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The Kingdom Choir

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Merrill Auditorium, Portland, Maine

When I saw the press invite for The Kingdom Choir show up in my email, I jumped at the chance to cover their performance at Merrill Auditorium, and I am SO GLAD I did. Like many of you, I’d never heard of Britain’s The Kingdom Choir before their show-stopping performance of “Stand By Me” at the wedding of Prince Harry of Wales and Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, at Windsor Castle last May. Although the choir has been together under the capable leadership of conductor Karen Gibson since 1994, their performance at the royal wedding earned them international fame and a record deal. Their debut album, Stand By Me, came out in October of 2018 ahead of their first-ever North American tour. They closed their 30-show tour in Portland, Maine last night, and we were so lucky to be in the room to see this incredibly captivating, supremely talented group at their final show of their six week tour. 

Ahead of The Kingdom Choir’s show in Portland, show sponsor Portland Ovations put on three free community events. They hosted a Freedom Walk along Portland’s Freedom Trail to learn about Maine’s role in the Underground Railroad to Canada that over 200 people attended. The afternoon closed with a lecture about the religious and spiritual roots of gospel music from the Reverend Kenneth Lewis at the Green Memorial A.M.E. Zion Church in Portland. Just a couple of hours before the show, Ovations hosted a pre-performance lecture from Dr. Nicolás Alberto Dosman, the Director of Choral Studies at the University of Southern Maine School of Music titled The Trans-Atlantic British Influence on African Music. 

Dan and I grabbed dinner at Tandoor near Merrill Auditorium and made our way over to the venue so Dan could introduce me to Peter McFarland, who is the Senior Lead Event Coordinator at Portland Ovations. I’ve been writing concert reviews for whatbreesees.com for eight years, but had somehow never had a photo pass to use at a show at Merrill Auditorium before. Peter personally showed me all of the best spots to take photos from, which was incredibly kind and helpful of him. I took photos for the first couple of songs, but then I was ready to put my camera away and just soak in the wonder of The Kingdom Choir. They were a delight.

The Kingdom Choir–dressed in coordinating, bold blues, greens, and pinks–performed an Aretha Franklin medley, “Oh Happy Day,” a cover of Coldplay’s “Fix You,” “Lean on Me,” “Amazing Grace,” and, of course, “Stand By Me”–to name a handful. They sang at least one original song and two upbeat African gospel songs, during which they asked everyone to stand up and wave their hats or programs in the air in time with the music. Karen introduced many of the songs, talked a bit about the history of gospel music, and just generally brought positive energy and presence to the stage. She said that the choir is “so, so, so grateful” for the opportunities that have come their way over the last year. 

fullsizeoutput_ebdThe Kingdom Choir richly deserves the opportunities that have come their way. They were wildly talented, with rich, airy voices and insane range. Their stunning, engaging songs were choreographed and full of energy. I was lucky to be in the room for this performance and am so glad for The Kingdom Choir to be having this well deserved moment in the spotlight. I smiled from ear to ear the entire time they were on stage, and the energy they brought to us in Portland was warm and incredibly well received by an enchanted crowd. 

xo,

bree

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Noah Gundersen

Friday, October 11, 2019

Port City Music Hall, Portland, Maine

This was my third Noah Gundersen show, and I plan to be front and center to see him every time he comes to Portland to play forever. I saw Noah for the first time in 2017, opening for City and Colour at the State Theatre, and he stole the show. I saw Noah headline in 2018 at Port City Music Hall, and the audience was captivated. I didn’t hear a peep out of the crowd the entire night as we all just soaked in the feelings listening to Noah’s songs creates. A couple of people in the crowd were chatty this time around (unfortunately, but common these days), but it was clear that the overwhelming majority of the crowd was there because they’re totally into Noah Gundersen and were entranced. Just a heads up regarding concert etiquette at a Noah Gundersen show–if you’re whispering, you’re being too loud. Noah deserves your attention and everyone who’s a fan wants to hang on every word. 

