Maryland State Boychoir to Perform at Christ Church Easton

On Sunday, February 11 at 4 pm, the Maryland State Boychoir will perform at Christ Church in Easton.  The performance under the direction of Artistic Director, Stephen Holmes will feature the Tour Choir and Young Men’s Choir.  Founded in 1987 with 14 boys, the mission of The Maryland State Boychoir has been to foster the boychoir tradition by offering talented boys opportunities to sing and build self-esteem, self-discipline and character. Thirty years later, the MSB still embraces that goal and is now comprised of approximately 130 choristers and five choirs.

Recognized as Maryland’s “Official Goodwill Ambassadors,” the MSB performs over 80 times annually. In addition to performing throughout Maryland, the boychoir performs  in surrounding states, and on tours that have taken them to Ireland, Wales, England, The Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Italy, France, Canada, Iceland, Bermuda and more than thirty-five states in the mid-Atlantic, Southeast, Midwest, and Southwest regions of the U.S. Throughout the state of Maryland, the MSB has performed at the Baltimore Museum of Art, the Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts, the United States Naval Academy Chapel, the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, the Lyric Opera House, the State House, the Governor’s Mansion, the College of Notre Dame of Maryland, and Loyola College. Throughout the U.S., the MSB has performed at the White House, the Kennedy Center, the PGA President’s Cup, the National Cathedral in Washington DC, St. Patrick’s and Holy Trinity Cathedrals in New York, Dickinson College in Pennsylvania, Capitol University in Ohio, and The University of Central Arkansas.

In addition to its live performances, the MSB has produced six recordings: The Healing Power of Music (2013), Brothers (2006), Remember Me (2001), What Sweeter Music (1998), The Maryland State Boychoir—Live in Performance (1997), and An Die Musik (1994). They have been featured on NBC’s “Homicide: Life on the Street,” National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered,” and on Maryland Public Television. In addition, its Christmas CD, What Sweeter Music, was broadcast nationally on National Family Radio.

Sunday’s concert is sponsored in part by the Talbot County and Maryland State Arts Councils.  Christ Church is located at 111 S. Harrison Street in downtown Easton.  Doors open at 3:30 pm, and a freewill offering will be received.  For more information, call 410-822-2677 or visit www.christchurcheaston.org.

Musicians Joe Alterman and Hannah Gill to Perform at AAM

Music is often described as a universal language that brings people together­—a heartfelt notion recently echoed by 20-year-old singer-songwriter Hannah Gill, when asked about her upcoming performance in Easton.

“It’s perfect for Valentine’s Day,” she says, referring to the February 14th show at the Academy Art Museum.

Hannah Gill

Born in Wilmington, North Carolina, Gill moved to Easton in second grade. As a kid, she felt an intrinsic passion for music that she pursued by enrolling in school choirs and theater classes. In 2015, after she graduated from St. Michaels High School, Gill followed through with plans to relocate to New York City for a gap year where her only objective was to focus on music.

“Now it’s 2018, and I’m a full-time, working musician,” she says, laughing. “I can’t see myself doing anything [else].”

Joining the powerful, sultry vocalist is Joe Alterman, a jazz pianist who graced the Academy’s stage for a sold-out Valentine’s show in 2016.

Though the two have never performed together, they’re equally excited about the show, particularly following a brief meeting a few weeks ago in New York City, where Alterman also resides.

“His style is so energetic! I think we’re going to play off each other so well,” beams Gill.

Joe Alterman

Alterman, who’s delighted Easton audiences with charming renditions of jazz classics over the years, expresses a similar sentiment, describing the two as “kindred spirits.”

As far as the set list goes for their Valentine’s Day show, the two won’t divulge too many details—no spoilers here! But, they promise attendees—both those in search of a romantic evening, as well as those looking for a lively mid-week performance—an enjoyable and fun night, full of laughter, love, and lots of jazz.

“[Attendees] can expect a blend of familiar songs, a few songs by the great American songbook composers, and maybe a few surprising takes on pop songs,” adds Alterman, offering a glimpse into the more modern selections, like Carol King’s ‘Take Good Care of My Baby.’

“One of my all-time favorites is ‘You Go to My Head,’” adds Gill, referring to the popular 1938 ballad by J. Fred Coots and Haven Gillespie. “So, I’m sure you will hear that if you come to the show!”

Taking inspiration from The Beatles, Ella Fitzgerald, and Fiona Apple(to name a few!),Gill describes her sound as pop-soul with elements of jazz, whereas Alterman’s style is rooted in more classic standards. Still, he likes to surprise audiences with the unexpected, making the duo’s performance a match made in musical heaven.

“She does unique takes on pop tunes and that’s what I like to do, too,” he says. “I really admire her and like the way she rearranges these songs.”

In addition to her eponymous band, Hannah Gill and The Hours, the soulful singer leads a traditional jazz band that regularly performs for swing dancers. She also occasionally sings with the swing-era big band The Glenn Crytzer Orchestra and viral sensation Postmodern Jukebox. Her packed schedule, from studio time to songwriting sessions, leaves little space for visits home to Maryland.

