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Guilford Performing Arts Festival: Highlights

Published Sep 13, 2017 • Last Updated 03:34 pm, September 12, 2017

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The inaugural Guilford Performing Arts Festival will run Thursday through Sunday, Oct. 12 to 15 at various venues throughout town. Here are some highlights. The performances, times, and venues were still being finalized as we went to press, so check for the final schedule in October.—Pem McNerney

Thursday, Oct. 12

• 3 to 4:30 p.m. Bach Around Town—Yale School Of Music, First Church of Christ, Scientist, 49 Park Street. Street Violinist Katherine Arndt, who has performed as a featured soloist with several orchestras, will play Johann Sebastian Bach’s Sonata No 1 in G Minor, Adagio, Fugue, Sicillienne, Presto.

• 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Connecticut Coalition of Poets Laureate, Guilford Free Library, 67 Park Street. The Poets Laureate of Guilford, Canton, Middletown, Norwalk, Old Saybrook, and Wallingford will each read three poems. Preceding these featured poets, there will be an open mic invitation to accomplished and aspiring poets of all ages to present one original composition to a live audience.

• 6:30 to 8 p.m. Music in the Marketplace: Witchcraft, An Autumn Cabaret. The Marketplace at Guilford Food Center, 11 Whitfield Street. Song stylist Julie Harris and guitarist Stephen Roane will perform fall favorites from the Great American Songbook, starting with “September Song,” made famous by Frank Sinatra, and ending in Halloween with tunes about ghosts and witches.

•7 to 9 p.m. Vivid Ballet. Calvin Leete Elementary School, 280 South Union Street.

•7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Madison Lyric Stage—Outcasts And Innocents. First Church of Christ, Scientist, 49 Park Street. Tenor Marc Deaton will present a compilation of what he believes are some of Benjamin Britten’s best moments on stage, together with a pianist, French horn, and guest soprano.

• 8 to 9:30 p.m. Lara Herscovitch. Bittersweet Barn 316 Little Meadow Road (in rear). Lara Herscovitch, a modern American singer-songwriter-poet-performer.

Friday, Oct. 13

•1 to 2 p.m. Ballroom Workshop. Arthur Murray Dance Studio, 11 Water Street. Arthur Murray and staff will conduct a ballroom dance workshop featuring many different styles and genres for all ages and abilities.

•1 to 2 p.m. Circle Consortium. Guilford Free Library Community Room, 67 Park Street. Circle Consortium performs music from the Renaissance, Baroque and Classical eras, ragtime and music of today.

• 3 to 4 p.m. Bach Around Town—Yale School Of Music. First Church of Christ, Scientist, 49 Park Street. Ariel Horowitz, violinist, will perform Johann Sebastian Bach’s Partita No 2 in D minor, Allemande, Courante, Sarabande, Gigue, and Chaconne. Horowitz co-founded The Julliard School’s Heartbeat Project, an arts education initiative on the Navajo Reservation.

• 5 to 6:30 p.m. George Manstan Big Band. Nathanael B Greene Community Center 32 Church Street. Live or relive the elegance of the 1940s by listening to the music of the Kings of Swing.

• 6:30 to 8 p.m. Original Songs for Piano and Guitar. The Marketplace at Guilford Food Center, 77 Whitfield Street. The program will feature songwriters from an afternoon workshop at Guilford High School.

• 6:30 to 8 p.m. “The Best of Rodgers and Hammerstein”—Opera Theater of Connecticut. First Church of Christ, Scientist 49 Park Street Professional singers from Opera Theater of Connecticut (OTC) will present “The Best of Rodgers and Hammerstein,” a concert of highlights from Broadway hits, such as Oklahoma, Carousel, South Pacific, and The King and I. The performance includes witty and informative narrative by OTC Artistic Director Alan Mann.

• 8 to 9 p.m. #trending. Nathanael B Greene Community Center, 32 Church Street. #trending, presented by In Medias Arts, is an audience-participation show perfect for all ages and similar to a Choose Your Own Adventure book with choices, dead ends, and surprises. Using social media, the audience will vote on the path the main character takes. They will be able to post to a “live wall,” interact with the character and each other, comment on the action, post selfies, and participate in the entire process.

• 8 to 9:30 p.m. Guilford Ramblers Folk in the Barn—Phil Rosenthal. Bittersweet Barn, 316 Little Meadow Road (in rear). Led by Guilford musician Phil Rosenthal, a former Connecticut State Troubadour.

Saturday, Oct. 14

• 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Dudley Farm String Band. Dudley Farm, 2351 Durham Road. Dudley Farm String Band brings together bluegrass, traditional, and progressive styles, playing old-timey standards, as well as progressive folk or rock and roll sets.

• 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Stepping Sounds—Jarrod Ratcliffe. Guilford Free Library Community Room, 67 Park Street. Stepping Sounds is an interactive sound installation, primarily for children, and fun for everyone.