Noah’s brother, Jonny, opened the show, and Noah and his band took the stage after a brief break. Sean (here’s his review of the show) and I found each other and our usual spot up front at Port City, and I introduced him to Elise and Stuart (who met because of Noah Gundersen and were right along the stage to see him together). I chatted with Sam Kyzivat from SnugHouse during the quick break, and my friend Bartlett showed up around then, too. The point is, Noah Gundersen brings good people together who share the bond of appreciating his heavy, soul-baring songs. 

fullsizeoutput_eb6.jpegNoah’s ability to cast a net and pull a crowd together for a meaningful shared experience is powerful. He doesn’t say much in between songs, but it doesn’t bother me because his songs are dripping with feelings and he emotes so much while performing. It’s palpable. I think Noah is really special. Noah played all but two songs from his 2019 album, Lover, which is *beautiful.* I can’t pick a favorite song, but the first three songs on the album–“Robin Williams,” “Crystal Creek,” and “Lover”–pack quite a punch.  

fullsizeoutput_ebc.jpegNoah introduced “Jesus, Jesus” by telling us that “I was basically a kid when I wrote it and my perspective has changed on some of it, but I guess the sentiment is the same.” Noah’s lyrics are heavy, including:

Jesus, Jesus there are those that say they love you

But they have treated me so goddamn mean

And I know you said ‘forgive them for they know not what they do’

But sometimes I think they do

I knew about Noah’s side project, Glorietta, but I learned about another side project, Young In The City, at this show. Noah told us his bassist Erik is also in the group and they played a Young In The City song,  “Annie,” for us. I found their full set at KEXP and look forward to listening. I will always seek to maximize my Noah Gundersen listening options. He’s incredibly talented.

I was SO glad to hear “The Sound” and “Send the Rain (To Everyone)” live. Noah introduced “Wild Horses” this way–“people are pissed about a lot of stuff. There’s a lot of stuff to be pissed about. I wrote this song as a reminder to myself to remember that we’re dealing with people. Even if we’re pissed at people, they’re still people.” Check out the lyrics we could take a lesson from: 

Maybe you would rather be angry

But I’d rather sleep at night

There’s a fraction to every outcome

There’s a spectrum of wrong and right

So give me a minute

To come to my senses

To look out the window

And stop building fences

Noah wrapped his superb set with “Lover,” and he and his band came back to the stage to play “All My Friends” as the encore. Noah’s music has such a powerful impact on me and I hope you’ll take a listen. Here’s his KEXP full set to check out. If you’re into feeling heavy feelings like I am, he’s your guy.

xo,

bree

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The Avett Brothers with Lake Street Dive

Friday, October 4, 2019

The DCU Center, Worcester, Massachusetts

I hadn’t seen The Avett Brothers in eight years, and my Dan had never seen them. They were on his concert bucket list, so I logged into Ticketmaster the day tickets went on sale and we decided to make the trip to Worcester (their closest stop to us) and spend the night in a B&B. When Lake Street Dive was announced as the opening act, I was even more sold on the idea.

We checked into our B&B and walked the five or so minutes to the DCU Center. I ran into Bobbi, my friend-in-music, in the lobby before the show, which was a great surprise. We got to our nice seats just a few minutes before Lake Street Dive took the stage. I was surprised by how big the venue was. This was my sixth Lake Street Dive show. The first time I saw them was back in 2011 at One Longfellow Square in Portland with probably 40 people in the room. I’m happy for their success but much prefer to enjoy them in a more intimate venue.

Lake Street Dive’s Rachael Price broke her foot “dancing alone in her living room” and so she sat on a giant blue velvet chair in the center of the stage. While she really tried to dance and move while seated and she sounds incredible no matter what, it really did affect the quality of the overall performance. Also, their sound was so echoey that it was really hard to hear. It was the worst Lake Street Dive experience I’ve had, though both issues were out of their control. I liked pianist Akie Bermiss on lead vocals for their cover of Steely Dan’s “Dirty Work” and am always glad to hear “You Go Down Smooth” in person.

This was my third Avett Brothers show. I saw them twice in 2011, but not since then. I fondly remember their cellist, Joe Kwon, jumping up and down on stage at the State Theatre while playing his cello. He was incredible. 

I was a little nervous during the break between bands because the sound had been so bad during Lake Street Dive’s set, but the sound was perfect for the rest of the night. Scott and Seth Avett welcomed us to their album release show for Closer Than Together, which came out earlier in the day. I was glad to see the Avett Brothers again. They sounded great and I’d sort of forgotten how many of their songs are part of my regular rotation, like “Murder in the City,” “Head Full Of Doubt/Road Full Of Promise,” and “I And Love And You.”

