Versatile Women Musicians To Play at St. Mark’s Nov. 19

Two women musicians playing 10 instruments will perform at St. Mark’s United Methodist Church on Sunday, Nov. 19.  Linda Littleton and Karen Hirshon, will play a wide variety of ethnic folk music, from Irish jigs to down-home American reels, to gypsy melodies to Balkan dance tunes.

The 3 pm concert by the duo, called “Simple Gifts.”is free and open the public.

The award winning band performs on an array of instruments, including two violins, mandolin, hammered dulcimer, recorders, banjo and guitar plus some unusual instruments like the bowed psaltery, baritone fiddle, shruti box, banjolin, guitar and doumbeck.

Throughout their performances they put their own distinctive style on traditional tunes, blending styles from diverse cultures with their American roots. Simple Gifts has recorded six albums.

Littleton and Hirshon have performed as Simple Gifts since 1995. Founded in 1989 by Littleton, the duo has performed throughout the mid-Atlantic, including appearances at the  Smithsonian, Brooklyn Museum of Art, Longwood Gardens. National Theater, Hershey Theater, Philadelphia Museum of Art and dozens of colleges and universities.

According to the Celtic Classic Festival in Bethlehem. PA., “few musicians can match the warmly personal stage presence Simple Gifts possesses.”

A love offering will be taken to help cover costs. The St. Mark’s series is funded in part by a grant from the Talbot County Arts Council, with revenues provided by the Maryland State Arts Council.

For more information, please call Jack Batty at 410-770-3867.

Eagles Experience brings classic, Cali rock to TPAC

Celebrate the 70s and the crest of the California rock sound when THE EAGLES EXPERIENCE comes to the Todd Performing Arts Center at Chesapeake College on Saturday, Nov. 18.

The show features the legendary band’s greatest hits including “Hotel California,” “Life in the Fast Lane” and “Take it Easy.”

With a one-to-one lineup that reflects the Eagles during their heyday in the late 1970s, the members of THE EAGLES EXPERIENCE each emulate their respective “Eagle”, playing the correct instrument and singing the songs as sung by their counterpart.  Every member of THE EAGLES EXPERIENCE is dedicated to presenting their part as accurately as possible, and will provide you with an ultimate “Eagles Experience” you will not soon forget.

THE EAGLES EXPERIENCE only plays songs written and recorded by the Eagles as a band, from their biggest hits to hidden gems. While there were many great songs by Don Henley, Glenn Frey, and Joe Walsh as solo artists, the Eagles created more than enough musical material to fill an entire evening, and then some.

The show begins at 8 pm and tickets are $25. For more information or to purchase tickets, please call the TPAC box office at 410-827-5867.

Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra 20th Anniversary Fall Concerts

The Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra (MSO), the only professional symphony orchestra on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, continues its 20th anniversary season, “Reaching Ever Higher,” with performances at the Easton Church of God in Easton, MD on Thursday, November 2 at 7:30 p.m.; at Mariner’s Bethel in Ocean View, DE on Saturday, November 4 at 3 p.m., with a Pre-Concert Lecture at 2:15 p.m.; and at the Community Church in Ocean Pines, MD on Sunday, November 5 at 3 p.m. with a Pre-Concert Lecture at 2:15 p.m. The fall concert program, “Autumn Legends,” will feature “Symphony No. 45” by Joseph Haydn, “Autumn Legend” by William Alwyn, and “The Four Seasons” by Antonio Vivaldi,.

Franz Joseph Haydn (Austrian, 1732-1809) was born in poverty, but had the gift of music and a beautiful voice.  These gifts won him a position in the boys’ choir at St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna, with the additional benefits of room and board, music lessons and general education. He worked as a street musician and was asked to write a comic opera. He experimented endlessly with variations to the classical architecture of music, like the sonata form, and added new instruments to his orchestra as they were developed.  Donald Francis Tovey, in his Essays in Musical Analysis, writes about Haydn’s “…dramatic surprise… (where) almost everything is unexpected…”.  This commentary applies well to Symphony No. 45, the most popular of Haydn’s early symphonies.  Haydn gave young Beethoven music lessons, was very fond of Mozart and distraught by his early death.  Haydn was recognized in his lifetime throughout Europe as a master and a legend.

William Alwyn (British, 1905-1985) entered the Royal Academy of Music in 1920 and studied flute and composition.  He played with the London Symphony Orchestra and was Professor of Composition at the Royal Academy.  Alwyn, a poet, artist and leader of musicians’ organizations, was knighted in 1978.  He wrote several operas and symphonies, concertos, quartets, piano music and more than seventy film scores.  His music is often played by the John Wilson orchestra.  Although he experimented with new tonalities, he never quite abandoned the classical harmonies. Autumn Legend, a short work for English horn and orchestra, was written in 1954.  Alwyn said that he was inspired by his love of pre-Raphaelite paintings and the poetry of Dante Gabriel Rossetti.

