BELFAST, Maine — The Penobscot Bay Singers will present its 37th pops concert, Pops Got Rhythm at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, June 10-11. Admission is $12.
With jazz pianist Rick Dostie conducting from the keyboard, the group will offer hits and lesser-known gems from the 1930s swing era into the 1950s. Ballads, jazz, blues and, yes, a little bossa nova will be enhanced by veteran bassist Don Knowles and Andy Clifford on drums.
Music by Cole Porter, Harold Arlen, Fats Waller, Bobby Troup and Harry Woods (sure, you remember “Paddlin’ Madelin’ Home”) will be familiar to many, but arrangements by Rick Dostie of some lesser known ballads such as Jimmy Kennedy’s and Hugh William’s “Red Sails in the Sunset” and Irving Berlin’s “Be Careful, It’s My Heart” are likely to become favorites. And then there’s “Princess Poopooly Has Plenty Papaya.” The varied pieces will be presented by the full chorus, soloists, duets and ensembles. And there’s usually room in the back if an urge to dance proves strong. Refreshments will be served at the break.
Peace and Justice film
BELFAST, Maine — The film “Taking Root” tells the story of Kenyan Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Wangari Maathai, whose simple act of planting trees grew into a nationwide movement to safeguard the environment, protect human rights and defend democracy. “Taking Root,” sponsored by the Peace and Justice Group of Waldo County, will be shown at 6 p.m. Wednesday, June 15, at the Belfast Free Library.
The film will be preceded by the group’s annual spring celebration potluck, beginning at 5:30 p.m. All are invited to bring food to share.
The film is free with donations accepted. For more information about the film or the Peace and Justice Group, contact Meredith Bruskin, 338-5089.
Country music weekend
JEFFERSON, Maine — Broken Acres Family Retreat will open the summer season with the Maine Academy of Country Music Membership and Musicians’ Appreciation Weekend on Saturday, June 11, and Sunday, June 12.
There is free camping in the rough and featured events include an auction and the Rev. Jim Sutter’s Gospel Hour. Performers include Fred and Pat Thompson, Bob Elston, Brenda Millett, Slim Andrews, Dan Corbett and grandchildren, the Higgins Family, Freedom Riders and many more.
For information, call Butch or Nikki Howard at 622-4583.
Final lineup of variety show acts
ROCKLAND, Maine — The final lineup of 18 acts for the “Mid Coast Maine Has Talent…Or Not!” Variety Show has been announced. The are Nick and Louise, folk music; Annika Charland and Sydny Fields, dance; Lizzy Dickerson, folk; Big Ben and Stanley (Ben Perry), comedy; Tom Albury, folk; Harmony 4 Him, gospel; Aubrey Anderson and Christian Clayton, dance; Nancy Schroeder, Celtic harp; Lynn Fry, singer-songwriter; Kea Tesseyman’s Hip Hop Group; Dusty and Joanna, singer-songwriters; Beth McKinney, comedy; Aldan Mason, singer-songwriter; Kea Tesseyman, dance; Al Gardner singing Elvis; Jackie Bater, singer-songwriter; Elise Bell, singer, who also will perform “The Downtown Diva’s”; Erwin Robinson, “Driving Old Memories” song and video.
Paul Benjamin, with special guests, will host the show.
The show will take place 6-9 p.m. Thursday, June 9, at the Strand Theatre. The event is a benefit for Rockland Main Street Inc.
Tickets are $15, $10 students under 18, and available at the Strand, Grasshopper Shop,
Fiore Olive Oils and Planet Toys, Camden location only.
Seeking artists, artisans
PALERMO, Maine — An Early Summer Fair, featuring art and craft, will be held 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, June 18, at the Palermo Community Library, Route 3. Organizers said they are seeking artists and artisans to take part in the fair, and the participation fee is minimal, but space is limited. For more information, call Linda at 993-2246 or visit http://www.palermo.lib.me.us/.
Folk art exhibition
ROCKLAND, Maine — Rockland artist Kitty Smith unveiled a new exhibit at the Thomaston Public Library recently with an installation of folk art depicting patron saints. The display has icons of nine Christian saints, each incorporating decorative elements of Maine’s natural history. The icons are mounted on 160-year-old Maine spruce wood and are decorated with shells and jewelry.
Smith has been working with folk art for the last seven years, and her interest in religious icons goes back to the 1960s when her father brought photos of Russian icons home from a trip. Smith adds unique elements to each icon, representing particular characteristics of the patron saint being depicted.
The display is part of the library’s Community Displays program, which invites area artists and residents to put up displays of their work or things they have collected. There are no restrictions on who can put up a display, although the library does ask that people obtain a library membership, which is free to Thomaston residents. For more information on the Community Displays program or Kitty Smith’s work, call the library at 354-2453.
