October 18, 2019
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Maine Commission for Community Service to host AmeriCorps 25 year celebration event, launch state-wide music project

Community Author: Bryan Roche
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Contributing Artists | Maine Commission for Community Service
Contributing Artists | Maine Commission for Community Service

WATERVILLE — The Maine Commission for Community Service will hold the AmeriCorps 25 year celebration 5:30-9 p.m. Friday, Oct. 11, at Waterville Opera House, 1 Common St. The event will be attended by Maine AmeriCorps alumni, Maine dignitaries and politicians, 2019 Maine AmeriCorps Class and a cast of Maine-based musicians led by David Mallett. An alumni reception will be held 5:30-6:45 p.m. followed by the event program.

Tickets are $25 (cash or check only day of).

The event will also serve as the album release party for the much-anticipated 11-track music project, “Heartbeat of Home,” which celebrates Maine, its communities and the importance of giving back through service.

The evening is set to feature Maine dignitaries, as well as some of the state’s entertainment stars including popular TV host Bill Green, as master of ceremonies, and folk music legend David Mallett providing musical entertainment. Supporting artists Marianna Filippi, Kristyn Murphy, Jack Fossett and Passamaquoddy Language Keeper Dwayne Tomah will also perform at the event.

“Heartbeat of Home” is a state-wide collaborative music project that brings together some of Maine’s finest musicians, poets and storytellers who worked together to tell a story of what makes the state special. Featured performers on the album include, among others, Mallett, Dave Rowe and Maine Governor Janet Mills – backed by Marianna Filippi — reading the famous poem “Inland” by Edna St. Vincent Millay. Murphy, a touring Celtic performer and producer, produced the album.

“Heartbeat of Home” will be available as a digital download on Oct. 11. Information on how to purchase and access the album will be made available in the coming weeks. The album will cost $15 with all proceeds going to MVF, the private nonprofit partner of MCCS. Additional details about the Album can be found in the “About Heartbeat of Home” section of the release.

The 25th Anniversary Celebration will recognize the efforts of Maine-based program members and alumni, as well as those who support their service. Among the activities planned are the presentation of Outstanding Maine AmeriCorps Alumni Awards (presented by Machias Savings Bank) and the Champion of Service award; unveiling the Commission’s new identity; and special guests sharing memories of service.

Since 1994, 6,800 Maine residents have served in AmeriCorps and another 1,400 have come to Maine to serve our communities. They spent more than 13 million hours helping children, families, seniors, schools, nonprofits, parks, municipalities, law enforcement, and conservation organizations. As a result of their service, they earned over $31 million in education awards to support post-secondary education. To learn more about the event and for information on how to purchase tickets, please visit the 25th anniversary section on the MCCS website: maineservicecommission.gov.

About “Heartbeat of Home”:

The album was produced by Maine Celtic singer and producer Kristyn Murphy, who caught the attention of the MCCS after she returned to the state from a successful U.K. tour of a live Celtic show which she produced and performed.

“It was an honor to be asked to work on the “Heartbeat of Home” project,” says Murphy. “The response from the entertainment industry here in the state and artists’ eagerness to be a part of this project is just one example of how special communities in Maine really are.”

“Heartbeat of Home” is a mixture of Celtic and folk inspired music and spoken word pieces including six tracks that were generously donated by artists including:

  • “The Haying Song” by David Mallett
  • “Quebecois“ by Dave Rowe
  • “Thomas Point“ by Jack Fossett
  • “The Don“ by Jim Gallant
  • “Right Here“ by Bill Tozier
  • “The Old Guide / Acadian Woman“ by Don Roy.

Also included are five tracks that were recorded specifically for the project all featuring musical arranging and composition by Maine resident and Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama graduate Marianna Filippi. These tracks include three spoken word pieces back by Filippi’s work:

  • “A Community Called Maine“ by storyteller Margaret Jones;
  • “Eastport“ written and read by poet Dave Morrison;
  • and a special performance by Governor Janet Mills reading the famous poem “Inland“ by Edna St.Vincent Millay, backed by Marianna Filippi.

Additionally, a newly arranged version of the classic Irish folk tune “Shores of Amerikay” is included in the project; added lyrics written by Murphy tell the story of an immigrant mother and her daughter getting ready to make the long journey to America. The piece is performed by soprano Rachel Rivera and 13-year-old Evelyn LaCroix.  The project is concluded by an original number by Filippi and Murphy titled “Canvas of Home.”

The tracks were recorded at My Thrill Studio by Mark Francis, mixed by Dan Bouza, and mastered by Chris Graham.  “Heartbeat of Home” will be available for purchase from major music download stores, all proceeds will benefit the Maine Volunteer Foundation.

“’Heartbeat of Home’ is more than a collection of recordings, each piece is its own story that captures a little piece of Maine, the people, places, or events,” said Murphy. “Each stand-alone piece of art contained in the project are together very powerfully.  They prompt us to feel a broad range of emotions, recall memories, remind us why we love Maine, and why we work so hard to keep our communities thriving.