“I always find time to make it home for holidays and important family events,” she adds, with a smile.

And thankfully, for Easton’s sake, this Valentine’s Day made the cut.

Catch Hannah Gill and Joe Alterman at 8 p.m. Wednesday, February 14th at the Academy Art Museum in Easton. Tickets are $45. The performance is presented by Jazz on the Chesapeake, a program of Chesapeake Music. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit Jazzonthechesapeake.com or call 410-819-0380.

Carpe Diem Arts Presents Victoria Vox

Victoria Vox will be in town for her fourth year of leading a week-long arts program for Tilghman Elementary School fifth graders.  From February 5th through 9th, these lucky kids will get to spend a week learning to play songs on their own ukuleles and then performing at their school.

While in town, Victoria will conduct a workshop in St. Michaels for ukulele players of any level — even beginners — in the community.  And she will end her week on the Shore with a concert at The Avalon in Easton.

Victoria Vox continues to wow her audiences with her fabulous ukulele and songwriting skills, her renowned mouth trumpet, and her infectious pop-folk-jazz style.  Come join in the fun with this award-winning singer-songwriter, featured on the Jay Leno show, the front page of the Wall Street Journal, and the cover of Ukulele Magazine. The concert will feature the VoxUke-Estra (area uke fans and students of Victoria) on several numbers — plus a host of love songs in celebration of Valentine’s Day. Victoria is on tour celebrating her new CD release, “Colorful Heart.” For the Avalon concert,Victoria will be accompanied by her husband, Jack Maher, an accomplished singer and guitarist in his own right. Recently married, the two met in 1998 at the Berklee College of Music in Boston where they both received degrees in Songwriting.

Victoria Vox Workshop, Wednesday, February 7, 7 to 8:30 pm, The Studio ~ 933 S. Talbot St., Suite 14 ~ St. Michaels. All Levels Welcome. Tickets: $20. Advance registration required.

RSVP/Info: busygraham@carpediemarts.org; 301-466-0183 cell. StMichaelsStudio.com

Victoria Vox & Jack Maher in Concert with the Vox Uke-Estra! Saturday, February 10 ~ 8 pm. Celebrating Victoria’s brand new CD and Valentine’s Day! The Avalon — 40 E. Dover St. ~ Easton. Tickets: $20. Doors open at 7:30 pm. avalonfoundation.org

5-6pm rehearsal for uke players who want to join the Uke-Estra.

Advance registration for Uke-Estra: BusyGraham@carpediemarts.org. Will send songs ahead to practice.

Victoria’s visit is funded in part by the Talbot County Arts Council, the Tilgman Area Youth Association, the Dock Street Foundation, Carpe Diem Arts Outreach Fund of Mid-Shore Community Foundation, and the Avalon Foundation.

www.victoriavox.com www.victoriavox.com/jackandthevox

Carpe Diem Arts Presents The Grandsons

Carpe Diem Arts Presents The Grandsons: Valentine’s & Mardi Gras Celebration. The event will take place at Talbot County Senior Center on February 13, 2018, 12:15 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Aptly described as “American music in a blender with the lid off,” The Grandsons find inspiration in New Orleans street parades, blues, rockabilly swing, jazz and honky tonk country. The Washington Area Music Association named The Grandsons Artist of the Year and dubbed their latest recording Album of the year.  www.grandsons.com

The monthly Second Tuesday Carpe Diem series of 45-minute performances are FREE and open to the public.
 Lunch is available at 12 noon for $2.75 (with one week advance reservation). RSVP: 410-822-2869 / clopez@uppershoreaging.org

This program is made possible by the generous support of the Talbot County Arts Council with revenues provided by the Maryland State Arts Council, and by the Mid-Shore Community Foundation (MSCF), Dock Street Foundation, Brookletts Place, the Artistic Insights Fund, and by individual contributions to the Carpe Diem Arts Outreach Fund/MSCF.

More information: busygraham@carpediemarts.org or 301-466-0183
www.CarpeDiemArts.org/brookletts-place Facebook: Carpe Diem Arts on the Shore

NOTE: Mark your calendars for the next free lunchtime concert on Tuesday, March 13 featuring the 4-member band “Slow Down Tommy” in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day. www.slowdowntommy.com

U. S. Naval Academy Organist to Perform at Christ Church Easton

This Sunday, January 21, at 4 pm Monte Maxwell, principal organist for the United States Naval Academy, will present a concert on the four-manual console of Christ Church in Easton. Mr. Maxwell holds degrees from Texas Christian University, the Curtis Institute of Music, and the Juilliard School of Music where he studied with John Weaver. While at Curtis, Mr. Maxwell was an Associate Organist at the John Wanamaker Store playing the famed six-manual organ, the largest playing organ in the world. Later, he received an Artist Diploma, Curtis’ highest degree. At the Naval Academy, Mr. Maxwell commands the five-manual, 268-rank organ in the main chapel, which has recently undergone substantial enhancement under his direction and design. His annual All Saints’ Day Organ Concert has become a staple of the Naval Academy and greater Annapolis cultural community. The standing-room-only event drew some 3,000 people into the Naval Academy Chapel in 1998, breaking all records in attendance for any event throughout the Chapel’s history.

