National Music Festival Gears Up for Season IX


The National Music Festival returns to Maryland’s Eastern Shore June 2 – 15 with 32 concerts and over 200 free open rehearsals in historic Chestertown.

Now in its ninth season, the Festival brings together world-class professional musicians — from major orchestras, chamber ensembles and conservatory faculties — and gifted student musicians on the verge of launching their careers. Apprentice musicians from throughout the United States and abroad attend tuition-free.

“For our audiences, the Festival enhances Chestertown’s already vibrant arts and entertainment scene,” said Caitlin Patton, the Festival’s executive director. “For our apprentice musicians, it’s a chance to play challenging music and receive expert coaching and career guidance from our top-notch mentors.”

New to the 2019 Festival is a program for apprentice singers — 14 in all — who will be coached by professional concert and opera singers, culminating in a “Heavenly Voices” concert on June 10 at Hotchkiss Recital Hall at Washington College. It will be led by Celine Mogielnicki, soprano, and Adrian Rosas, bass-baritone. Both were last heard locally as soloists in Mozart’s Requiem during last year’s NMF.

“The new vocal program allows us to expand our outreach to tomorrow’s stars and to present many more free performances,” added Richard Rosenberg, artistic director and principal conductor – who co-founded the festival with Patton, his wife. “Though the format for each season is essentially the same, the musical offerings are always fresh and engaging.”

Eight of this year’s events — including three symphony masterworks concerts, vocal recitals and pre-concert talks — will be at Washington College’s Gibson Center for the Arts. Other venues include The Mainstay in Rock Hall, local churches, Adkins Arboretum and Chestertown’s Fountain Park.

This year’s repertoire will include Rimsky-Korsakov’s evocative Scheherazade, Mahler’s mighty Symphony No. 1, “Titan”and Beethoven’s Mass in C featuring the Chester River Chorale and soloists and apprentices from the vocal program. Other highlights include H.K. Gruber’s “Frankenstein!!” Gershwin’s “Cuban Overture” and Brahms’ “Academic Festival Overture.” You can view the full schedule here

For the second year, The New Bassoon Institute, June 1 – 8, will also be a part of the National Music Festival. Five leading American bassoon artists and teachers, members of the pioneering bassoon ensemble Dark in the Song, conduct a week-long workshop for up-and-coming young players on contemporary bassoon literature, performance and teaching techniques.

“It’s all-hands-on-deck when the Festival comes to town,” Patton said. Local residents volunteer to house the apprentices and mentors, civic organizations and churches keep them fueled with free snacks during rehearsal breaks.

“The town is gorgeous, the people are fantastic,” vocal mentor Adrian Rosas said recently in an interview, “the community and the people that were in the Festival…seemed to be having a great time taking part in the Festival as well.”

With programming geared toward all ages, there’s something to suit every musical taste – from a free instrument “petting zoo” where kids can try out different instruments – to impromptu performances nestled in nature among the native fauna at Adkins Arboretum in nearby Caroline County.

A $250 Festival Pass guarantees admission and preferred seating to all ticketed events, as well as special benefits including a souvenir Festival Guide and invitations to an exclusive pass-holders-only reception.

Pre-purchased passes and tickets will be held for pickup at the 2019 Festival. Single-ticket prices for concerts range from $10 to $20. And student tickets are available for all concerts at $5 each (please, bring children under 5 years old to an open rehearsal rather than a concert).

Rehearsal and performance schedules, individual tickets and season’s passes available on the website,

Call for Judged Fine Art and Craft – the RiverArts June Exhibit


Artistic inspiration is an unconscious burst of creativity. The concept has origins in both Hellenism and Hebraism. The Greeks believed that inspiration or enthusiasm came from the muses as well as the gods Apollo and Dionysus.

Curators Marj Morani and Pat Thompson challenge artists to let your muse inspire you to create a new work of art.  This annual RiverArts exhibit is a non-themed judged show; representational or abstraction is the artist’s choice.

All artists may submit two works of art whether painting, drawing,  printmaking, mixed media, sculpture and fine crafts (including metal, wood, fiber, ceramics, glass and jewelry). Best in show will be awarded $500. Other monetary awards include Excellence in 2D, 3D, and Open Category as well as People’s Choice. Judge Mary McCoy is an environmental artist and writer, an Artist-in-Residence at Adkins Arboretum, former art critic for the Washington Post, among other publications.

