This Saturday: “Treasures from the American Songbook”

The Northshore UU Church will present a concert entitled “Treasures from the American Songbook” this Saturday, January 12, at 7:30 p.m. Tenor Brendan P. Buckley, soprano Katrina Holden, baritone Samuel Bowen, and pianist John Kramer will perform songs from the golden age of American composition that will warm us up on a cold winter’s night. Tickets are $20; seniors and students $15; and children under 12 are free.

Brendan Buckley

Brendan Buckley

Brendan Buckley, a Middleton native and Masconomet Regional High School graduate, is quickly gaining a reputation as a skilled and sought-after performer. A versatile actor and musician, he is at home in both classical and contemporary works. He has performed in opera throughout the greater Boston area. Buckley has degrees from UMass Amherst and Pennsylvania State University, and has studied at the Scuola Italia in Urbania, Italy.

Katrina Holden blends a silvery lyric voice with a love of words that permeates her performances, and can be seen in opera throughout New England and in recitals across the country. She has toured Austria with the AIMS Festival Orchestra and has traveled to Indiana to sing in early music recitals. She has toured with numerous other ensembles, including the Yale Alumni Chorus in South America, and with the choir of Our Lady of the Assumption of Connecticut as a soloist in Vatican City. Holden has degrees from Muhlenberg College and the New England Conservatory.

Katrina_Holden_head

Katrina Holden

Samuel Bowen has appeared with New Hamphire Opera Theatre, MetroWest Opera, Raylynmor Opera, and Boston Baroque. He holds degrees from North Carolina School of the Arts and New England Conservatory with additional education from Operaworks in Los Angeles, AIMS in Graz, and the Intermezzo young artist program.

John Kramer is a composer and pianist based in Boston. He has performed and had his music performed in and around Boston, New York, New Jersey, Chicago, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and throughout New England. While he has written extensively for the piano, organ, and choir, he has written many chamber works as well. He is the music director at the Winchester Unitarian Society and teaches at the Winchester Community Music School and the South Shore Conservatory. He is a graduate of Bates College and the University of Iowa.

Saturday’s concert is part of our church’s Music in the Woods series.

Danvers Drum Convergence gathers this Saturday

ConvergenceIf Christmas wasn’t just what you asked for, there are 12 days of Christmas. And we’ll have another Danvers Drum Convergence at the church on Saturday, January 5 — a whole week earlier than usual. We will meet at our regular time, from 6:45 to 10 p.m. Please try to be on time so we can meet, greet, and set up the good vibe.

Admission is $10 at the door.

We always have something new to keep it interesting, whether it’s new instruments or new musicians or a storyteller with whom we drum. We supply a whole delicious smorgasbord of drums and percussion instruments from around the globe. If you don’t have a drum we have them for your use. No experience is required, you learn as you go.

If you have a heartbeat, you can follow it to play a drum. Don’t be humdrum, come drum!

Danvers Drum Convergence meets this Saturday

DANVERS DRUM SIGN_3

The next meeting of the Danvers Drum Convergence will be held at the Northshore UU Church on Saturday, December 8, from 6:45 to 10 p.m.  Admission fee is $10 at the door.

We have a gorgeous space for our drumming. It’s out in the woodlands in our big open hall, with an oculus in the ceiling, so we see stars and the moon when it’s overhead. The acoustics are magical for drumming. This drum circle has been a very popular activity in past years.

Please join us — all are welcome — and if you feel you don’t know how to drum you’ll soon learn. We bring extra drums and a gorgeous smorgasbord of interesting percussion instruments from around the globe to share. Sometimes we feature performers and storytellers, but the main interest is in sharing the beat together.

The co-facilitators of the Danvers Drum Convergence are Andrea Sweeney and Daniel Shea.

Four-Hand Piano Duo returns this Friday

Bonnie Anderson (left) and Donna Gross Javel

The Four-Hand Piano Duo will perform on Friday, November 16, from 7:30 to 9 p.m. at the Northshore UU Church in the second event of this season’s “Music in the Woods” series. Tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for seniors and students, and free for children under 12.

Bonnie Anderson and Donna Gross Javel are fast becoming known both for their creative and varied programming as well as their uncanny ability to make four hands look and sound like two. They have been performing together as the Four-Hand Piano Duo for enthusiastic audiences throughout the New England area ever since their 2004 debut performance in Danvers.

They are often told that their enthusiasm and energy are contagious. In addition to the standard works of the classical repertoire, their programs often include music from the Living Composers: AnythingPiano Project (LCAPP). The fact that these compositions encompass such a broad range of styles and cultures adds to the excitement; audience response to the programming of these works has been electrifying.