Antonio Vivaldi (Venetian, 1678-1741) became a priest in 1703, but could not say mass because of asthma.  The following year, he was appointed violinist at the Ospedale della Pieta, one of several organizations in the city that took in orphan girls and gave them a musical education.  Vivaldi became Music Director of La Pieta in 1716.  His contract specified writing two concerti a month for the girls’ orchestra; over his lifetime, he wrote more than five hundred!  Undoubtedly, his most famous work is the collection of violin concerti known as The Four Seasons, written in the early 1720’s, and published in Amsterdam in 1725.  This piece is the most overtly programmatic work written to date, in which the music tries to evoke definite items, situations and experiences.  The Four Seasons is consistently one of the favorite works of the general public and regularly played in Venice’s churches by professional groups.

Featured musicians in the concert include violinist Amos Fayette and Carl Oswald on English Horn. Fayette began his studies with his mother at the age of two.  He continued lessons with various teachers and graduated from The Juilliard School of Music’s Pre-College Division as well as the Peabody Institute in Baltimore, Maryland. He has been guest concertmaster of the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra, Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra and the Tucson Symphony Orchestra, and has performed various leadership roles in the Baltimore Chamber Orchestra.

Oswald is a Baltimore native whose performances have spanned the globe.  A graduate of the Yale School of Music, he has appeared as a soloist with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the Yale Philharmonia and the University of Maryland Symphony Orchestra. He performs regularly in the Baltimore area with the Annapolis Symphony, Mid-Atlantic Symphony and the Concert Artists of Baltimore, and has appeared with Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Princeton Symphony, Hartford Symphony and New Jersey Symphony Orchestra.

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

Christ Church to Host Multiple Music Events This Weekend

This Sunday, October 29, Christ Church in Easton will present multiple music events and invites the public to attend.  During the 11:00 a.m. service the Christ Church Brass will present music of the Reformation in Benjamin Culli’s Reformation Suite.  Carlos Zabala, a frequent trumpeter at Christ Church, will perform in collaboration with organ Voluntary for Trumpet and Organ by Domecq Smith.  Also, included in the musical lineup will be Sonata da Chiesa by Charles Callahan.  An original composition in three movements, the piece is characterized by expansive, flowing lines for the brass and its ongoing dialogue with the organ played by Dale Krider.  Concluding the morning service will be the brilliantly festive La Rejoussance from Handel’s Water Music Suite.  Prelude music will begin at 10:50 a.m.

At 6 pm in the evening, theater organist Michael Britt returns for the third consecutive year to accompany on the large screen the 1923 silent film classic The Hunchback of Notre Dame. The program, sponsored in part by the Talbot County and Maryland state arts councils, has become one of the highlights of the Christ Church Concert Series drawing enthusiasts of all ages for this capacity crowd event.  Doors open at 5:30 pm and early arrival is recommended.  Attendees are asked to note the time change of the event which is necessary for showing of the film.

For more information about either these or other music-related programs of Christ Church Easton, please call 410-822-2677 or visit christchurcheaston.org.

“Carrie: The Musical” at Chesapeake College and Church Hill Theatre

Carrie the Musical, playing at both the Cadby Theater and Church Hill Theatre during the Halloween season, offers supernatural thrills to a classic rock genre score.  Blood, fire and telekinetic powers will have audiences gasping as the naïve and innocent Carrie takes on the high school mean girls. Bullied by both her classmates and her fanatically religious mother, Carrie finds some support from her gym teacher and a sympathetic classmate. But in this musical version of Stephen King’s psycho-horror novel, we know Carrie will find her own solution as the torments continue. Prom night will never be the same.

The kids sitting in class. From L-R, Morgan Jung, Shannon Landers, Brandon Walls, Olivia Litteral, Jacob Wheatley, Shannon Whitaker, Albert Conteh, Reilly Claxton, Catharine Jacobs, Sean Priest, and Briana Litteral.

Rob Thompson, a Chesapeake College professor, directs this joint Chesapeake College-Church Hill Theatre production. Shannon Whittaker will play Carrie; Maureen Curtin will portray her mother, Margaret.  Carrie’s classmates Sue, Tommy, Chris, and Billy are played by Reilly Claxton, Jacob Wheatley, Olivia Litteral and Brandon Walls. The sympathetic teacher, Miss Gardner, is Samantha Smith. Other featured characters are played by James Kaplanges, Kiya Cohen, Shannon Landers, Catherine Jacobs, Morgan Jung, Sean Priest and Albert Conteh. Students, dancers, telekinetic spirits, police officers and others include Anna Terry, Savannah Bixler, Briana Litteral, Gracie Jordan, Megan Kaley, Alyson Farnell and Morgan Jung.

