, Gloucester, MA

October 17, 2013

Around Cape Ann: Benefit events light up area arts slate

Around Cape Ann
Gail McCarthy

---- — It’s that time of year again — the time when the Cape Ann Vernal Pond team throws a benefit party with music and dancing.

This year the event takes place on Saturday at The Essex Room at Woodman’s in the town of Essex. The concert will feature the band Entrain.

“This is your chance to hear incredible musicians while supporting two important local causes,” said Rick Roth of Cape Ann Vernal Pond.

The event benefits the Vernal Pond Team and Kestrel Educational Adventures, representing the realms of both conservation and education. The event also features a silent auction. The vernal pond team is dedicated to the conservation of and education about Cape Ann’s wetlands and wildlife.

Doors open at 7 p.m. and the music starts at 8 p.m.

“We had a successful event last year and are looking forward to another fun event to benefit these causes,” said Roth.

General admission is $20 in advance or $25 at the door. There will also be a cash bar. Advance tickets are available at:, 888-718-4253; Gloucester Music and Toad Hall Bookstore in Rockport. For more information, visit

This year’s event is sponsored by Granite Savings Bank, New England Herpetological Society, Geoffrey H. Richon Company, Woodturning Online, TD Bank, Landmark School, Rockport National Bank, Animal Krackers, Woodman’s of Essex, Walker Creek Garden Design and Wolf Hill Home & Garden.

Cole, Amy Lee Wellspring benefit

Wellspring House presents its annual benefit concert “Live and Acoustic” featuring Grammy Award winning artists Amy Lee and Paula Cole on Thursday, Nov. 7 at Shalin Liu Performance Center in Rockport.

The evening will begin with a pre-concert reception at 6:30 p.m. followed by a live and acoustic concert at 7:45 p.m.

Lee is founder of the internationally renowned band Evanescence, while Cole, a Rockport native, has released six solo albums spanning 18 years and toured with leading artists from many genres, from Peter Gabriel to Dolly Parton.

Tickets are $200 each for the event that benefits Wellspring House, which since 1981, has been helping families and individuals on Cape Ann and the North Shore move out of poverty through the work of providing homes, jobs and education.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit

Political theater festival

This is the final weekend of Henry Allen’s North Shore Folklore Theatre Company’s third annual Tragabigzanda Political Theatre Festival.

The festival features the debut of three short plays written by locals about current topics in our community.

The plays are: “In a Birds Eye,” a 30-minute musical about the rezoning of the marine industrial area for a luxury hotel; “34 Beds,” (in collaboration with The Grace Center), about the local shelter; “From Bud to Blossom” (in collaboration with the Council on Aging) about what happens when young teens and senior citizens are invited to speak publicly about bullying.

Each 15-to-30 minute piece will be followed by a brief “talk-back” session, in which the audience can engage with the actors, directors and playwrights.

Show times are Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. at St. John’s Episcopal Church at 48 Middle St. in Gloucester. Advance tickets are available at , or call 978-704-1269, or at the door.

Rockin’ the coffeehouse

Folk and classic rock band Livin’ on Luck will kick off the new season of the Crosswinds Coffeehouse Saturday from 7 to 10 p.m. at First Baptist Church at 38 Gloucester Ave. in Gloucester.

The band, a Cape Ann favorite, includes Josh Bevins on bass, Robert Cedrone on guitar and vocals, a guest drummer sitting in for Tod Ellyson, John Hicks on guitar and keyboard, Ann O’Donnell on vocals, and Tom O’Donnell on guitar and vocals.

Those who attend their concerts often want to sing along and tap their foot in time. The donation is $10 at the door, which goes toward supporting local missions projects. Refreshments and homemade desserts will be offered for purchase.

All ages are welcome in this non-smoking, non-drinking environment.

New Orleans dance party

The Cultural Center at Rocky Neck at 6 Wonson St. in East Gloucester will hold a New Orleans style dance party on Saturday, Oct. 19 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. with music by the Revolutionary Snake Ensemble, featuring Ken Field/alto sax & leader, Tom Hall/tenor sax, Jerry Sabatini/trumpet, Dave Harris/trombone and tuba, Blake Newman/acoustic bass and Phil Neighbors on drums.

Admission is $10 at the door/beer & wine by donation. For more information, call 978-758-1210.

Local composer in concert

Gloucester’s Robert Bradshaw will be featured in an orchestral concert of four Massachusetts composers on Saturday, Oct. 19 at 7:30 p.m. at the Ipswich Performing Arts Center,

The work is inspired by the rich history and beauty of Gloucester Harbor, and the event is being called The Orchestra On The Hill.

The featured work is by Gloucester composer, and Salem State University Music Professor, Robert J. Bradshaw and is titled “Schooners in the Harbor.” Bradshaw seeks to capture the beauty of a Gloucester harbor from a past era when it was filled with majestic sailing ships.

The concert, conducted by Thomas Palance, will include works by three other Massachusetts composers: Horatio Parker, G. Paul Naeger and Arthur Foote. Tickets are $20, and $15 for students.

Meditation and Music

Meditation and Music will be combined in a candlelit setting on Sunday at 7:30 p.m. in the historic 1806 Sanctuary at the Gloucester Unitarian Universalist Church at the corner of Middle and Church streets.

The presentation is a free-will offering to which everyone is welcome. A social gathering will follow with refreshments. The church is pleased to announce the fifth in this monthly series that offers residents and visitors a spiritual experience of music and meditation.

This month’s event features the return of the meditation leader Michael Bresnan and the exuberant vocal and instrumental trio called “HUM,” whose members are Deb Hardy, Alyce Underhill and Kerry Mullen.

Bresnan is a psychologist who operates a practice in family counseling and runs the Lanesville Mindfulness Center located at 1091 Washington St. in Gloucester. Mindfulness has its roots in Buddhist meditative practice. This practice has been the focus of scholarly research in recent years, with numerous studies demonstrating improvements in physiological and psychological health, even over short periods of practice.

The group plays traditional and contemporary folk songs, spirituals, and original compositions, which are a celebration of life, love and spirit. They have composed a new set of songs for this event using percussion, acoustic guitar and voice.

American folk and Celtic music

One World Coffeehouse presents the Atwater-Donnelly trio with Kevin Doyle, who will present traditional American and Celtic folk songs and percussive dance this Saturday at 8 p.m. at he First Universalist Church at 59 Main St., Essex.

Tickets are $15. For reservations, call 978-768-3690. The concert is held at the First Universalist Church at 59 Main St. in Essex.

Furniture making

Gloucester’s John Cameron has been included in a new exhibit “Made in Massachusetts: Studio Furniture from the Bay State” at the Fuller Museum of Craft in Brockton.

This exhibits is part of “Four Centuries of Massachusetts Furniture,” a collaborative project involving 11 institutions from the MFA to Winterthur.

The opening reception is Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., and features a talk by Professor Brock Jobe of the Winterthur Museum.

Cameron’s piece “Saturn” is part of the show along with 38 other pieces representing the past 30 years of furniture making and design in Massachusetts. Two other pieces by Cape Ann artists are included, chairs by Charles Crowley and J.M.Syron/Bonnie Bishoff.

Gail McCarthy can be reached at 978-283-7000, x3445, or at