Bonnie Anderson made her debut with the Boston Symphony Orchestra at age 14, first as flute soloist and several months later as piano soloist performing the Grieg Piano Concerto. She has performed on both instruments in the United States, France, Germany, and South America. She has appeared with the Boston Pops, Peoria Symphony, Bach Society Orchestra of Harvard University, Northern Illinois Philharmonic, and the Bach Festival Orchestra. Anderson is an adjunct professor of piano and chair of the keyboard department at the University of Massachusetts Lowell.

Donna Gross Javel, is the founder of the LCAPP. One of LCAPP’s missions is to increase audience enthusiasm and appreciation for new music through creative and varied programming. As a teenager Javel was selected by tge Leschetizky Association to perform at Carnegie Recital Hall under its auspices.  Subsequent performances of solo and chamber music have occurred in such diverse venues as the Esterhazy Palace in Austria, the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Zimmerman House in Manchester, New Hampshire, and Ventfort Hall in Lenox, Massachusetts.

She is a frequent performer in the Boston area and has performed on “Morning Pro Musica,” a live broadcast from WGBH Radio in Boston. Her piano compositions have received favorable reviews in music journals and are available at select music stores in Massachusetts.

Tom Palance Group to kick off Music in the Woods

Tom Palance

Music in the Woods will open its season at the Northshore UU Church with a concert by the Tom Palance Group, featuring Sandi Bedrosian, on Friday, October 19, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $20, students and seniors $15, and children 12 and under are free.

Tom Palance is a renowned trumpet performer and educator, known for his versatility and innovative teaching style. Bedrosian is a vocalist with a mastery of diverse genres including jazz, popular, classical, liturgical, and musical theater. The group is rounded out by instrumentalists John Hyde, David Landoni, and Phil McGowen. Tom and Sandi are both well known around Ipswich, Andover, and the North Shore.

Palance retired from the U.S. Navy, where he served in several Navy orchestras and bands as trumpeter. Since resuming civilian live, he established and leads the North Shore Jazz Camp. He has taught trumpet jazz band and jazz methods at the University of New Hampshire, and is on the faculty at the Boston Conservatory and Salem State University. Currently he conducts the Orchestra on the Hill based on the North Shore. Because of his versatility he is in great demand as a performer for theater productions and other musical functions in the Boston area.

Sandi Bedrosian

Sandi Bedrosian has been performing professionally for the past 25 years as lead vocalist, and she has starred in many musical theater productions and operettas. The Sandi Bedrosian Trio has appeared at a wide range of venues throughout Boston and the East Coast.

“If I were asked to chose one genre of music and sing only that repertoire, it would be sad. I thrive on versatility,” says Sandi. “I have always loved the music of the ’30s and ’40s. It seems to suit me — singing Gershwin, Berlin, and Ellington. The music is timeless. However, I’m also very drawn to Motown and Mozart. How contrary!”

Sandi owns and operates the Voice Studio in Andover, working as a vocal performance teacher and coach to new and professional artists.

Tom Palance Group to perform at church on Friday

Tom Palance

Music in the Woods will end its 2011-’12 season with a concert by the Tom Palance Group, featuring Miranda Russell, on Friday, June 1, at 7:30 p.m. at the Northshore UU Church. Tickets are $10; children 12 and under are free.

Palance is a renowned trumpet performer and educator, known for his versatility and innovative teaching style. Russell is a powerful and moving vocalis whose performance centers on nuanced treatments of a wide range of favorites and American songbook standards. The group is rounded out by pianist John Hyde, bassist David Landoni, and drummer Phil McGowan.

Palance retired from the U.S. Navy, where he served in several Navy orchestras and bands as trumpeter. Since resuming civilian live, he established and leads the North Shore Jazz Camp. He has taught at the University of New Hampshire and is on the faculty at the Boston Conservatory and Salem State University. Currently Palance conducts the Orchestra on the Hill, based on the North Shore.

Miranda Russell

Because of his versatility he is in great demand as a performer for theater productions and other musical functions in the Boston area. He was recently featured as trumpet soloist during the 2007 International Guild Trumpet Conference.

Russell’s early years of theater training taught her to find and deliver the story within the song. Her concerts center on interpretations of the music of the great songwriters of our day. She commits fully to every song, and her lively stage vibe continue to make her a much sought-after performer. Russell has been seen acting and singing on stages from Cambridge to Brussels.

She has appeared in Boston’s Christmas Revels, and has performed at Theatre in the Open in Newburyport, at the Firehouse Center (also in Newburyport), at the Gloucester Stage Company, and at the Seacoast Repertory Theatre in Portsmouth.

