Zach Lambert Wins The Mainstay 2018 Music Scholarship


Rock Hall, Md. . . . .Zachariah Lambert, a recent graduate of Kent Island High School, has won The Mainstay’s 2018 music scholarship competition.  Zach will perform at the venue’s Rendezvous au Cabaret fundraising gala on July 14 this year at Hodson Hall Commons on the Washington College Campus.

The Mainstay – the premier live music performance venue in Rock Hall, Kent County, opened its $3,000 scholarship competition to senior music students attending a public school in Kent, Cecil and Queen Anne’s counties who plan to pursue music study in higher education.  The scholarship is funded by the proceeds from The Mainstay’s July 14 gala.

Zach has played the guitar for 10 years and intends to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Jazz Studies and minor in Music Industry with a goal toward becoming a professional musician.  He has been part of his high school’s jazz band, concert band, pit orchestra and marching band, playing the guitar, trombone and percussion, bass guitar and snare drum respectively.

His numerous community activities include playing with the Community Jazz Band at Anne Arundel Community College and Priddy Music Academy as a leader of bands, and playing at area festivals and fundraisers for local charities.

“It’s an honor to receive the Mainstay Scholarship,” said Zach.  “As a guitar player, I hope to continue the legacy of great jazz musicians like Charlie Byrd.”

In addition to letters of recommendations from their primary music teachers and letters outlining their experience, interests and plans for further study, each candidate in the competition submitted an audition video posted to YouTube to showcase two pieces of music of contrasting styles.  Judging was based on technical abilities and musical interpretation.

The Mainstay’s program manager, John Thomas, led the scholarship committee judging the competition. “Zach displays a lot of maturity in his playing.  Based on that and the sparkling recommendations from his mentors, I think Zach is a great example of the kind of young ambitious musician we want to be supporting with this scholarship,” said Thomas.

In addition to presenting an eclectic mix of extraordinary live music at its popular venue in Rock Hall, The Mainstay is committed to providing educational experiences and opportunities to students.  Carol Colgate, managing director, notes that “music education develops other attributes as well, such as creativity, discipline, perseverance, composure and collaboration.  We hope the scholarship encourages and fosters not only a high level of technical and performance abilities, but a lifelong appreciation of music for a whole generation of students. “

To purchase admittance to the Rendezvous au Cabaret gala to hear Zach’s spotlight performance, in addition to the Classical Conservatory Jazz Band with vocalist Lena Seikaly, please go to:, or call, 410-639-9133.  Food by Occasions Catering, live and silent auctions, room for dancing, a Mainstay libations bar, and valet parking are all part of the evening’s offerings and festivities.

Free MUSICAMP Performance on July 13th


MUSICAMP returns to the Garfield Center for the Arts in Chestertown for its sixth year, featuring local talent ages 8 to 15. This year the production is, “Steamboatin’: A Musical Journey Along the Mississippi.” Written by Jill & Dr. Michael Gallina and directed by Julie Lawrence.  Join us in this family friendly show as we celebrate the advent of the steamboat in the southern United States during the 19th century.

About the playwrights: Dr. Michael and Jill Gallina have achieved national prominence as award winning composers of musical plays and choral music for youth in elementary, middle, junior and senior high schools. Their clever creations in story and song have consistently won awards from the Parents Choice Foundation, American Library Service and ASCAP. Their music has been featured and performed on the Disney Channel, The World’s Largest Concert, PBS, The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, Sing for the Cure, The New York Philharmonic, The Boston Pops, and in a documentary on children’s rights for the United Nations. In addition, the Gallinas are recipients of the Stanley Austin Alumni Award from the College of New Jersey for their many accomplishments in the field of composition.

MUSICAMP is a 5-day intensive musical theatre experience where campers sing, dance, act and create scenery for their show. Every camper gets lines in the play and everyone is on stage the entire time. At the end of the week, kids transform into their characters and present an amazing stage production that highlights their varied talents. MUSICAMP is staffed by camp founder and director Julie Lawrence, musical director Rachel Craig, art consultant Charlice Culvert and counselor Paul Cambardella.

Support our local talent with your attendance and applause! The show on Friday, July 13th at 7pm is free and open to the public. Donations are welcome. For reservations and more information call the Garfield Center box office, 410-810-2060 or visit This year’s MUSICAMP was generously sponsored by United Way of Kent County and Mr. Charles Lerner.

The Garfield Center for the Arts at the Prince Theatre is located at 210 High Street, Chestertown, MD 21620.