Sunday’s concert will be comprised of a host of works composed by Richard Wagner, J. S. Bach, Charles-Marie Widor, John Phillip Sousa, Anton Dvôrak and others.  Also known for his improvisational prowess, Maxwell will conclude the performance with an improvisation on submitted themes.  The concert is part of the Christ Church Concert Series and is underwritten in part by the Talbot County and Maryland State Arts Councils.  Doors open at 3:30 pm, and the public is invited.  A freewill offering will be received.  Christ Church is located at 111 S. Harrison Street in Easton.  For more information, call 410-822-2677 or visit www.christchurcheaston.org.

Tidewater Singers to Perform “A Peaceable Kingdom”

The Tidewater Singers will present an a cappella concert featuring Randall Thompson’s “A Peaceable Kingdom” with other songs of the season on Friday, December 8 at 7:30 pm at Trinity Cathedral in Easton, on Saturday, December 9 at 7:30 pm at St. Paul’s Church in Oxford, and on Sunday, December 10 at 4:00 pm at Christ Episcopal Church in Cambridge.

Under the direction of William Thomas, The Tidewater Singers are a select group of professional and amateur singers founded in 2001. The goal is to bring varied and exciting quality choral music to the Eastern Shore.

Commenting on the concert, Thomas said, “Our audiences will be excited to hear the Tidewater Singers apply their a cappella talent to Randall Thompson’s The Peaceable Kingdom, with its cycle of eight sacred choruses.” The Tidewater Singers are renowned throughout the mid shore area for their a cappella work.

Now in his tenth season as artistic director of the Tidewater Singers, Thomas is associate professor of music at Chesapeake College. Previously he directed the choirs at Easton High School and at Christ Church (Episcopal) in St. Michaels.

Advance tickets for the Oxford and Easton performances may be purchased online at www.tidewatersingers.org and at Cracker Jacks in Easton. Leave a message for Tidewater Singers at 1-888-752- 0023 or tidewatersingers@gmail.com. Information and tickets for the Cambridge performance are available at 410-228- 3161.

The Tidewater Singers gratefully acknowledges the funding it has received from the Talbot County Arts Council and the Maryland State Arts Council, an agency dedicated to cultivating a vibrant cultural community where the arts thrive.

Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra Celebrates Holiday Season

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

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.

Easton Choral Arts to Celebrate Christmas Season with “Ceremony of Carols”

Easton Choral Arts Society continues its celebratory 40th season with Benjamin Britten’s immensely popular Ceremony of Carols, along with favorite songs of the season. The chorus under Artistic Director Wes Lockfaw, will be accompanied by harpist Rebecca Smith of the National Philharmonic Orchestra. Two performances will be held at Christ Church in downtown Easton, Friday, December 1, and Sunday, December 3.

Considered by many as the most important English composer since Henry Purcell, Britten composed the work in 1942 on his return voyage from the United States. Ceremony of Carols is one of Britten’s best-known and most-performed works. It has been described as a brilliantly conceived and dramatic concert work… enchanting Christmas music, with many wondrous and memorable effects.

It is based on the Ceremony of Nine Lessons and Carols, songs and dances of religious joy, a traditional part of an Anglican Christmas, consisting of hymns and other songs interspersed with Biblical readings.  Britten uses the nine carols without the lessons, to express the various moods surrounding the celebration of this most joyous season. Many of the carol texts reveal the mystery of the Christmas events.

Some of the carols are in Latin; some are in Middle English based on poems from the 15th and 16th centuries. They retain their unique flavor by Britten’s extensive use of old English language in the style of Geoffrey Chaucer’s “Canterbury Tales”. The cantata is made up of 11 movements: 10 with voice and one for solo harp. The work opens and ends with the choir processing to plainsong, and the sections in-between deal with the traditional stories surrounding the birth of Christ.

Harpist Rebecca Smith will provide the sole accompaniment for the Britten piece. Rebecca has enjoyed a distinguished career as a professional harpist and teacher for over 30 years. Her orchestral credits include The Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra (1980-1990), The National Gallery of Art Orchestra, The Fairfax Symphony Orchestra, The Filene Center Orchestra at Wolf Trap, The Chesapeake Orchestra and The National Philharmonic Orchestra. Additionally, she has served as a guest musician for The National and Baltimore Symphony Orchestras.

Join Easton Choral Arts for the second concert of its 40th Anniversary Season. To order tickets for Friday December 1 at 7:30 pm or Sunday December 3 at 4:00 pm, visit www.eastonchoralarts.org or call 410-200-0498. Advance sale tickets are $25 and are $30 at the door. Students will be admitted free with reservations.

The Easton Choral Arts Society is supported by grants from the Talbot County Arts Council, the Maryland State Arts Council and the Mid-Shore Community Foundation.

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

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.