 7-17, and meets Mondays 4:15-5:45pm at the Garfield Center for the Arts.

Auditions are not required; all are encouraged to sign up for the fall session, which will begin in September. For more information contact

The Chester River Youth Choir is supported by the Kent County Arts Council and the Chester River Chorale.

Marcy Dunn Ramsey “Tangles & Knots” at Massoni Gallery


Marcy Dunn Ramsey’s one-person exhibition – Tangles & Knots – opens at the Carla Massoni Gallery on Friday, May 18th and remains on exhibit through June 16th.  Ramsey has been captivating art lovers and collectors at MassoniArt for over twenty-five years.  She paints the river.  And as those of us who live near water understand, there is always a new experience to be mined.  The rivers of the Eastern Shore are the true treasures of the Chesapeake Bay and Marcy is their fierce advocate.

Like so many who have made the protection of our unique and fragile environment their passion, she is once again facing the Sisyphean task of keeping these issues on the front burner.  The choice of the title for her exhibition – Tangles & Knots – hints at this struggle. Having witnessed the successes and healing taking place in our rivers, to see it put at risk is daunting.

For Ramsey the experience can be likened to a tangled ball of yarn, creating knots in our bodies and minds, and creating blocks in energy flow.  Artists serve as our guides in difficult times even though the work they produce may be highly personal. The artist by connecting to what is most inspiring to them is often able to strengthen their inner resources through the creative process.   Their journey offers a path from the personal to the universal and in the process may untangle knots for all of us.

With this new body of work, Ramsey’s search for resolution to these tangled webs can be found by returning once again to her muse with a new invigorated energy.

Although her large-scale oil paintings are at once almost pure abstraction, one feels the wind, smells the richness of the marsh and senses the physicality of the river. The viewer is invited into a world of sky, water, and sea grass but when you take up residency in Ramsey’s paintings you will become one with the river in all its intricacies.  Her masterful paintings demand a response.

Ramsey’s friend and neighbor, poet Meredith Davies Hadaway, captures this in words.   In an excerpt from her poem, Why the River, she echoes this symbiosis.

Why the River – “…because it traps the clouds so we can sail across both heaven and earth, because it carries our tears, swells with our salt, because it is a body, because it bears our weight.”

Gallery hours during Tangles & Knots are Wednesday-Friday, 11am-4pm, Saturday, 10am-5pm and Sunday, 11-2 pm. The Gallery is always available to be open by private appointment or by chance. For additional information please contact Carla Massoni.  MASSONIART, 203 High Street, Chestertown, Maryland. 410-778- 7330 or visit our website for directions and links to other activities in Chestertown’s Arts & Entertainment District.

Opening Reception – Friday, May 18th, 5-7 pm
Open House – Saturday, May 19th, 11-3
June First Friday Reception – Friday, June 1st, 5-7:30 pm

Chester River Chorale’s Chamber Singers at the Chestertown Tea Party


The Chester River Chorale’s Chester Chamber Singers will present a program of patriotic songs emphasizing American participation in World War I, the “Great War” in Europe that ended with an allied victory after the Yanks packed up their “old kit bags” and went “over there” to join the soldiers of England and France to force Imperial Germany’s surrender 100 years ago this November. The free concert during the Chestertown Tea Party celebration will be at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, May 26, in the Prince Theatre at the Garfield Center for the Arts. Donations will be gratefully accepted.

Chief Curator Anke Van Wagenberg to Lecture on New Dutch Art Book at AAM


Jan Baptist Weenix, Girl as Shepherdess with Dog, Le Musée de Picardie, Amiens

Anke Van Wagenberg, PhD, Chief Curator at the Academy Art Museum will discuss paintings of Jan Baptist Weenix and his son Jan Weenix, at an upcoming Kittredge-Wilson lecture, “Painting for Princes: Dutch Art by Jan Baptist Weenix & Jan Weenix.” The event will be held on Friday, May 18 at 6 p.m. at the Academy Art Museum. She recently published her two-volume tome entitled “Jan Baptist Weenix and Jan Weenix: The Paintings.” It is the result of many years of scholarly art-historical research on the works of the Dutch, seventeenth-century painters Jan Baptist Weenix (1621–1659)—a contemporary of Rembrandt and Vermeer—and his son Jan Weenix (1641– 1719).

These important Dutch masters and contemporaries of Rembrandt painted Italianate landscapes, portraits and still lifes and are represented in most principal museums with Dutch collections. The publication fills a lacuna in the art history of the Golden Age and provides a broader base for the appreciation of Dutch art. From the beginning it has been the purpose to study and publish the art of father Weenix and son Weenix because the authorship of their paintings has been frequently confused, especially paintings of the 1660s, when Weenix II had just “graduated” from his father’s studio. With the similar subject matter and style, their paintings have puzzled many writers and art historians. After his father-teacher’s death, the son gradually transferred his style in line with a newer more “courtly” taste of the late seventeenth and early eighteenth century, culminating in a commission to decorate the castle Bensberg near Dusseldorf for a German Prince. This transformation can now be clearly illustrated in Anke’s books, in which hundreds of artworks have been documented.