Garden Paths, Barbara Vann, colored pencil

Exhibition Dates: June 5 – 30, 2019
Opening Reception: Friday, June 7, 5-8 pm
Awards Ceremony & Gallery Talk: Thursday, June 13, 5:30-6:30 p.m.

Drop-off: Sunday, June 2 , 2 – 4 p.m.
Monday, June 3, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Pick-up: Sunday, June 30, 2-4 p.m.
Monday, July 1, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.

For more information and to submit work visit: or call the gallery at 410.778.6300

RiverArts Galleries & Gift Shop 315 High Street, Suite 106, Chestertown, MD  21620 – (in the breezeway).  Gallery hours are Tuesday – Friday, 11 AM to 5:30 PM, Saturday 10 AM to 5:30PM, Sunday 11 AM – 3 PM, First Fridays until 8 PM.

KidSPOT Creativity Center next door to the gallery. ArtsAlive Education Center 200 High St., the Clay Studio, 204 High St.

The Davis Arts Center 2019 Summer Open Studios


Join the Resident Artists of The Davis Arts Center for the Summer 2019 Open Studios. Enjoy an afternoon touring the studios and talking to the resident artists. This year, for the first time ever, six award-winning regional artists will also display their works at The Davis Arts Center. Take the opportunity to get to know these accomplished artists and their work in person. Music and light fare. Fun for the entire family!!

June 1 & 2 from 2 to 6 PM, at 516 Davis Avenue, one block east of Aurora between Melfield and Maryland Aves. in Easton, MD.

Academy Art Museum Announces June Events


Richard Diebenkorn, Urbana #2 (The Archer)


The following Academy Art Museum exhibitions are sponsored by the Talbot County Arts Council, the Maryland State Arts Council, and the Star Democrat. Open daily, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Richard Diebenkorn: Beginnings, 1942–1955
Through July 10
Open daily 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Free Docent Tours: Wednesdays, 11 a.m.
The exhibition and its accompanying catalogue aim to present a comprehensive view of Diebenkorn’s evolution to maturity, focusing solely on the paintings and drawings that precede his 1955 shift to figuration at age 33. Included in the exhibition are 100 paintings and drawings primarily from the Richard Diebenkorn Foundation, many of which have not before been publicly exhibited. The exhibition is organized by the Richard Diebenkorn Foundation in conjunction with the Crocker Art Museum and curated by Scott Shields, Associate Director and Chief Curator of the Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, CA. The Academy Art Museum is the only venue on the East Coast.
Related Events:
Lecture: Saturday, June 1, 11 a.m. – Gretchen Diebenkorn Grant, My Father Richard Diebenkorn


Kentavius Jones

My Father: Richard Diebenkorn
Gretchen Diebenkorn Grant, Daughter of Richard Diebenkorn
Saturday, June 1, 11 a.m.
Introduced by Dorsey Waxter of Van Doren/Waxter, New York, which represents the Richard Diebenkorn Foundation.
The daughter of artist Richard Diebenkorn, Gretchen Diebenkorn Grant, shares her insights and thoughts on the life and art of her famous father. In this thoughtful and occasionally nostalgic discussion, Gretchen Diebenkorn Grant gives insights into his personality, career and the environment in which he produced his exceptional body of work.


2019 Juneteenth Celebration to Feature History of Black Music
The Academy Art Museum in Easton, MD, will present the annual Juneteenth Celebration in partnership with the Frederick Douglass Honor Society, and Building African-American Minds (BAAM) on Saturday, June 22, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The free community celebration will feature a full range of family activities, street vendors and artwork by African-American artists in the Museum’s permanent collection. In addition, this year’s Juneteenth program will pay special tribute to the history of Black Music in honor of Black Music Month, with an afternoon street concert on South Street featuring performances by Daande Lenol, Brooks Long, the Capitol Jazz Experience, Kentavius Jones, and others. Please join us for this festive, free celebration of African-American culture, art, and history. For further information, visit or call 410-822-2787.

Bradford Ross

Open MIC
Second Wednesday Each Month
June 19 – Juneteenth
Contact Ray Remesch at for additional information.