The Mainstay’s Rendezvous Au Cabaret Gala will be a Musical Gathering


The board of directors of The Mainstay, renowned live music venue in Rock Hall, Kent County, Md., announces its July 14, 2018 fundraising gala, Rendezvous au Cabaret, with music by Washington, DC area’s premier Conservatory Classic Jazz Band, featuring local favorite jazz singer and chanteuse for the evening, Lena Seikaly. The gala’s 1920’s French cabaret theme reflects its connection to the era of jazz experimentation and promises a night to remember.

In addition to the spectacular music, the gala will be a fun-filled evening for friends, neighbors and supporters of The Mainstay with honorary host, Mainstay founder Tom McHugh. Delectable food will be provided by Occasions Catering; a Mainstay Bar will be set up for libations; exciting live and silent auctions will present attractive offerings, including getaways, meals, gift certificates and services; and a special performance by the winner of the $3,000, 2018 Mainstay Music Scholarship – a competitive annual contest for high school seniors who plan to study music at schools of higher education – will all be part of the fun.

“I’m looking forward to having everybody gathered together to share the evening,” said Carol Colgate, managing director. “This will be an opportunity for all the new people we’ve met at our concerts to get to know each other as well as the members of our audience who have come to The Mainstay over the years. “

Exciting vocalist and recording artist, Lena Seikaly, garners praise and tributes from a wide circle of music critics. A Washington, DC-area native, she is classically trained and equally strong in traditional or contemporary jazz. She has headlined the Center City Jazz Festival in Philadelphia, Elkhart Jazz Festival, Mel Bay Jazz Festival in St. Louis, the DC Jazz Festival, and locally at the Chestertown Jazz Festival. She has performed as the featured vocalist with the Columbus Jazz Orchestra, Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra and U.S. Army Blues among others. A composer and educator, she conducts workshops at Strathmore, and has released three albums under her name. A fourth album with guitarist, Steve Herberman, entitled “A Little Closer” was released at Blues Alley in February this year.

The Conservatory Classic Jazz Band was formed in 2003 and plays New Orleans style, Chicago style, small-group swing and mainstream jazz. In addition to vocalist Seikaly, the band is comprised of Brian Alpert on drums; Gary Gregg, clarinet and tenor sax; Dan Hall, bass; Brian Priebe, trombone; Jeff Reynolds, guitar and banjo; and leader Dave Robinson on cornet and trumpet. The band members each have an impressive history of performances across the country as well as professional teaching credentials. Their repertoire encompasses the music of Louis Armstrong, Bessie Smith, Benny Goodman and other early jazz pioneers in addition to the Great American Songbook of composers such as George Gershwin, Cole Porter and Hoagy Carmichael.

Hodson Hall Commons on Washington College’s Campus is the setting; valet parking will make it easy to pull up in front and enter the Hall.

The Mainstay is a 501 c (3) non-profit dedicated to the arts and education with more than 20 years in operation. The gala will support venue operations and programs and the annual music scholarship. Tickets may be purchased on The Mainstay’s website at, or by calling 410-639-9133.

Karen Merkin Opens as Featured Artist with The Artists’ Gallery


“Large Gala,” oil by Karen Merkin

On First Friday July 6, 2018, The Artists’ Gallery will feature a new series of oil paintings by Karen Merkin in “Ordinary to Extraordinary.” Karen’s photo-realistic style takes ordinary objects such as apples and tomatoes and incorporates such extraordinary detail that the images look real. She is also known for her classic “car portraits.” Each classic car has its own unique beauty, design, and character that is impacted by the reflections of the surrounding environment, especially the chrome and glass surfaces.

As a resident of Rockville, Maryland, the Eastern Shore has become a favorite getaway for Karen and her husband. Karen Merkin is juried member of the Working Artists Forum, an exhibitor with The Artists’ Gallery, and participates in workshops and local shows in Chestertown, Easton, St. Michaels and Tilghman Island.

The public is invited to visit The Artists’ Gallery on First Friday, July 6th from 5-8 p.m. for light refreshments and to meet the artist. Work by Karen Merkin will be featured throughout the month of July. The Artists’ Gallery is located at 239 High Street in Chestertown is is open Tuesday-Saturday from 10-5 and Sunday from 12:30-4:30. For more information, please visit or call the gallery at 410-778-2425.

Riverfront Concert Series Features Ultrafaux with Danny Knicely July 12


The Baltimore-based musical sensation Ultrafaux, with special guest Danny Knicely, takes the stage at the Riverfront Concert series on Thursday, July 12.  Hosted by the Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience at Washington College, the concert is free and open to the public. The program begins at 6:30 p.m.