Program of slave songs to be presented on June 2

Jim Thomas

Jim Thomas and the Slave Song Spirituals Choir will present a program of slave songs at the Northshore UU Church in Danvers on Saturday, June 2, at 4 p.m. Tickets cost $10, and are free for those under 17.

U.S. slave songs are also known as Negro spirituals (circa 1619-1865). Mr. Thomas and the choir bring us the results of research on the significance of slave songs. Our slaves were not Christians. They were not allowed to be. Their music was spiritual, but not of the gospel. What was it and what hidden meanings did it contain?

Spirituals are true American folk songs. There were no new spirituals recorded after the emancipation of the slaves in 1865. Unlike gospel music, spirituals were not composed. U.S. slave songs were a means of communication and always sung in code. Slave songs and spirituals are indeed a fascinating body of work.

Jim Thomas is founder and president of the U.S. Slave Song Project Inc. He serves as narrator and choir director for all events and presentations. Backed by his diverse volunteer Spirituals Choir from Martha’s Vineyard, Mr. Thomas explains the special meanings, codes, and messages in slave music. One song expressed the time of year to escape and be able to cross Northern rivers when frozen, a nighttime journey of over a year. There were vow songs, and songs which said when “helpers,” “conductors,” or angels were near. There were also songs of hope in those Christmas times when families were split by slave auctions.

Mr. Thomas brings his message in as close to the original forms as possible, with original harmonies, African rhythms, call-and-response, the minor pentatonic scale, and “blue notes” that evolved into the blues.

Jim Thomas has given presentations on spirituals in Germany, Brazil, Austria, Sweden, Africa, and various locations across the United States. Since 1976 he has been the founding director of the American Red Cross Chorus at its headquarters in Washington, D.C. He has recruited and directed military choirs in Vietnam and Germany.

While attending Fisk University, Mr. Thomas sang with the world-renowned Fisk Jubilee Singers. Later he sang with the Robert Shaw Chorale in Atlanta, and the Paul Hill Chorale as soloist at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington. He served as founding choir director to the MV/NAACP Spirituals Choir from 2005-’07. In 2005 he founded the U.S. Slave Song Project on Martha’s Vineyard. As founding president of the Slave Song Project he makes his home in Stafford, Virginia, and on Martha’s Vineyard.

Paramusia to perform at church this Friday

Music in the Woods will present a concert by Paramusia this Friday, May 11, at the Northshore UU Church. Paramusia is a guitar/flute/vocal acoustic duo formed in 2009 by two experienced singer-musicians who each contribute their own flair and taste to create a unique musical experience that has something for everyone.

The performers are Ann Cavanaugh, from Middleborough, and Steve Gabovitch, from Sharon.  From flute and guitar instrumentals to folk, folk rock, Celtic, ethnic, pop, and oldies, Ann and Steve utilize their vocal harmonies and instruments to create a fun and entertaining performance that defies classification.

The concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10; children 12 and under are free.

Classical concert to be held this Saturday

Click on images for larger view

The Northshore UU Church will present a concert titled “Travel and Romance: An Evening of Romantic Composers” on Saturday, April 14, at 7:30 p.m. The artists will be tenor Brendan P. Buckley, soprano Katrina Holden, and pianist John Kramer, who will perform romantic songs by Beethoven, Duparc, Debussy, Strauss, Bizet, and Vaughn Williams. Tickets are $10; children 12 and under are free.

Brendan Buckley, a Middleton native and Masconomet Regional High School graduate, is quickly gaining a reputation as a skilled and sought-after performer. A versatile actor and musician, he is at home in both classical and contemporary works. He has performed in opera throughout the greater Boston area. Buckley has degrees from UMass Amherst and Pennsylvania State University, and has studied at the Scuola Italia in Urbania, Italy.

Katrina Holden blends a silvery lyric voice with a love of words that permeates her performances, and can be seen in opera throughout New England and in recitals across the country. She has toured Austria with the AIMS Festival Orchestra and has traveled to Indiana to sing in early music recitals. She has toured with numerous other ensembles, including the Yale Alumni Chorus in South America, and with the choir of Our Lady of the Assumption of Connecticut as a soloist in Vatican City. Holden has degrees from Muhlenberg College and the New England Conservatory.

John Kramer is a composer and pianist based in Boston. He has performed and had his music performed in and around Boston, New York, New Jersey, Chicago, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and throughout New England. While he has written extensively for the piano, organ, and choir, he has written many chamber works as well. He is the music director at the Winchester Unitarian Society and teaches at the Winchester Community Music School and the South Shore Conservatory. He is a graduate of Bates College and the University of Iowa.

Saturday’s concert is part of our church’s Music in the Woods series.