• 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Community Band Workshop/ Nathanael B Greene Community Center 32 Church Street. Mark Gahm, a music teacher at Guilford High School, will conduct a community band workshop. Some of the participants may perform in the Guilford Town Band concert in the afternoon. If interested, bring along your instrument. Register at

• 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Instrument Discovery Zone—Neighborhood School of Music. First Congregational Church, 110 Broad Street.

• 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Choral Workshop and Performance Of Vivaldi’s Gloria—Kevin Buno. Guilford High School, 605 New England Road. Kevin Buno, director of Choral Ensembles at Guilford High School and director of Music Ministry at St. George Church, will conduct a choral workshop, followed by a group performance of Vivaldi’s Gloria. Register at

• 1 to 2 p.m. The Performer’s Survival Guide: Staying Healthy During Rehearsals and Performances, an Interactive Presentation—Diana Harris. This workshop is designed to promote greater health awareness among all types of performers. It will close with a constructive rest meditation.

• 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Songs of Love and Lamentation—Sir Charles Productions. First Church of Christ, Scientist, 49 Park Street. Sir Charles Productions presents soprano Jillian Swanson and tenor Thomas Heilman, along with Elm City Consort.

• 2 to 3 p.m. Guilford Town Band. Nathanael B Greene Community Center, 32 Church Street. Bring along your musical instrument and join Mark Gahm and other members of the Guilford Town Band in an afternoon concert. Register at

• 2:30 to 9:30 p.m. (with a break from 6 to 7:30 p.m.) Sandy Connolly Presents: “The Rock Room.” Arthur Murray Dance Studio 11 Water Street. Sandy Connolly will emcee “The Rock Room” during the festival, as well as perform with her band.

2 p.m. Red Planet. Americana, folk,

funk, blues, bluegrass, rhythm and

blues, and rock.

3 p.m. Cherry Pie Jump. Swing, rock

abilly, Latin and a few sultry ballads

with Jilian Grey and the boys.

4 p.m. Stu Jones & Family

5 p.m. Pinstripe. Rock-oriented

originals and classic covers.

7:30 p.m. The Racket Downstairs

An eclectic, electric indy rock


8:30 p.m. Sandy Connolly Band:

Southern Blues Blues, jazz, jazz

fusion, folk, and heavy rock.

• 3 to 4 p.m. Bach Around Town—Yale School of Music. First Church of Christ, Scientist, 49 Park Street.

• 4 to 5 p.m. Another Octave—Connecticut Women’s Chorus. Christ Episcopal Church on the Guilford Green, 11 Park Street. Standard concert pieces, as well as traditional and contemporary music reflecting women’s lives.

• 4 to 5 p.m. Tuxedo Junction—Pat Todd. Nathanael B Greene Community Center, 32 Church Street Tuxedo Junction: The Sounds of Swing presents an hour of the American Song Book, keeping our midcentury musical heritage alive and well.

• 5 to 6:30 p.m. Yale School of Drama. Guilford Free Library, 67 Park Street.

• 6:30 to 8 p.m. Broadway Squared—Carly Callahan, Susan Yankee, Eric Dillner, and Dan Hague. First Church of Christ, Scientist, 49 Park Street. Favorite Broadway hits as duets, trios and quartets, including songs from Kiss Me Kate, The Secret Garden, Into the Woods, and Cabaret.

• 7 to 9 p.m. Dances of Universal Peace Shoreline Unitarian Universalist Society 297 Boston Post Rd, Madison (formerly East Guilford—just over the border). Join hands and form a circle to sing, dance and meditate. Touch the spiritual essence within and recognize it in others.

• 8 to 9:30 p.m. Folk in the Barn: Busker Stories, Blues, and Brassens—Joe Flood. Bittersweet Barn 316 Little Meadow Road (in rear) Songwriter Joe Flood will tell in story and song how playing blues, old-time jazz, rock and roll and folk music on the streets of the world’s great cities led him to translate the songs of legendary songwriter Georges Brassens and how he met some of America’s music greats along the way.

Sunday, Oct. 15

• 1 to 2 p.m. Festival of Dance. Nathanael B. Greene Community Center, 32 Church Street. Limelight Dance, Eastern Connecticut Ballet, Starship Dance, and Shoreline Ballet.

• 1 to 2 p.m. A Jazzy Lunch—Gary Grippo. Quattro’s Italian Restaurant, 14 Water Street. Dr. G, orthopedic surgeon and jazz musician.

• 2 to 3 p.m. Songs of Woody Guthrie—Phil Rosenthal. Guilford Free Library, 67 Park Street. Rosenthal performs songs written by legendary folk musician Woody Guthrie and explains the events that inspired the composition of each song.

• 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Neighborhood Doso Dance Band. Nathanael B Greene Community Center, 32 Church Street. Social dancing to the live music of a pan-generational group whose musicians.

• Skunk Misery Ramblers. Date, time, location TBD. Check website.

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