We invite you to bring friends and family (all ages are welcome), a picnic, and your own chairs or blanket. Or just relax on the lawn of the Custom House (101 S. Water Street, Chestertown) and partake of free lemonade and cookies. Either way, come and enjoy an eclectic mix of bebop, funk, and gypsy folk.

The Starr Center’s riverfront concerts — a summer tradition for the past eight years — present American music in all its breadth and diversity, with performers in a variety of genres from across the region and beyond. As part of each event, Starr Center program manager Michael Buckley, who is also a longtime radio host on WRNR-FM, leads a Q&A with the visiting artists.

Ultrafaux is an acoustic powerhouse of two guitars and upright bass that has thrilled audiences at festivals and concert halls worldwide since the release of its first CD in 2014. The group performs original music inspired by Django Reinhardt, jazz manouche, gypsy folk, swing, funk, blues, and French musette. Lead guitarists Michael Joseph Harris and Sami Arefin trade dazzling leads and harmonize together on rich melodies. A composer and the founding guitarist of Ultrafaux and Hot Club of Baltimore, Harris was named one of the top ten local artists by Baltimore Style magazine.

At this year’s Riverfront Concert Series, Ultrafaux welcomes master mandolinist Danny Knicely. Coming from a family steeped in a bluegrass and mountain music tradition, Knicely has performed on four continents, including U.S. State Department tours in Tunisia, Morocco, and Russia.

Special support for the summer concert series is provided by Yerkes Construction and Washington College Student Events Board. The final event in this year’s Riverfront Concert Series lineup, featuring the popular bluegrass group the High &Wides, will take place Thursday, July 26.

For more information, visit or contact Michael Buckley,, 410-810-7156. In case of rain, the concert will take place in Hynson Pavilion, Wilmer Park.

About Washington College

Founded in 1782, Washington College is the tenth oldest college in the nation and the first chartered under the new Republic. It enrolls approximately 1,450 undergraduates from more than 35 states and a dozen nations. With an emphasis on hands-on, experiential learning in the arts and sciences, and more than 40 multidisciplinary areas of study, the College is home to nationally recognized academic centers in the environment, history, and writing. Learn more at

Faces & Places of the Eastern Shore Exhibit Opens July 6


In July, Chestertown RiverArts will explore what makes life on the Eastern Shore a beautiful adventure as we ask artists to show us “Faces and Places on the Eastern Shore.” There will be an opening reception on the July 6th First Friday from 5 – 8 pm.

Everywhere you look, inspiration abounds! It is in the seasonal variations of color in the countryside and waterways where the light is ever-changing, from sharp sun shadows to stormy skies, to the soft, hazy glow of Ireland on the fields. It’s the ospreys returning each year to rebuild their nests and raise their young, or a female duck searching for a place to lay her eggs, followed closely behind by two or more drakes, who seem to call out, “pick me, pick me!”

View Across Shipyard Creek by Barbara Snyder

Please join us in our celebration of life in “Faces and Places on the Eastern Shore!”

Drop Off for Exhibit: Sunday, July 1, 2-4pm/Monday July 2, 10am – 1pm

Exhibition Dates: July 5 – 29
Opening Reception: First Friday, July 6, 5 – 8 pm

For more information visit and click on exhibitions, 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 5:30 PM, Saturday 10 AM to 5:30PM, Sunday 11 am – 3 pm, and open on First Fridays until 8 PM.

Last Call for RiverArts Annual Juried Photography Show Submissions


Photography by Juror Cal Jackson.

The photographer grasps a fleeting slice of time to capture an image that expresses what the mind perceives and feels. A strong image propels the photographer forward, inspiring the skillful use of tools to create a final image to be shared with others. “There are always two people in every picture: the photographer and the viewer.” (Ansel Adams).

“Fragility” is the theme of RiverArts Annual Juried Photography Show. Photographers are challenged to create images that invoke a sense of fragility: delicacy, vulnerability, a passing moment, a threat of brokenness, frailty of life. Photographs created from a wide range of subjects and techniques will challenge the viewers to engage with their eyes, their intellect and their emotions about our fragile existence.

Artist may submit up to 3 photographic images to the juror. Artists will be notified of acceptance 4 weeks prior to drop off, thereby providing sufficient time for printing and framing. The show will be exhibited in RiverArts main gallery during the month of August.