I was stunned by their new song, “We Americans,” that delves into patriotism in a heavy way:

The flag waves high and that’s how it should be 

So many lives given and taken in the name of freedom 

But the story’s complicated and hard to read 

Pages of the book obscured or torn out completely 

I am a son of Uncle Sam 

And I struggle to understand the good and evil 

But I’m doing the best I can 

In a place built on stolen land with stolen people

I have to mention Mia, the very, very drunk woman seated right behind us (of course) who shouted all through the Avett Brothers’ set. Mia shouted “soooooo goooooooooooood” so many times and talked loudly through every single one of their songs (except when she left to go find more drinks and got lost coming back to her seat). I kept my eyes open (because she was obviously drunk and asking her to quiet down would not have worked) and spotted a couple of seats across the aisle that we moved to so we could hear a bit less Mia for the last handful of songs. Are you going to a concert? Don’t be like Mia. Mia makes concerts not fun for people who drove a really long way to be there.

 Although the band didn’t say a whole lot or introduce many of the songs with some background (which is what I like), they played twenty songs and closed the night with “No Hard Feelings.” Dan was happy to have seen them for the first time, so, no matter what, I was glad to be there, too.

xo,

bree

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Mipso with Dan Mills 

Monday, August 12, 2019

Port City Music Hall, Portland, Maine

I saw Dan Mills play on campus at Bowdoin College back in 2009 when his uncle Barry was our president. I really enjoyed him then and have seen him on the rare occasions when he’s come back to Maine. Dan Mills played a co-headlining show with Mipso at One Longfellow Square in 2015. Mipso’s fiddle player, Libby, invited me to that show, and since I knew I liked Dan Mills, I was totally game to check them out for the first time. I think I’ve seen Mipso a half dozen times now, and I will always make an effort to see them whenever they come to town. 

My Dan really likes Mipso (and our musical tastes are not super compatible, so that’s saying something), so he joined me for the show. We had our first meal at Eaux and it was DELICIOUS. My former student is a sous chef there and I loved getting to see him in his element. We walked off some of our chicken and waffles on our way over to Port City Music Hall. We grabbed a spot up front and Dan Mills took the stage soon after we arrived.

Dan Mills interacted warmly with the audience. He joked that “when you’re married, you know exactly what’s not going to happen when your wife puts in her mouthguard” before playing a sweet song about a married couple. It’s on his new EP–Small Talk and Saturdays–that he recorded in Parsonfield, Maine at Great North Sound Society. Joseph and Libby from Mipso joined Dan Mills on “Girl from Baltimore.” He told us he’d decided to scrap the whole music thing, and then a beautiful new song poured out of him just after making that choice. He played it for us as his closing song, and it was so, so lovely. Maybe it’s called “Only One,” and the lyrics “there’s aint a lighthouse you could find or any highway exit sign that’s shining brighter than the one that gets you home” hit me right in the feels. I can’t wait to hear it again.

Mipso is lovely, and I am always happy to see them live. I appreciate their warm energy, regard for one another, and crystal clear, lyric-drive,n heartfelt songs. Mipso is Joseph Terrell (lead vocal and guitar), Jacob Sharp (mandolin), Wood Robinson (upright bass), and Libby Rodenbough (fiddle). They added Yan Westerlund on drums in 2017, which I’ve adjusted to even though my Dan will you tell you that I hate drums.

I can’t really pick a favorite Mipso song, but always enjoy “Down in the Water,” “Coming Down the Mountain,” “My Burden With Me,” and “Marianne.” Their cover of “Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes” is perfect. Mipso tours a lot, so they were especially excited to have their first day off in two weeks the day after the show. They told us they’ve always played Portland in the winter, so they were really excited to enjoy a summer day in Maine. 

I love when Mipso sings surrounding one microphone. There’s an intimacy to their shows that I really appreciate. Jacob shared the heavy inspiration behind “Hallelujah,” which I was so glad to know:

It’s a funny experience to be so intensely looking at our new songs and the emotions and experiences that we’ve had, because what we do, more than anything, is drive, and then second most, is being up here playing for you. We wrote “Hallelujah” after the Pulse shootings in Orlando. I remember starting to write it thinking that I was losing the ability to be shocked by mass shootings and that’s such a wild experience and a different type of hopelessness and helplessness than I’d felt before. I thought that surely it would feel dated by the time we sang it for people, but it feels realer and realer all the time. I remember being sad at that moment and now I just feel angry and it’s such bullshit that we can’t do anything. I think we can do something and I think there are people we can elect to office who will do something. I hope we can unite about a couple of things at least that seem pretty damn obvious.