Oil Painting: Color Crash Course
Instructor: Bradford Ross
Two-Day Workshop: Saturday, June 22 and Sunday, June 23, 10 a.m.–3:30 p.m.
Cost: $125 Members, $150 Non-members

Glowing Sunset, Shimmering Moonrise – Bring Light and Life to Your Evening Skies!
Instructor: Diane DuBois Mullaly
Two-Day Workshop: Saturday, June 8 and Sunday, June 9, 10 a.m.–2 p.m.
Cost $98 Members, $118 Non-members

Workshop: Fundamentals of Drawing
Instructor: Katie Cassidy
Three-Day Workshop: June 18, 19 and 20,–1 p.m.
Cost: $110 Members, $132 Non-members

Katie Cassidy

Fine Art Photo Transfer
Lecturer/Instructor: Rosemary Cooley
Three-Day Workshop: June 21-23, 10 a.m.–1 p.m.
Cost: $175 members, $195 Non-members. All materials included.

Edible Art! The Decorated Cookie
Instructor: Maggii Sarfaty
One-Day Workshop: Saturday, June 15, 9:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
Cost: $65 Members, $78 Non-members

Workshop: Introduction to Pastels
Instructor: Katie Cassidy
Three Days: June 25, 26 and 27, 10 a.m.–1 p.m.
Cost: $90 Members, $108 Non-members (plus $15 materials fee for all supplies paid to the instructor)

Try Oil Painting! – All Materials Supplied, No Skills Needed.
Instructor: Diane DuBois Mullaly
One-Day Workshop: Saturday, June 22, 10 a.m.–2 p.m.
Cost: $48 Members, $58 Non-members. Plus $5 materials fee payable to instructor.


Design and Print Your Own T-Shirt!

Design and Print Your Own T-Shirt!
Instructor: Chris Pittman
Grades 6–12
Wednesday–Friday, June 26–28, 10 a.m.–12 noon
Cost: $105 Members, $115 Non-members (Price includes 2 t-shirts per student)

Animal Art Adventures Including a visit from the Salisbury Zoo!
Instructor: Dawn Malosh
Ages 6–9
Monday–Friday, June 24–28, 9:30 a.m.–12 noon
Cost: $175 Members, $185 Non-members

Clay Works
Instructor: Dawn Malosh
Ages 8–13
Monday–Friday, June 24–28, 1–3 p.m.
Cost: $120 Members, $130 Non-members


Piano & Guitar Lessons
Instructor: Raymond Remesch
Contact Instructor for further information at (410) 829-0335 or

Voice Lessons
Instructor: Georgiann Gibson
Contact instructor for Information at (410) 829-2525 or

Ballroom and Latin Dance
Instructor: Amanda Showell
Contact instructor for information at (302) 377-3088 or visit

For additional information, visit or call the Museum at 410-822-2787.

Jesus Christ Superstar Coming to Church Hill Theatre


With a raucous score, Andrew Lloyd Weber’s 1970 rock opera, Jesus Christ Superstar is going to enthrall audiences this June.  Telling the biblical story of the last days of Jesus’ life from the perspective of Judas, this musical is not to be missed.  The Church Hill Theatre revival, directed by Shelagh Grasso, will run for nine performances from June 7-23. CHT’s summer musicals are always the highlight of the theatrical season and Jesus Christ Superstar will appeal to audiences of all ages.

Grasso has assembled a stellar cast for this production. Mark Wiening takes on the role of Jesus, with Max Hagen portraying Judas.  Mary is played by Stav Pinder, Caiaphas by Doug Porter, Annas by Brian Whitaker.  Matt Folker will portray Pontius Pilate, Greg Minahan plays Herod and Simon and Peter are played by Nevin Dawson and Bob McGrory respectively.  Jesus Christ Superstar includes a large ensemble, with each member having featured moments; priests, soul girls, apostles and more are played by Ken Gresh, David Ryan, Goldy Vansant, Grace McCreary, Natalie Lane, Melissa McGlynn, Sarah Ensor, Fred Welsh, Ed Vance, Jim Johnson, Connie Fallon, Colleen Minahan, Maya McGrory, Helen Vansant, Calla McCluskey, Heather Joyce Byers, Krista Roark, Shayla Moore, Liz Clark, Becca Van Aken, Laura McGrory, and Jane Jewell.

Members of the cast and crew of Jesus Christ Superstar .

Joining Shlagh Grasso’s production staff are musical director Julie Lawrence, producer Sally Borghardt, choreographer Kendall Davis, stage manager Michelle Christopher, lighting designer Kat Melton, sound designer Chris Grasso, and costume designer Tina Johnson.  Set design is done by Shelagh and Carmelo Grasso with construction by Carmelo Grasso, Tom Rhodes, Speedy Christopher and Jim Johnson.  Also helping out backstage are Steve Atkinson, Speedy Christopher Jr, and Robbie Spray.