The 850-page monograph contains new, unpublished archival material on these important painters and a catalogue of 500 entries. The dual volume set is presented in a cassette and published by the renowned publishing house Waanders, in The Netherlands, with world-wide distribution in New York.

Signed copies of Van Wagenberg’s recently published two-volume book will be available at the lecture. As limited copies are available, advanced copies can be reserved. The cost of the lecture is $24 for Museum members and $29 for non-members. Pre-registration is suggested.  Register online at or call 410-822-2787.

Ken and Brad Kolodner Quartet at The Mainstay May 18


The dynamic father-son duo Ken & Brad Kolodner are joined by Rachel Eddy on fiddle, guitar and vocals and Alex Laquement on bass. They weave together a mesmerizing soundscape on hammered dulcimer, banjo and fiddles and push the boundaries of the Old-Time tradition into uncharted territory. Regarded as one of the most influential hammered dulcimer players and Old-Time fiddlers in North America, Baltimore’s Ken Kolodner has joined forces with his son Brad Kolodner, a rising star in the clawhammer banjo world. Together, they infuse their own brand of driving, innovative, tasteful and unique interpretations of traditional and original fiddle tunes and songs. They perform tight and musical arrangements of original and traditional old-time music with a “creative curiosity that lets all listeners know that a passion for traditional music yet thrives in every generation.” At this concert, they add bassist Alex Lacquementwho locks everything together with his commanding approach and multi-instrumentalist Rachel Eddy (fiddle, banjo, guitar and vocals), a former member of the Old-Time supergroup Uncle Earl.

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 501(c)(3), nonprofit dedicated to the arts, serving Rock Hall, MD and the surrounding region and is committed to presenting local, regional and national level talent, at a reasonable price, in an almost perfect acoustic setting. Information and advance ticket sales are available on the Mainstay’s website

Upcoming Mainstay performances include:

May 14 – Joe Holt welcomes Tom Lagana
May 18 – Ken and Brad Kolodner Quartet
May 20 – Chester River Youth Choir
May 21 – Joe Holt welcomes Michael DeMaio
May 28 – Joe Holt welcomes Tom McHugh
June 2 – Uptown Vocal Jazz Quartet
June 22 – Barbara Parker with Joe Holt and Camillo Carrara
June 23 – Grand Ole Ditch
June 30 – Charlie Byrd Tribute with Chuck Redd All-Stars

Eastern Shore Wind Ensemble presents “Cityscapes” May 20


The Eastern Shore Wind Ensemble takes its audience to cities near and far in its final concert of the season, “Cityscapes.” Music Director Dr. Keith A. Wharton will conduct this free concert, beginning at 4 p.m. on Sunday, May 20, 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.

The concert features medleys that celebrate two American cities in particular: “Chicago (That Toddlin’ Town)” by Fred Fisher and “A Salute to New York (Give My Regards to Broadway; Forty-Second Street; The Sidewalks of New York; New York, New York)” arranged by Jack Bullock.

The spirit of American cities and towns is conveyed in “Quad City Stomp” by Michael Sweeney, “River City” by Jacob de Haan, “Bridgeview” by Ed Huckeby, “Delmar Celebration” by John Edmondson, and “Nightflight (Scenes of a City from Above)” by James Swearingen.

Lastly, European cities are represented by “Un Petit Cafe a Paris” by Jeremy Bell and the Finale from “The Pines of Rome” by Ottorino Respighi.

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 next season will begin in September. Each rehearsal starts promptly at 7:00 p.m. and runs until 8:30 p.m. in the Washington College band room in Gibson Center for the Arts. For further information, call 410-778-2829, send a message to, or look at The ensemble is partially supported by a grant from the Kent County Arts Council.

Chasing Sophie: The Search for the Real Sophie Kerr


There are quite a few things that Washington College can hang its hat on with great pride. The easiest one, of course, is the fact that George Washington willingly allowed his name to be used in the creation of the country’s 10th oldest college. That’s pretty good stuff but it does not diminish the other remarkable legacies of this 238-year-old school, and the prime example is the Denton born writer Sophie Kerr.

A native of the Mid-Shore who eventually found her way to hosting literary salons at her Murray Hill townhouse in New York in the first half of the 20th Century, Kerr became one of the most proficient writers of her time. When she passed away in 1965, she had completed over 80 novels, hundreds of magazine articles, and a number of highly sought after cookbooks. She also left enough money in her will to allow Washington College to offer each year the largest literary prize for an undergraduate in the country ($66,000 last year) and an equally significant amount to create what is now an impressive creative writing program at the school.

Another thing she left to the two institutions she had developed a strong kinship with, namely Columbia University, where she donated most of her letters and manuscripts, and Washington College, who was the recipient of her journal-like daybooks, poems, and other personal correspondence.

But even with this extraordinary collection of primary resource material, the real Sophie Kerr remains somewhat of a mystery to both scholars and the general public. The writer took extraordinary steps during her life to keep a large wall between her and her professional writing, but that also held true even with her letters.