The lyrics express that frustration, too–”We’ll say their names / Try our best to spread the blame / We’ll do the dance / We’ll hide from shame.” This song has power.

It’s always a pleasure to see Mipso, and I hope you’ll put them on your radar and check them out. This was a lovely night from start to finish!

xo,

bree

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Hiss Golden Messenger

Saturday, August 10, 2019

One Longfellow Square, Portland, Maine

My friend Kenny T is a diehard Hiss Golden Messenger fan. Actually, a lot of guys who love music in my life love Hiss Golden Messenger, too. Without knowing any of his music, I decided to head to One Longfellow Square in Portland on a summer Saturday night to check him out for myself. There were a lot of dudes in the audience. Like, a lot. I nabbed a second row center seat, chatted with my neighbor about the Newport Folk Festival, and got ready to see what’s so great about HGM. I always prefer a solo performer and a guitar, and apparently that’s not the norm for HGM shows, so I was lucky to see MC Taylor up close and stripped down to a man, a guitar, and his songs.

MC told us that he married a Mainer and plays these shows annually when they’re here to visit family. He joked that he knew we’d be a discerning crowd, so he had to put a little work in–“it’s just a lot of words, you know?” And he was spot on. HGM songs are complex, wordy poems accompanied by guitar. I felt like not knowing the lyrics in advance was a disadvantage. I would have needed to read his songbook in advance to get the full force of what MC was trying to express. It was crystal clear that other folks in the audience adored MC and these songs. I appreciate that the songs meant so much to my fellow concert goers, though I don’t think I’m a convert.

MC said his new album Terms of Surrender is full of songs that started out in the same way with just him and his guitar in a room. He said he could remember the conception of all of the songs. He told us about writing the album last year. He said:

Last year was a tricky year for many of us. I was at loose ends. I was needing to find something. So I checked around looking for a place I could take some instruments and go write for a few days and I happened upon this cottage in the foothills of Virginia and the people that owned that land were kind enough to let me come up. I brought some guitars, recording equipment, and mushrooms with me. Not a lot, just a little bit. Not enough to lose my mind. I ate a little bit and walked to this deserted hillside. It was really cold and absolutely gorgeous and I felt thankful to be there. I was watching the sunset and then I heard the voices of children playing and I thought the mushrooms were hitting me because the place was absolutely deserted. I stood there just listening to these kids play, and instead of being terrified, I just enjoyed being in this in between place where I didn’t know if I was having a hallucination or not. Turns out, there were kids through the trees. There was a house through the trees I hadn’t seen before. They were just playing and having a normal day. However, it helped me write this song (“My Wing”). I came back into the house and wrote it really fast. It was probably the first song that was written for this new record called Terms of Surrender. When I got in touch with the people to see if I could come stay there they said, ‘yes you really should, we have two wild cats up here. One is called Hiss and the other is called Golden Messenger.’ What unwieldy names for cats.

MC paid tribute to David Berman from the Silver Jews who’d died a few days earlier. He covered “Dallas” by the Silver Jews and said:

We lost a great, great writer and musician this week named David Berman. He was a writer and an incredible poet and musician and had a band called the Silver Jews. He had a tough life, but he was a genius. When I bought my first Silver Jews record in 1996, really listening to the words he was singing cracked my head open in the best way and showed me you could be a true poet. I don’t think there was anyone in my musical universe around my same age that had a way with words quite like him. He was the best we had, I would say. The thing that’s so good about his music and his writing is that it’s hilarious and devastatingly sad at the same time. That’s what life feels like. 

The first track on MC’s new album is “I Need a Teacher.” He told us:

I have a lot of teachers in my family–my parents were both public school teachers. My wife is a public school teacher. My sister is a high school counselor. My kids both go to public school. I’ve been surrounded by teachers my entire life. When I wrote this tune, I wasn’t thinking specifically about public school teachers, but the video went down to the teacher walkout in Raleigh, North Carolina where I live. Teachers were out in force protesting for better pay and support for their students, our kids. Seems like a no brainer to me. So I asked the video director, my friend Derek, a complicated mission. He put together the pieces and thought to send a film crew to the rally. I said “if you can make a video that makes me cry, I’m all for it.” I was weeping when I watched the first edit of the video. Are there any teachers in the crowd tonight? Thank you all for doing that. That’s a hard, hard job. A lot harder than what I’m doing. This is for you guys. 