Best in Show will be awarded $150. Merit Awards will be awarded with no monetary prizes. There will also be a People’s Choice Award.

Curator: Sue Basener
Juror: Cal Jackson
Judge: Anke Van Wagenberg

Exhibition Dates: August 3 – September 1
Opening Reception: First Friday, August 3, 5 – 8 pm

Online Submission to Juror Deadline: June 22, 2018
Artist Acceptance Notification: June 29, 2018

For more information visit and click on exhibitions, or call RiverArts at 410 778 6300.

Chestertown RiverArts is located at 315 High Street, Suite 106, Chestertown, MD 21620 – (in the breezeway). Winter Gallery hours are Tuesday – Friday, 11 AM to 5:30 PM, Saturday 10 AM to 5:30PM, and open on First Fridays until 8 PM.

Open Auditions for the Musical “Animal Crackers”


Auditions for the Garfield Center for the Arts’ production of the musical comedy Animal Crackers will be held at the Garfield on June 26th at 7pm, June 28th at 7pm and June 30th at 11am. No previous acting experience is required. This musical marks Jennifer Kafka Smith’s directing debut at the Garfield, after being seen on stage in many productions including My Fair Lady, Short Attention Span Theatre, and Sylvia. Kafka Smith has also served as the props mistress for nearly every Garfield Center production since the spring of 2016.

In Animal Crackers, the well-known explorer and hunter Captain Spaulding has just returned from Africa, and is being welcomed home with a lavish party at the estate of influential society matron Mrs. Rittenhouse when a valuable painting goes missing. The intrepid Captain Spaulding attempts to solve the crime with the help of his silly secretary Horatio Jamison, while sparring with the anarchic Signor Emanuel Ravelli and his nutty sidekick The Professor.

“Delicious… A nonstop riot – a profusion of puns, gags, and hysteria with only an occasional pause (or maybe, gasp) for breath.” – The Washington Tribune

– Prepare an up-tempo song either from a Broadway musical or from the era of the 1920/30s. Please bring sheet music. We need to hear you sing with piano accompaniment.
– Come prepared to move. Please wear closed shoes and clothing appropriate for dancing.

Director Kafka Smith is seeking a cast of 14, with some extras. Age is not a key factor. The cast includes:

Captain Jeffrey T. Spaulding (Groucho) – He is funny and fierce, with incredible verbal dexterity. He’s the anchor of the team; a charming wiseguy. A strong character actor, must be extremely comfortable with physical comedy and be able to sing and dance. This does not require a Groucho impersonation, but certain characteristics of voice, movement, and delivery are part of the role. Tenor.

Horatius Jamison (Zeppo) – The straight man to Groucho’s antics. Tenor.

Emanuel Ravelli (Chico) – Ravelli is a band leader; the musical actor in the ensemble. Ideally seeking an actor who plays the piano and/or other instruments. A loose cannon with great improv sensibility. A character singer. Must be able to speak with old world Italian accent. Baritone.

The Professor (Harpo) – Has an uninhibited, playful, childlike demeanor with an irrepressible libido, seems oblivious but knows what is going on around him, carefree and innocent he does not observe boundaries of class, status, gender, age, and property, steals things but it seems like more of a game than a malicious or desperate act, must be extremely adept at physical comedy, while an exact impersonation of Harpo is not necessary certain characteristics of movement and delivery are a part of the role, experience with mime/clowning a plus. (Male/Female).

Mrs. Rittenhouse – The host of the party, a wealthy society matron who is always put together, a real dame, money is no object, preserving and asserting her status is an ongoing occupation; must have strong dance/movement ability and be adept at physical comedy; strong vocal skills, able to sing in the 30s style; Mezzo-Soprano.

Hives – Head Butler of Mrs. Rittenhouse. Hives is extremely witty and great with status. Verging on stuffy. Very Jeeves-like the servant who can insult you to your face, but you take it as a compliment. Baritone.

M. Doucet – Doucet is an art-loving Frenchman/woman, cultured and dripping with arrogance, a bit of a drama queen. Tenor/Soprano. (Male/Female)

Arabella Rittenhouse – Arabella is Mrs. Rittenhouse’s daughter, an educated debutant who has been out in society for two months, smart as a whip and knows what she wants, she and Wally Winston make a sophisticated and erudite couple. Soprano.

Mrs. Whitehead – Mrs. Whitehead is a neighbor and rival of Mrs. Rittenhouse, a conniving socialite trying to thwart Mrs. Rittenhouse’s success, she’s sharp, smart, sarcastic and clever, lacks ethics and morals. Soprano.