Musical Director William Thomas will conduct from the piano. His musician are Gary Caffrey, on guitar, Tom Anthony on bass, and Ray Anthony on drums.  The backstage and production team includes a set by Richard Peterson and Carmelo Grasso, with lights by Nic Carter, costumes by Miranda Fister and Jennifer Houghton, Maddie Baynard is acting as stage manager, and Jacob Blades is assistant stage manager.  Shelagh Grasso is producing Carrie with Sylvia Maloney as associate producer.

Carrie’s shadowy telekinetic spirits threaten to enter the auditorium.

Based on the King novel, Carrie the Musical was adapted by Lawrence D. Cohen, with lyrics by Dean Pitchford and music by Michael Gore. It opened on Broadway in 1988 and enjoyed a successful revival in 2012.  While some critics panned Carrie, it has become a cult favorite, with many unofficial spoofs and campy tributes. It’s not for the squeamish or small children but if you enjoyed CHT’s Rocky Horror Picture Show, you’ll certainly appreciate Carrie.

Carrie the Musical opens on Friday, October 27, 2017, and runs through Sunday, November 12. Because this is a joint production, with performances at two locations, please note the theaters and times carefully.

CHESAPEAKE COLLEGE: Friday, October 27, Saturday, October 28, and Sunday, October 29 at the Cadby Theater.  Shows are at 8 pm on Friday and Saturday with a Sunday matinee at 2 pm.

CHURCH HILL THEATRE: Fridays, November 3 & 10, Saturdays, November 4 & 11, and Sundays, November 5 & 12 at Church Hill Theatre, with evening shows at 8 pm and matinees at 2 pm.

At Chesapeake College, tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for students, with special prices for groups of ten or more. Reservations for Cadby Theatre can be made by calling 410-827-5867 or by visiting www.chesapeake.edu/tpac

At Church Hill Theatre, tickets are $20 for adults, $10 for students and $15 for members.  Tickets can be reserved by calling the box office at 410-556-6003 or online at www.churchhilltheatre.org.

Upcoming Organ Recital Makes “Note” of the Reformation

On Sunday, October 22nd at 3 P.M., Dr. Bill Wharton, Organist, will perform in a recital demonstrating the musical influences of the Reformation.  The featured instrument for this program will be the Memorial Pipe Organ of St. Mark’s United Methodist Church in Easton. This October marks the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s nailing of his 95 theses of protest of religious practices on the door of his church in Wittenberg, Germany which helped to bring about many changes in the Christian religion and especially its music.

Dr. Bill’s hour long program will present a survey of numerous styles and developments of organ literature that evolved out of the huge library of Lutheran “chorales” or hymns.  He will be assisted by Gail Aveson, soprano, Marcia Fidis, pianist, and Penny Renoll, St. Mark’s Music Director.  This season marks Bill Wharton’s 50 year tenure as St. Mark’s Organist!

The Memorial Pipe Organ of St. Mark’s is a unique instrument on the Shore;  besides being one of the largest pipe organs locally with some 2,437 pipes, it contains an “antiphonal” division of pipes located in the opposite end of the church from the more traditional chancel divisions in the front.  Its pipes range from mere inches in length to some sixteen feet of metal and wood pipes.  Since the organ was first installed in 1961, several ranks of reed pipes have been added, including a stop named “Tates’ Tuba” in memory of local plumber and businessman, C. Albert Matthews.  The organ will also be used in the playing of duets with the church’s Steinway grand piano demonstrating various Reformation tunes.

The music to be played will include works by J.S. Bach, such as his famous “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring”, “Sleepers Awake! (Wachet Auf)”, and “Now Thank We All Our God (Nun Danket)”.  Some of the other composers represented include Karg-Elert, Mendelssohn, Bennett, Martin, and Pelz.The audience will also be able to participate with the singing of some of the most familiar Lutheran chorales.  The concert will end with an organ  transcription of the finale of Mendelssohn’s “Reformation” Symphony No. 5 which solos Martin Luther’s famous “A Mighty Fortress (EinFeste Berg)”.While there is no fee for admission to this event, a free-will offering can be given to help with the expenses of the St. Mark’s concert series.