I raised my hand when MC asked if there were any teachers in the audience and we made eye contact. It was so nice to be thanked publicly for being a teacher. This moment really won me over. 

I looked up the set lists for both nights, and very few (if any) songs were repeated from the first HGM show on Friday night to the next. I think that’s awesome. It was also pretty clear that the folks in the crowd were devoted fans and many attended both nights. 

I loved MC’s story about “Happy Birthday, Baby”:

I have a daughter named Ione and she’s six years old and really feeling her oats now. I think she’s doing what I think that means. When she was about to turn five years old, she caught a snippet from “Biloxi”–‘six years old and truth be told you’re the only one’–was a bit of a birthday song for my son who is four years older than her. She got angry and didn’t like that song and said it wasn’t fair that I ‘played that song for Elijah.’ There is a song on the record called Ione’s song, but she didn’t know that, or maybe she didn’t like that song. So I told her I’d write her a song for her birthday. I wrote a song called “Happy Birthday, Baby” just to make it absolutely clear. I finished it and recorded it in my studio and added extra parts and the whole family was there and she listened intently and when it was done she said ‘thank you. It’s good. Let’s have cake.’ Since I’ve gone around the globe playing a song for Ione’s birthday I realize it’s probably more a song for me than for her and I hope she will grow into this tune. 

MC introduced his last song–“Caledonia, My Love”–telling us this song was one of those rare ones that fell into his lap. Before he played, he sincerely thanked us for being there. I enjoyed how humble and kind MC Taylor was, and how clearly he respected and appreciated his fans. He closed the night saying:

Thank you all for being here and for letting me do this job and to listening to these songs for so many years. It’s unbelievable to me that I get to do this. Whatever existential drama I go through on a day to day basis trying to be a poet and play an acoustic guitar, I am so deeply grateful to you for coming and listening to these songs. 

I am glad I checked Hiss Golden Messenger out for myself. I appreciated his sincerity and humility. I’m not sure I fell in love with his songs, but I could see so clearly that many people have, and I’m glad for them. It’s important to have music in your life that matters to you. MC Taylor has clearly provided that for a lot of people.

xo,

bree

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Lori McKenna with Hailey Whitters

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Port City Music Hall, Portland, Maine

I’ve been seeing fewer and fewer shows these days. There are two reasons for the lack of live music in my life. The first is that my partner works in theater and I’ve seen 26 plays in the last year alone. The heart of the matter, though, is that audiences seem to be more and more full of people lacking basic concert etiquette these days, and it’s just not fun to go to concerts when people in the audience push, talk non-stop, and record the whole show through their phone screen. I’ve lost my patience with it, so I’m being a lot more picky about the shows I am choosing to attend. I am primarily attending seated shows, where pushing is basically impossible, because people can’t show up late and steal your chair. All of these conscious decisions absolutely melted away from my anxious concert-going brain on Sunday night, though, and I am so grateful for it.

Lori McKenna and her band came to Port City Music Hall to play her album, Bittertown, on its 15th anniversary, and it was a GA seated show. I showed up just after the doors opened (after stopping on Washington Avenue to support Hannah Daman’s [of Sibylline] new delicious maple creemee food truck venture), and found an empty second row center seat. I was blown away by the show in every sense and was so grateful to my fellow concert-goers who were attentive and came to listen. It was perfect and was such an unexpected joy. 

Hailey Whitters took the stage in vintage overalls Lori McKenna gave her, and she just blew me away. I try to never miss an opening act, and Hailey exemplifies the reason why. You just never know who you might fall in love with. Hailey is 29 and from a small town in Iowa. She’s been living in Nashville–co-writing and performing–for 12 years, and she has a voice and songs with lyrics that pierced me in the heart. I was hit right in the feels by “The Days” and “Heartland.” Hailey told us she wrote “Ten Year Town” with fellow songwriter Brandy Clark about feeling low and broken hearted by Nashville and the music industry and being away from home for ten years and not having a lot to show for it. She’d just found out she was going to get to play the Grand Ole Opry later in the week because of that song and told us, “if you have a dream and you feel like giving up–don’t.” I laughed and cried moments apart while she sang “Janice and the Hotel Bar.” Her album, The Dream, is due to be released later this year and I can’t wait to get my hands on it. I am so sure Hailey’s on the cusp of getting the recognition she’s worked so hard for. Check her out in Rolling Stone

I heard a couple of women behind me talking about music during the break, so I turned around and they kindly let me join the conversation. I enjoyed the chat with Jo, who owns Cup of Joe in Portsmouth (Jo–I am listening to Erick Baker on repeat right now!), and Fiona from Bait Bag, a feminist punk trio from North Haven I’d heard of because my friend Aimsel is nuts for them.