Grace Carpenter – Grace is Mrs. Whitehead’s sister and partner in crime, sexy and worldly-wise. Soprano.

Wally Winston – Wally Winston is a hard-working newspaper columnist, sexy, sarcastic and full of charm, an intellectual with a great love of life. Tenor.

John Parker – John Parker is an earnest young lover. A traditional leading man interested in Mary Stewart. Tenor.

Mary Stewart – Mary Stewart is the earnest ingénue, has a big heart and believes in a brighter future. Soprano.

Roscoe W. Chandler – Roscoe W. Chandler is a wealthy, single tycoon, has millions, supports the arts and wants to marry Mrs. Rittenhouse; must be able to do some physical comedy and have strong movement skills. Baritone.

Other roles include: Sgt. Hennessy, Second Policeman, Dream Dancer, Scouts, Harem Girls, Ensemble

All parts will sing and dance (move).

Performances of Animal Crackers are scheduled for three weekends: September 14-16, September 21-23, and September 28-30, Fridays and Saturdays at 8PM, and Sundays at 3PM.

For more information visit or call the GCA Box Office at 410-810-2060. The Garfield Center for the Arts is located at 210 High Street in Chestertown, Maryland.

Last Chance to See Pippin at Church Hill Theatre


The Church Hill Theatre’s production of Pippin continues the international crowd-pleasing reputation of this fantastic musical.  With music by Stephen Schwartz, and a book by Roger O. Hirson, the CHT revival, directed by Sylvia Maloney is not to be missed!  The talented cast, Musical Director Ray Remesch, and Choreographer Cavin Moore present a production that is wowing audiences and has garnered praise from Peter Heck in his recent review.

The Leading Player (Mackenzie Campbell) holds aloft the Crown of Charlemagne whilst Pippin (Mark Wiening, left) and a guard (Max Brennan) look on.

Both Pippin and his father, Charlemagne, are historic figures from the early Middle Ages. In the fictional plot, with the help of a troupe of minstrel players, Pippin embarks on a quest to find life’s purpose. The “outstanding” Mackenzie Campbell portrays the Leading Player, head of the mysterious troupe. Mark Wiening plays Pippin and Bob Chauncey is Charlemagne.  Heck noted Wiening’s “strong voice and solid acting chops” along with Chauncey’s ability to “bring out [his] character’s comic side”.  Becca Van Aken “gives her character a solid reality” playing Pippin’s love interest, Catherine, with Debra Ebersole, “a highlight of the first act” playing his grandmother, Berthe. Bryce Sullivan plays Pippin’s half-brother Lewis, Lori Armstrong is “deliciously wicked” as Pippin’s stepmother Fastrada, with Cullen Williams plays Catherine’s son, Theo.

The “energy of the production gets a definite boost” from the ensemble. Comprised of many young people from the area, they are the performance troupe that take on all other characters; they are Delaney McCreary, Grace McCreary, Maya McGrory, Ellie Merton, Katie Staley, Erin Tomassoni, Quenton Bergenholtz, Max Brennan, John Crook, Elliott Morotti, and Cody Turner.

L-R: Bryce Sullivan, Cody Turner, Delaney McCreary, Erin Tomassoni, Quentin Bergenholtz, Katie Staley, Mackenzie Campbell, Mark Wiening (behind), Maya McGrory, Cullen Williams, John Crook, Ellie Merton, Grace McCreary, Elliott Morotti.

Live music is a key part of CHT musicals. Ray Remesch, who conducts from the piano (and sometimes with a guitar), leads a talented orchestra. Peter Cailloux plays the French horn, Susan Dabney and Jane Godfrey are on violins, Ron Demby shares his talent on reeds, David James and Rich Matties take on trumpet and trombone, respectively, while Jordon Stanley handles percussion, with Quinn Parsley on bass.

The production staff and crew provide additional theater magic. Sam Angelini, Steve Atkinson (also the production photographer), and Jim Johnson share duties as Stage Managers. Brian Draper created the Art Set Design and collaborated with Michael Whitehill on set design and execution. Doug Kaufmann helms lighting whilst Tina Johnson, Erma Johnson, and Liz Clarke create the costumes. Christian Graham serves as Magic Consultant

Pippin runs through June 24th, with performances at 8 pm on Fridays and Saturdays, and at 2 pm on Sundays.  Reservations (strongly advised in advance) can be made by calling the box office at 410-556-6003 or online at