Easton Choral Arts Celebrates Its 40th Season

The Easton Choral Arts Society, under the direction of Maestro Wes Lockfaw, will open its 40th concert season with Made in the USA, on Friday, October 13, 7:30 PM and Sunday, October 15, 4:00 PM at Christ Church, Easton. The fall concert is a revue of grand and glorious American choral music dating from the 18th century to the present. Maestro Lockfaw has chosen to inaugurate the new season with a thrilling selection of best loved songs that will please audiences both young and mature.

Beginning with Now Shall My Inward Joys Arise by William Billings, the all American concert will also feature spirituals and Stephen Foster songs, and continue with memorable Broadway tunes from George and Ira Gershwin and Cole Porter. Highlighting the festive concert will be a parade of spectacular pieces from the musicals of Rodgers and Hammerstein. The 1940’s will be represented by the music of Randall Thompson and Johnny Mercer and, for the final series, the chorus will sing modern compositions from Aaron Copland and Leonard Bernstein whose 100th birthday will take place later in the season.

This year’s Christmas concert will follow the fall concert on the first weekend in December with Benjamin Britten’s hugely popular Ceremony of Carols along with seasonal favorites. This concert will also be sung at Christ Church Easton.

As the archives tell the story, there has been great joy and challenge in presenting beautiful music through the years. Easton Choral Arts has sung a wide variety of glorious music, represented by selections from many different eras, styles and composers. Yes, the society has brought musical joy and beauty to our community since 1977, and it continues this tradition into a new season with three remarkable programs.

Tickets for each concert are $25 and are available at www.eastonchoralarts.org or our Ticket Hotline 410-200-0498.  Students will be admitted free, (reservation required). Tickets will be $30 at the door. Seating is limited so advance ticket purchases are recommended. Season tickets are available at www.eastonchoralarts.org.

ECAS was founded in 1977 by organist Florence Ruley of Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, a group of caring singers was organized to commemorate the installation of a new bishop. The experience was so rewarding that they continued with the idea of singing two to three concerts a year. As public appreciation and awareness of the Easton Choral Arts Society was growing within the community, its presence was marked by a new and thoughtful broadening of the repertoire, featuring guest soloists, and professional instrumentalists.

In 2010, Wes Lockfaw became Easton Choral Arts Society’s fifth Artistic Director. A very talented and accomplished organist, pianist, and choral director, Wes Lockfaw has led music ministries in seven states as well as having served as a choral adjudicator, clinician, and piano instructor in a college environment. In January of 2009, he accepted the position of Organist and Music Director at Christ Church Episcopal in Easton, Maryland where he directs ensembles ranging from children to adults.

Thanks to community support, Easton Choral Arts is keeping the spirit of its mission alive — to bring great choral masterworks programs to audiences of all ages on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.

Easton Choral Arts Society, Inc. is a nonprofit 501 (c) (3) organization funded in part by the Maryland State Arts Council, the Talbot County Arts Council and the Mid-Shore Community Foundation.

Jeremy Filsell, Concert Organist, at Church of the Holy Trinity

The Church of the Holy Trinity (Oxford MD) is honored to present Jeremy Filsell in concert Friday, October 13, 2017 at 7 p.m.  A concert artist of the highest caliber, Dr. Filsell is one of the few virtuoso musicians that performs as a concert pianist and organist.  He also holds the title of Steinway Artist, signifying commitment to excellence.

This excellence is revealed when we listen to Dr. Filsell’s performances.  Dr. Filsell effortlessly reveals musical structure, make us feel the rhythmic nuances, and reveals the colors and sounds of the instrument through the mood and spirit of the music.  Audiences all over the world marvel at his brilliant technique, virtuosic playing, ease, and clarity.  This superb musicality is revealed throughout Dr. Filsell’s piano and organ performances, choral concerts, chamber music performances, accompanying, and compositions.

Dr. Filsell presently serves as Artist-in-Residence at Washington National Cathedral (Washington DC), Director of Music, The Church of the Epiphany (Washington DC), Professor of Organ Studies at Peabody Conservatory (Baltimore MD) in addition to his performing career as a concert pianist, concert organist, and chamber musician.As a solo pianist Dr. Filsell has performed in Russia, the United States, and throughout the United Kingdom.  He has performed with BBC Singers, European Contemporary Music Ensemble, the Burghersh Piano Trio and numerous orchestras.

As an organist, Dr. Filsell performs frequently in the United Kingdom, the United States, Germany, New Zealand, France (Notre-Dame and St. Sulpice, Paris Chartres Cathedral), Finland, Norway, and Sweden.  Frequently he conducts masterclasses in Ireland, Yale University, Utah State University and for the American Guild of Organists.

