Hedgelawn Performance Series at the Garfield Center

Garfield Center for the Arts
July 1, 2015

Hedgelawn Summer Performance Series has moved to Wednesdays this year! The Foundation sponsors three incredible guest performers July 8th, 15th, and 22nd 2015. The performances are a free to Playmakers, and are open to the public for a $5 dollar ticket price.

Wednesday, July 8th @ 2pm
Mary Martin’s daughter, Heller Halliday speaks to the Playmakers about life on Broadway with her mother

Wednesday, July 15th @ 2pm
Native American Pride Dancer, performing music and movement passed down by his ancestors for centuries.

Wednesday, July 22nd @ 2pm
Shizumi leads a Japanese swordsmanship workshop

For more information see the Garfield Center’s Web Site.

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Free Outdoor Concert featuring Tim Sparks at the Mainstay on July 11, 2015

Rock Hall, MD
July 1, 2015

Tim Sparks, an extraordinary fingerstyle guitarist will headline a free outdoor concert of early traditional country blues, gospel music, Jazz, Be Bop, classical and world music on the back deck of the Mainstay in Rock Hall, MD on Saturday July 11 at 7:00 p.m. Banjo Man (Tom McHugh) and Tom Anthony open the show with a set of folk, blues and mischief. Bring a comfortable chair. The concert will move indoors to the Mainstay in case of rain or extreme heat. Information is available at the Mainstay’s website www.mainstayrockhall.org. This free outdoor concert is sponsored by the Kent County Arts Council, People’s Bank, the Greater Rock Hall Business Association and The Mainstay.

Guitar Player Magazine has called Tim Sparks’ music “Fresh, exotic, and totally cool.” Acoustic Guitar Magazine has called it “rich and sensuous”, and guitarist Leo Kottke simply says “He’s really one of the best musicians I know.”

Born in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Sparks started picking out tunes by ear on an old Stella flat top during a bout of encephalitis that kept him out of school for a year. He taught himself to play the music he heard around him: traditional country blues and the gospel his grandmother played on piano in a small church in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

At 14, Sparks was nominated by a musically astute uncle for a scholarship at the prestigious North Carolina School of the Arts. There he studied the classics with Segovia protégé Jesus Silva while continuing to play all kinds of music, increasingly turning to classic jazz for inspiration. He adapted compositions by Jelly Roll Morton, Scott Joplin, and Fats Waller to the guitar, frequently reducing piano arrangements to their essence.

While recording three albums with the seminal vocal jazz ensemble Rio Nido, Sparks also became proficient in jazz styles from Brazilian to Be Bop. During this time he arranged Carla Bley’s composition “Jesus Maria” for Leo Kottke.

Sparks’ interest in classical music led him to adapt Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite for guitar, a work that has been cited as a significant contribution to solo guitar literature. For Sparks, it was a labor of love that earned him the National Fingerstyle Guitar Championship in Winfield, Kansas in 1993.
A sojourn abroad inspired his interest in European and Mediterranean styles, particularly the music of the Balkans. Upon his return to Minnesota, Sparks immersed himself in the ethnic music scene, performing on Oud and Saz in Middle Eastern ensembles and playing guitar in Greek, Klezmer, and Sephardic groups.
His work came to the attention of John Zorn, the saxophonist, composer, and curator of Tzadik Records in New York which led to a new cycle of compositions inspired by traditional Jewish melodies: “Neshamah” (1999), a solo effort. “Tanz”, which garnered Downbeat Magazine’s highest praise, five stars, in 2000 and “At the Rebbe’s Table” (2002). All three releases have been acclaimed by a broad spectrum of critics and listeners alike. Spring of 2003 saw the release of “Masada Guitars,” featuring interpretations of John Zorn’s music by Tim, Bill Frisell, and Marc Ribot.

In recent years, Sparks’ musical focus has come full circle, returning to the country blues and classic jazz that served as a springboard for his worldwide guitar explorations. His most recent recording “Sidewalk Blues” is a mix of ragtime and Jazz from New Orleans to Harlem, country blues and gospel.
Sparks says, “In my show, I play roots-Americana fingerstyle guitar instrumentals of country blues and gospel and then I segue into 1920’s jazz and Klezmer and then I move into world music and then I play some of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite…[my goal] is to make this wonderful music enjoyable and accessible for an audience.”

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James Alexander Retires

July 1, 2015

Photo: James Alexander Retires from Kent County service.
James Alexander was wished Happy Retirement during the July 30, 2015 County Commissioner Meeting. Mr Alexander was one of the original employees hire for the newly created County Roads Department in July 1985. He was the last of those still employed by Kent County upon his retirement.