The forever private nature of Kerr was a common interest that united three unique partners in a quest to chase down the real Sophie. WC’s professor Elizabeth O’Connor, whose lifetime scholarship had dug deep into American women writers during Sophie’s era, was eager to fill in some important gaps of knowledge. Her student, Brooke Schultz, found in Sophie the a perfect subject for the Friends of the Miller Library to award her a Thornton Fellowship to research her work for a senior thesis. And, finally, Heather Calloway, the College archivist, who had been tasked with making sense of Miller Library’s Kerr collection, also wanted to know more about Kerr’s history on the Eastern Shore as well as in New York.

Over the last year, these women set out to find the real Sophie Kerr as a unique team project which started with a meticulous review of WC’s holdings and ended with spending three days at Columbia’s archive to immerse themselves in the author’s complete body of work.

Some of the results of this work can be found in Brooke’s thesis, but, as the Spy found out in our interview with all three (appropriately in the Sophie Kerr Room at Miller Library), this intensive research project has only just begun to uncover this progressive writer’s unique personality and literary agenda.

This video is approximately three minutes in length. For more information about Sophie Kerr and Washington College please go here.

The Story of Anne Frank at the Garfield Center May 17


The Bright Star Touring Theatre Company of Asheville, NC will be at the Garfield Center for the Arts at 11am on Thursday, May 17th with a performance of The Story of Anne Frank.  This special morning show is part of the Garfield Center’s Educational Outreach Program and is made possible by support from the Kent County Arts Council and The Hedgelawn Foundation.The Story of Anne Frank is a 45–minute engaging play that celebrates the courage shown by Anne Frank and her family. This production is designed to offer an engaging and accessible approach to this time in history and is ideal for ages 10 and up.

Each year, Bright Star Touring Theatre serves nearly 1,000 audiences in schools, theaters, libraries, museums and more across the country. They offer a wide variety of curriculum-based programs. The company has gained international support, accepting an invitation from the U.S. Embassy to visit Moscow, Russia with their programs. Bright Star is committed to providing professional theatre to audiences at an affordable rate. Information about all their interactive shows, including production videos, photos, study guides and more is available online at

The Educational Outreach Program at the Garfield Center offers bi-annual high quality multi-cultural performances as a field trip opportunity to the local public and private schools. Tickets are $10, with special rates available for school groups. Tickets for individuals can be purchased only at the door, while school groups should contact the Garfield Center ahead of time to make seating arrangements. Please call 410-810-2060 or contact to reserve your seats. The Garfield Center for the Arts is located at 210 High Street in Chestertown.

Kent School Students Present Shrek the Musical, Jr


Members of Kent School’s Class of 2018 will perform Shrek, Jr. On Friday May 11 and Saturday May 12. Both performances will begin at 7:30 pm. Admission is free and the public is invited to attend. The performances will take place in the M.V. “Mike” Williams Gymnasium.

Shrek is the story of an Ogre who is sent out by his parents at the age of seven to find his place in the world.He encounters fairy tale creatures, a Dragon, the evil Lord Farquaad, and a Princess in a tower. There is also a comic Donkey who befriends Shrek and joins him on his adventures. The 8th Grade spring musical has been a tradition at Kent School since the school began in 1968. The Director is Jim Landskroener, the Musical Director and accompanist is Kate Bennett, and the Art Director is Pat Parkhurst.

Storyteller 1 – Lexi Norman
Storyteller 2 – Georgia Gillespie
Storyteller 3 – Tessa Schut
Mama Ogre – Cami Lord
Papa Ogre – Flynn Bowman
Little Shrek – Reed Ferguson
Shrek – Andrew Baughman
Captain of the Guards – Zach LaFleur
Guards – Jake Cerino, Flynn Bowman, Reed Ferguson
Pinocchio – Flynn Bowman
Big Bad Wolf – Jake Cerino
3 Little Pigs – Sage Cookerly, Abby Russum, Tessa Schut
Wicked Witch – Cami Lord
Peter Pan – Lexi Norman
Ugly Duckling – Georgia Gillespie
Mama Bear – Danielle Simmons
Papa Bear – Evan Gervais
Baby Bear – Reed Ferguson
Donkey – Sage Cookerly
Lord Farquaad – Tessa Schut
Gingy – Evan Gervais
Child Fiona – Lia Schut (4th Grade)
Teen Fiona – Lexi Norman
Adult Fiona – Abby Russum
Puss in Boots – Danielle Simmons
Knights – Jake Cerino, Flynn Bowman, Evan Gervais, Reed Ferguson
Dragon – Cami Lord
Pied Pipier – Zach LaFleur
Bishop – Danielle Simmons
Dwarf – Reed Ferguson
Trees – Tessa Schut, Danielle Simmons, Abby Russum
Residents of Duloc – Company

Shrek Jr. is based on the Dreamworks Animation Motion Picture and the book by William Steig. The Book and Lyrics are by David Lindsay-Abaire, and the Music is by Jeanine Tesori.

For more information about Kent School visit Kent School, located in historic Chestertown, MD is an independent day school serving children from Preschool through Grade 8. The School’s mission is to guide our students in realizing their potential for academic, artistic, athletic, and moral excellence. Our school’s family-oriented, supportive, student-centered environment fosters the growth of honorable, responsible citizens for our country and our diverse world.