Jesus Christ Superstar’s music was written by Andrew Lloyd Weber with lyrics written by Tim Rice.  Originally written as a rock opera album, it transferred to Broadway in 1971 and has become a classic.

Jesus Christ Superstar opens on Friday, June 7, and will run through Sunday, June 23, with Friday and Saturday performances at 8 pm and Sunday matinees at 2 pm. Tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for member, and $10 for students. Reservations (strongly advised well in advance) can be made by calling the box office at 410-556-6003 or online at

Colonial Conjurer, Crankies, Ona Judge & Spirit of Freedom at the Garfield Center



Levram the Great, Colonial Conjurer, has traveled all over the world, and performed for heads of state, as well as their feet! He portrays magic from the 18th Century by using all materials, props, and costumes that would have been available at the time.  Levram the Great is based on real-life American 18th Century conjurer, Jacob Meyer, otherwise known as Philadelphia. Audience members are encouraged to participate- are you ready for a stage appearance as a magician’s assistant? Two performances at the Garfield Center, 11 am and 1 pm.

What is a Crankie, you say? Katherine Fahey, an award-winning Baltimore artist, and her musician friends will perform this old storytelling art form at 11:30 am and 3 pm at the Garfield Center for the Arts. A long illustrated scroll is wound onto two spools. The spools are loaded into a box which has a viewing screen. Then the scroll is hand-cranked and accompanied by music. Fascinating storytelling for all ages.


Crankie panorama. Old Fashioned Storytelling accompanied by music, 11.30 am & 3 pm at the Garfield Center for the Arts

Your Chestertown Tea Party colonial music adventure is not complete without listening to Stephen Christoff. He brings to life the ballads and song lyrics that helped build American independence and define a nation. He will captivate families with the jaws harp, banjo, guitar, mandolin, hand whistle, the musical saw, and even the bottles. The Colonial times were filled with music and Christoff explores the fun.

Stephen Christoff. Colonial period musician. Garfield Center for the Arts at 1.30 and on the Main Stage 

Ona Judge and the Spirit of Freedom.  Much of our country’s African American history is unknown to most Americans:  hidden, unexplored, and ignored.  That history includes acts of courage during the American Revolutionary times.  The story of Ona Judge, enslaved personal servant of Martha Washington, illustrates one woman’s quest for freedom. Ona  Judge Staines served as personal servant to Martha Washington until she escaped from the President’s Mansion in Philadelphia and relocated to Portsmouth, New Hampshire in 1796. Judge’s escape from the President’s Mansion in Philadelphia was most likely inspired and facilitated by her exposure to free blacks in a city with fervent abolitionist spirit. On May 21, 1796, while the household was preparing to retreat to Mount Vernon for the summer, Judge prepared her escape; she simply walked out of the house while the family was eating dinner. Her motivation was clear: complete freedom from slavery. Judge had learned that she would be given to Elizabeth Parke Custis upon Martha Washington’s death. This family-oriented program sheds new light on the meaning of freedom in America. Featuring Karen Somerville solo vocals, a choir and dancers accompanied by percussion, 12:30, Garfield Center for the Arts.

“Broadway Jukebox” Comes to Chestertown May 30


Boston-based Brown Box Theatre Project will bring its popular musical cabaret Broadway Jukebox Revolution to downtown Chestertown on Thursday evening, May 30, starting at 7:00 p.m.  Hosted by the Chestertown Arts & Entertainment District and Main Street Chestertown, the FREE concert will be held outdoors in the 200 block of High Street, weather permitting.  (In case of rain, the show moves inside the Garfield Center for the Arts.) Upon arriving, audience members can vote for the songs they want to hear. The show begins at 7:30. Some seating will be provided, but participants are encouraged to bring their own comfortable chairs.  Beer, wine, sodas and snacks will be offered for sale.

With a list of 30 songs to choose from, each Broadway Jukebox performance is unique based on the choices made by that night’s audience. People can vote for their top choices based on five categories: “Classics,” “Contemporary Musicals,” “Animation,” “Diva,” and “Written by Rockers.” Brown Box then curates that night’s show on the spot in this interactive, family-friendly evening.

Cast member Carly Grayson of Brown Box Theatre Project.