Lori McKenna came to the stage with her band–Jamie Edwards, John Sands, Paul Kochanski, and Lyle Brewer–after a long break. She told us that Bittertown came out three days after her son David was born. Lori played the entire album straight through and she told us the story behind each and every song. It was my concert dream! She joked that she had to look most of the songs up on Google to have other people teach her how to play them again. She made us laugh a lot all night long. She said, “I have five children and they only really care about whether or not they’re going to get fed after school when they come home and I’m writing a song at the table in my sweatpants.” I loved hearing about the songs from Lori. She told us she could tell when she learned certain things about her own life and when she learned how to play certain chord progressions and with a drummer. We were in the palm of her hand all night, and I remember thinking about halfway through her set that I hadn’t heard a peep from anywhere in the room the whole set. We were all there together to hear these stories, and that really meant something to me. So, it made me laugh even more when Lori told us, “this is a master class in the worst things you can say before or after songs,” because she did everything so right, from start to finish.

We laughed throughout the evening, but especially when Lori told us about her dad, Frank Giroux, who worked for Boston Edison for 42 years and gave his six children a hard time when they didn’t turn off the lights at home. He’d say, “I work for the electric company, I don’t own the electric company.” She joked, “I can’t get away from these utility people. My husband works for the gas company in the maps and records department, which is the name of my publishing company” and she made us promise to call Dig Safe and wait two days for Gene McKenna to see if he sprays a G or does not spray a G in your yard before you dig even a little hole to put up a new mailbox.” 

I was particularly glad to hear a favorite Lori McKenna song, “If You Ask,” in person again. I think I’ve only seen Lori three times live–once in 2006 and again in 2012. All three times have been such a pleasure. She is the best of the best.

Lori’s high school in Stoughton, Massachusetts is about to be torn down, so her last two kids will attend the brand new Stoughton High School that’s been built adjacent to the old one that’s inspired so much of her songwriting. She told us there was never a timeframe that would have made sense for her and Gene to move away, so they stayed put and can walk to her dad’s house and the house her husband Gene grew up in.

Lori said that a lot of songwriting is writing songs that no one ever hears, so she was especially grateful to get to play songs for an audience. She told us that she’d talked about that aspect of songwriting with Liz Rose and Hillary Lidnsey on Malcolm Gladwell’s Broken Record. They wrote an absolutely stunning song together inspired by David Letterman, who on a Netflix special interviewing Howard Stern, said “my son is 14 years old. What’s the world going to be like when he’s my age?” It inspired When You’re My Age,” which had the audience in tears.

Lori played “Humble & Kind” and then Hailey joined her on stage for “Girl Crush” and “Happy People.” Lori told us that they first time she and Hailey ever wrote a song together she showed up in Stoughton and wanted to write a song called “Happy People.” Lori said that the best parts of the song came from Hailey–especially the parts about how we affect one another.  Lori said “It’s the happiest damn song I’ve ever helped write, so we’ll leave you with this and I hope you’re the happiest people we know.” I was a whole lot happier after this show, for sure! Thank you Lori! I sure hope you’ll come back to Maine, too, Hailey! 

xo,

bree

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The Merrymeeting Community Band

Friday, August 2, 2019

The Gazebo at City Park, Bath, Maine

My friend and colleague Dennis texted me in the late afternoon to let me know that some of our recent Mt. Ararat graduates would be playing a couple of hours later in Bath at the gazebo with the Merrymeeting Community Band. I packed my folding chair and made my way over to see them. I texted Dot, who also teaches with us and lives in Bath, and she came right over, too. I’m really glad we were there. It was so nice to see a multigenerational band playing medleys of Beatles songs, Michael Jackson hits, and Brahms.

Look at all those recent Mt. Ararat graduates!

I was really surprised by the quality of the performance when I found out they’d only had six rehearsals! There was something for everyone to enjoy, and director Margie Landis introduced every song with a story, which I love, and she warmly acknowledged every graduating senior in the band, too. I didn’t know a couple of my kids were even in the band until she did that because they were too many rows back for me to see them seated. I’m so proud of our wonderful MTA grads and am really glad to have been in the park to see this entertaining show.

xo,

bree

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