Good Luck in your Retirement, James Alexander, and Thank You for your service to Kent County.

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Information from Chestertown PD Regarding Parking and Road Closure for 4th Fireworks

Chestertown Police Department:

** 4th of July Road Closure / Parking **
**Quaker Neck Road / 289 will be closed at 8:45PM on Saturday July 4th 2015.

**There will be NO PARKING from 8:00 PM until the fireworks display is over from the Washington College Boathouse to the Quaker Neck Bridge on Saturday July 4th 2015. This includes the armory parking lot.

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“The Art of Wine” Opens First Friday at RiverArts

Chestertown RiverArts
June 30, 2015

RiverArts ‘July exhibit opens First Friday, July 3, at 5:00 PM. This show, The Art of Wine, tips a hat to the emerging industry of grape growing and wine making on the Eastern Shore.

Join us for the opening reception and guess how many wine corks are in the glass vessel. Best estimate wins a prize. Examine the ‘aroma wheel’ used by wine experts to describe the tastes and aromas of different wines. Could some of these words be used to describe art?

See beautiful paintings celebrating the pleasure of wine in different settings and stages. We will be highlighting the work of local artists in oil, acrylic, and watercolor.

This show will also feature a beautiful hand crafted wine bench made of cedar and a large quilt of original design, representing the very finest fabric art. Unique photographs will also be on display.

Please join us to celebrate The Art of Wine. Purchase a gift for your favorite oenophile. Start off your Fourth of July weekend by raising a glass to family and friends. This interesting display will be open until Friday, July 31. Don’t miss it!

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Washington College Becomes Official Site For Horizons Student Enrichment Program

Washington College

Middle School grades are using campus classrooms, labs and food court for the six-week summer program run by Horizons of Kent and Queen Anne’s.

June 29, 2015

Washington College is now an official host site for the Middle School component of Horizons of Kent & Queen Anne’s, the nonprofit that provides low-income children in grades pre-K to 8 with a summer program of academic and cultural enrichment.

In announcing the agreement, local Horizons board chair John Christie said the College’s willingness to host the children in grades 6 through 8 is key to keeping them challenged and interested. “Part of the Horizons philosophy is to have the children grow up with the program and return each year to teachers and staff who know and care for them and are eager to see them succeed,” he said. “Middle schoolers are ready to separate themselves from the younger children, so having classes on the Washington College campus and eating lunch in the dining hall there keeps them motivated to stay with us. This official relationship will help us grow our middle school program and also will enhance our growing year-round programs in college counseling and job preparation for high school students. We are so grateful to the College for making this step with us. It truly broadens our students’ sense of what’s possible for their futures.”

Christie stressed that the elementary grades for Kent County will remain at Radcliffe Creek School, which has donated office space and use of its classroom and facilities to Horizons for the past five years. A new site at The Gunston School in Centreville is now serving Queen Anne’s County children in grades Kindergarten through Second and plans to add grades each year to reach the full K-8 spectrum.

Washington College had already forged ties with the program through the bi-annual Horizons Play Days that its student Peer Mentors host each fall and spring during the school year. In addition, for the past two years the program rented campus classroom and laboratory spaces for the middle-school students, who also made use of the Miller Library and enjoyed lunch in the Hodson Hall Commons Food Court two days a week. “It was something of a trial run for us to see how having the two Chestertown sites would work,” says Horizons executive director Bob Parks. “We are pleased to now make it official and expand the College site to five days a week.”

Washington College Chief of Staff Joseph Holt says hosting Horizons aligns well with the College’s commitment to Kent Forward, the initiative launched by Dixon CEO Dick Goodall to enhance public education and economic opportunities in the county. “These are bright, promising children, and we consider it a privilege to be involved in a program as effective and respected as Horizons,” Holt says. “Instead of losing progress over summer vacation, these students can return to their public school classrooms with more confidence in reading, math and science. That’s good for them and good for their teachers and classmates.”

Photo: Horizons middle schoolers at work on their robotics project in a classroom of William Smith Hall on the Washington College campus.

Horizons middle schoolers at work on their robotics project in a classroom of William Smith Hall on the Washington College campus. – Contributed Photo

Horizons was founded as a single program at the New Canaan Country School in Connecticut in 1964. Three decades later its founders launched the national affiliate program, which today boasts more than 40 sites across the U.S. (For more information, visit www.horizonsnational.org.) In 1995, Kent School brought the program to Kent County, becoming one of the first two national affiliates. The Kent County program moved to Radcliffe Creek School in 2009 and in 2014 changed its name to Horizons of Kent and Queen Anne’s to reflect the new site at The Gunston School.

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