A Delmarva native, Brown Box Artistic Director Kyler Taustin is dedicated to making theatrical experiences more accessible for residents of the Eastern Shore. The Broadway Jukebox: Revolution will visit locations throughout New England and Delmarva as part of a four-week tour from May 11-June 2, 2019.  This is Brown Box Theatre’s first appearance in Chestertown.

The Broadway Jukebox: Revolution is directed by Taustin, with musical director and pianist Liz Kantor and choreographer Scott Caron. It features singing performances by Xavier Alexander Durden, Lovuyo Neo Gcabo, Carly Grayson, Lisa Joyce, and Cam Torres. In addition to Kantor, band members are Tre Espinoza on guitar, and Daniel Santiago on percussion.

Funding for this free event is provided in part by the Maryland State Arts Council and locally by Main Street Chestertown and the Chestertown Arts & Entertainment District.  For more information, please visit or

Youth Choir to Perform “I Hear America Singing” This Friday


The Chester River Youth Choir invites you to a celebration of American music on May 17th, with a concert at the Garfield Center for the Arts at 7:30pm. Under the direction Julie Lawrence, and accompanied on piano by Michelle Sensenig, the group will perform for FREE, with donations to the Chester River Youth Choir strongly encouraged.

Now in it’s 6th 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. No auditions required, and all are encouraged to sign up for the fall session, which will begin in September. For more information contact

The Garfield Center for the Arts is also accepting applications for a director for the Chester River Youth Choir. Qualified applicants should be prepared to run weekly rehearsals, communicate with parents, choose appropriate repertoire for children’s treble voices ages 7-17, and be able to play piano along to 3-part voicing and some accompaniments. The fall session of the Chester River Youth Choir is scheduled to
start on September 23rd, 2019. Applicants are encouraged to submit a letter of intent with a resume AND observe current rehearsals held on Mondays 4:15-5:45 at the Garfield. Please send application materials to Executive Director Tess Hogans at Be prepared to talk about children’s choral music at your interview.

The Chester River Youth Choir is also supported by the Kent County Arts Council, The Clifton Foundation, and the Chester River Chorale. For more information about Friday’s concert please contact the theater at 410-810-2060. The Garfield Center for the Arts is located at 210 High Street in Chestertown.

“Art of Stewardship” Exhibit at RiverArts Supports Environmental Education


Each April, RiverArts celebrates our planet with the “Art of Stewardship” exhibit. This juried and judged show includes a broad range of 2 and 3-dimensional work as well as poetry. The exhibit was curated and juried by Alice Ritchie and Beverly Hall Smith, (2D & 3D, and Meredith Davies Hadaway, (poetry).

Internationally renowned contemporary American artist and passionate astronomer Greg Mort returned  to judge the 2 and 3D work. Best in Show, 2D  was awarded to Kathryn O’Grady for her painting, County Trees, with AD 2017, a sphere created by Joe Dickey from the Wye Oak winning Best in Show for 3D. First Place, 2D was The Run, #3, painting by Deena Ball, and 3D to Laura Ventura for her ceramic piece, Sunset on the Cliffs of Tolchester. Honorable Mention: 2D, Great Blue Heron, Christine Kamon; Benediction, Jennifer McGovern; and Water Moves, Joan Hart. 3D Honorable Mention: 3D, Wooden Turtle, Heidi Wetzel and Return of the Giant, Joe Dickey.

2D: County Trees, Kathryn O’Grady

Sue Ellen Thompson, author of five books of poetry and the editor of The Autumn House Anthology of Contemporary American Poetry, was poetry juror and judge. The Pat Nielsen Poetry Award, and Best in Show, in honor of the late Pat Herold Nielson, founding member of the Chester River Association, accomplished poet and award-winning filmmaker, was given to Russell Reece for his poem, Rowboat.  Wendy Ingersoll received First Place for her poem, Drumbeat.

Mort’s family foundation, The Art of Stewardship Project encourages artists and their associated art groups to commit time, talent, or treasure to an environmental organization. This year, a portion of proceeds from sales of the artwork was donated to the Sassafras Environmental Educational Center, an outdoor education facility which works with the regional school system to teach students how to live compatibly with nature.

For more information on upcoming exhibits, classes and RiverArts happenings, visit, or call RiverArts at 410 778 6300.

Chestertown RiverArts is located at 315 High Street, Suite 106, Chestertown, MD  21620 – (in the breezeway).  Gallery hours are Tuesday – Friday, 11 AM to 4 PM, Saturday 10 AM to 4 PM, Sunday 11 AM to 3 PM, and open on First Fridays until 8 PM

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