Dr. Filsell has more than 30 solo recordings.  He has recorded for BBC Radio 3 and radio networks in the United States and Scandinavia.  One of his latest recordings is Americana, compositions from composers associated with the Washington National Cathedral (1912-2012).  Filsell-Briggs, Choral Music of Jeremy Filsell and David Briggs, is another recent recording that shares Dr. Filsell’s choral compositions.  In 2006, St. George’s House in Windsor Castle commissioned Dr. Filsell to compose choral music for their 40th Anniversary.

The Church of the Holy Trinity is pleased to present Jeremy Filsell in concert.  Please come and experience this wonderful musician.  Doors will open at 6:30 p.m.  A free will offering will be taken to defray concert expenses.  All are welcome.  We are located at 502 South Morris Street, Oxford MD.  Please contact 410-226-5134 with any questions.

Peter Revell Band, Mina Bear to Perform at Adkins Arboretum

World-class entertainment is promised when the Peter Revell Band and Mina Bear perform at Adkins Arboretum’s Magic in the Meadow gala on Sat., Sept. 23 from 5 to 8 p.m. Set against the Arboretum’s backdrop of forests, meadows, wetlands and streams and featuring all the trimmings of a first-class affair, the event showcases the magic and enchantment of nature. Proceeds benefit the Arboretum’s education programs that promote the conservation and preservation of the Chesapeake Bay region’s native landscapes.

Peter Revell (right) and Mina Bear.

The Peter Revell Band comprises members of the U.S. Navy Commodores, one of the world’s premier jazz ensembles. Led by Revell on bass, the quartet includes trumpeter and vocalist Tim Stanley, guitarist Shawn Purcell and drummer and percussionist Kevin McDonald. Together and separately, these world-class musicians have performed throughout the country and around the world. The group will perform throughout the evening.

Known for her work with fire hoops and custom programmable LED hoops, Baltimore hoop dancer Mina Bear has performed her unique brand of art around the region. Far removed from old-school hula hooping, hoop dancing is an entirely different form of movement. Mina Bear will perform on the Arboretum’s wetland overlook as guests arrive at the event and again at dusk.

As twilight falls, Magic in the Meadow guests will enjoy signature cocktails on the wetland bridge, wine and local craft beer, passed hors d’oeuvres and a full mezze table, along with other delicious food and desserts prepared by Peach Blossoms Catering. While enjoying a moonrise over golden meadow grasses, guests can “raise the wand” during a live auction to bid on an array of interesting and adventurous items, including art, a dream vacation in Taos, N.M., jewelry, a “Board’s Choice” wine package and much more.

Guests are encouraged to have fun with a “fairy formal” dress code and to wear flat shoes for walking in the grass. Tram tours through the forest will also be offered.

Tickets for Magic in the Meadow are $125 per person and may be reserved at adkinsarboretum.org or by calling 410.634.2847, ext. 0.

A Community Concert with the U.S. Navy Band Commodores

For more than 40 years, the U.S. Navy Band Commodores have been performing the best of big band jazz. If you haven’t yet experienced a live concert by this vibrant, dynamic group—or if you’re itching to see them again—look no further than the Monty Alexander Jazz Festival, held at Easton’s Avalon Theatre over Labor Day weekend.

The Commodores’ performance, which is free and open to the public, begins at 11 a.m. on Saturday, September 2nd.

Formed in 1969, the Commodores—also known as the premier jazz ensemble of the United States Navy—have welcomed a few famous faces into its organization.

“Some of America’s greatest jazz and big band musicians have spent at least a portion of their careers serving as musicians in America’s Navy,” explains Senior Chief Musician William Mulligan. “Artie Shaw, Clark Terry, and John Coltrane to name just three.”

Photo courtesy of U.S. Navy Band Commodores

In appreciation of their former bandmates, Mulligan says the 18-member group often features music from these prominent jazz figures in their concerts. The heart of their style, however, draws from classic American big bands, like Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Woody Herman, Buddy Rich, Maynard Ferguson, and so many more.

“The Commodores’ repertoire spans over 100 years of jazz history,” he adds.

With a style that’s rooted in an eclectic mix of the traditional sounds of New Orleans’ jazz through to the swing era, the Commodores also blend more contemporary elements of music into their repertoire and incorporate exciting jazz vocal arrangements. The group composes and arranges a lot of their music library, in addition to performing modern compositions written by its members.

Throughout 2017, the Commodores are celebrating the centennial of Ella Fitzgerald. Mulligan hints that attendees of Saturday’s community performance will quite possibly hear tunes associated with the “First Lady of Song” and the “Queen of Jazz.”

“We also take the opportunity to honor our veterans at all of our concerts,” Mulligan says.

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.

By Becca Newell