A cappella CD
VoXX: Voice of Twenty, the Midcoast Maine a cappella vocal ensemble, has announced that it has released its first recording. The eponymous disc, which contains a wide range of repertoire from the group’s January 2011 “Musike for the Nywe Yeare” concerts, is available for $15 from group members and via CDBaby.
“We have been working toward this for a long time,” said Gretchen Piston Ogden, the group’s administrative director. “We purposely chose a lot of our favorite repertoire for the January 2011 concert series with the idea that we would then turn it into our first recording. We chose pieces that we loved, that we could learn well, and that we thought would make a pleasing compilation. Of course, this is just 16 of our favorite pieces — we have quite a lot of repertoire built up from our years together and could easily have chosen 16 more! But this selection is representative of where we have come from and also showcases some of the more contemporary works that we are singing now.”
Now in its second decade, the group has sung up and down the Maine coast and generally performs two scheduled concert sets per year, in January and early summer. VoXX tries to bring unusual vocal music to Maine audiences, yet more familiar works by renowned composers from Anonymous, Britten, Byrd and Dufay to Josquin, Lauridsen, Palestrina, Victoria and Whitacre are also a large part of the repertoire. While VoXX mainly performs a cappella, appropriate instrumentation (recorders, percussion, strings) is occasionally added.
The tracks on this disc were mostly recorded during two sessions in the acoustically pleasing parish hall at St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Camden. A few tracks are from “live” recordings made at the group’s January performances. “Overall we are very pleased with this effort, and think our loyal fans will be, too,” said Ogden. “At more than an hour in length, there is a lot of music here to enjoy.”
Historical society fundraiser
CUSHING, Maine — As part of a major Fundraising Campaign for the restoration of the roof on the 1854 South Cushing Church, the Cushing Historical Society is sponsoring an exhibit and sale of artwork by 10 Cushing artists. The works include scenes of Cushing and its people, including several of this classic New England structure.
Exhibiting artists are David Scriven Crowley, Phyllis Fales, Pat Farmer, Douglas Hartley, George Hoyt, Marieluise Hutchinson, Kelly Mezzapelle, Ann Stein-Aaron, David Vickery and Trish Weisbrot.
The exhibit is currently on display in the lobby of Camden National Bank’s Thomaston Branch on Main Street in Thomaston and will run throughout the month of June. For information about the exhibit, call Ann Aaron at 354-0735.
After this fundraising exhibit, there will be a Country Auction and Silent Auction on the Society’s grounds on Hathorn Point Road in Cushing at 10 a.m. Saturday, July 16, with preview 5-8 p.m. Friday, July 15, when bids may be left. For information about the auction, to donate goods and services, and to schedule pick-up, call Neville Lewis at 354-8055.
Bell ringers concert
The Penobscot Bay Ringers recently performed two Spring Ring concerts, one at the First Congregational Church of Camden on May 21, and one at Bartlett Woods Retirement Community on May 22, as part of their outreach mission. The participants were Leigh Smith, Susan Weber, Lavaine Honaker, Michelle Terry, Ann Walker, Robin Honaker, BJ Kopishke, Amy Rollins, Heather Gammon, Debra Hall, Ella Saltonstall and Jane Bourassa. The group is also celebrating the successful completion of their Malmark Give-A-Bell Campaign and have announced that their new handbells and chimes will be arriving before the end of June. Penobscot Bay Ringers is always looking for new ringers to join their community handbell choir; previous handbell experience is not necessary. If you can read music and would like to learn more about the teamwork involved in making this beautiful music, call Leigh Smith at 230-6628 or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
CAMDEN, Maine — Deputy Director Jamie Ritter and Children’s Librarian Amy Hand are busy preparing for the Camden Public Library’s book sale and special raffle in the month of June. For this month only, the library is offering chances on a new iPad2. Tickets are available at the library and on the library’s website. Tickets are $5, or 6 for $25, and the drawing will be July 1.
The library will also offer an indoor book sale 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.June 11 and 1-4:30 p.m. June 12. The sale will feature a large stock of fresh used books.
Student photo exhibit
SEARSPORT, Maine — The Then and Now Project, featured by the Multi-Media Projects class at Searsport District High School, continues this year, with students focusing on Working Waterfronts, Maritime Occupations and Maine’s Coastal Legacy. Students have been out in the field seeding clam flats, photographing and exploring boatyards, interviewing mariners, and getting out on the water. In collaboration with the Penobscot Marine Museum, students have been using archival collections and community interviews to research and create multi-media projects that reflect our experiences and further document the coastal heritage. The response from community members and businesses has been overwhelmingly positive and further creates support for hands-on, community-interactive learning.
There will be an opening at 6 p.m. June 14 at the Penobscot Marine Museum Library at 9 Church St., featuring photographs the students have taken and a multi-media presentation created by students, called “Maine’s Coastal Legacy: Then and Now.”