By Chet Greason, Staff reporter
It’s been a melodious summer to say the least, with dynamite acts performing at Kin Summerfest, the Stonetown Heritage Festival, the Black Angus, and many other fine venues. Now the St. Marys Museum wishes to add its name to the list with the Melodies at the Museum concert series on the evenings of Aug. 8 and 15.
“There are so many different types of musicians in St. Marys, so the more events and venues there are to feature them, the better,” says organizer and Museum Curator Amy Cubberley. “We’re trying to keep the momentum going from all of these other great musical events.”
Cubberley says she’s hoping the event proves popular, as it has the potential to become a regular fundraiser for the museum. Admission will be by donation and both shows will feature popular acts that are sure to draw a big crowd.
“They’re acts that probably wouldn’t perform at a venue like Beer Tent, so this gives them an opportunity to perform locally as well.”
On the bill for Wednesday, Aug. 8 is a jazz trio featuring musician Jennifer Thorpe. The renowned singer will be accompanied by Steve Clark on bass and Steve Smith on guitar. “I’ll be singing and looking good…That’s my job,” Thorpe laughs.
She says attendees can expect to hear a mix of jazz standards, re-worked Canadian folk music, and maybe a few pop tunes. Thorpe has also recently recorded a demo with some of the biggest names in Canadian jazz. The recording will be released on her website, www.jenniferthorpe.com, in the near future.
“I love the museum,” says Thorpe. “My children like the activities upstairs; we love going to the exhibits, the staff…I’m very happy that I was asked to be part of the museum’s inaugural summer music series.”
Former St. Marys resident Mark Fletcher will headline the evening performance on Wednesday, Aug. 15. The well-known piper, back from a recent North American tour with his celtic band Rant Maggie Rant, will play a number of unique instruments for his solo engagement, including the Scottish small pipes, the tenor mandola (a larger version of the mandolin), and the Irish whistle.
“I love doing these smaller concerts. They’re more intimate, and they allow me to play things in my repertoire I don’t get to play in a group situation,” he says.
Fletcher adds that his performance will be predominantly Celtic in nature, with the addition of some blugrassy/Appalachian originals as well.
“I play a lot of music from lesser known Celtic nations,” he explains. “Everybody knows Scotland and Ireland, but people forget about Brittany in Northwest France, or Galicia in Northern Spain.” Fletcher says that listeners are always interested in hearing these more obscure yet beautiful styles.
Both concerts begin at 7 p.m. and run until 8. The stage will be set up on the grounds just northwest of the Museum’s archives. Attendees are reminded to bring their own lawn chairs or blankets.
“Cadzow makes a perfect venue for an outdoor concert,” says Cubberley. “Other communities have put on shows like this successfully, and we think we can too.”