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"Random Acts Of Music" At Edmond Town Hall, April 12; Benefit Event For HealingNewtown

Newtown Cultural Arts Commission and HealingNewtown Arts Space has announced “Random Acts of Music,” a benefit concert to support The HealingNewtown Project.

The concert will be Friday, April 12, beginning at 7 pm. It will be performed in Edmond Town Hall Theatre, 45 Main Street in Newtown.

Featured performers will include Boplicity, Brett Boles, Mary Beth Sippin & The Goldrush Band, Smokebomb Mondays, The Newtown High School Jazz Ensemble and The Newtown High School Singers.

Boplicity is one of the premier jazz groups in the area, playing everything from be-bop to fusion, from swing to Latin, from cool jazz to hot blues. The members of Boplicity are comprised of great musicians who have been performing in various groups for many years, and who love and respect the music they play. Various members of Boplicity have played at the Kennedy Center, the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) and even CBGBs.

As a special treat Kurt Eckhardt (director of the NHS Jazz ensemble) will be joining Boplicity on trombone for this performance.

Additionally, Boplicity will be performing its their new composition, “Song For Our Children,” which was recorded specifically for the recently released Voices For Heroes benefit CD. Copies of Voices For Heroes will also be at the benefit concert.

Brett Boles is an award-winning musical theater composer, lyricist, and librettist. He has written four musicals to date, one of which is collaboration with playwright Bill C. Davis (Mass Appeal, Avow) for which he wrote the music. He also writes stand-alone pieces in a contemporary musical theater style.

Mr Boles is currently a member of the Tony Award Winning BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theater Workshop in NYC. His musical Foreverman ran at the New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF) in July 2012 where it received an award for Outstanding Orchestrations and the New World Stages Development Award.

He will join Boplicity for a few of the band’s numbers.

The Goldrush Band is a cutting-edge acoustic country band that brings a powerful blend of country and bluegrass energy to the stage. What makes the Goldrush sound distinct is a unique mix of instruments augmented by soaring vocals. Acoustic guitar, 5-string banjo, upright bass and mandolin deliver a solid bluegrass foundation that is beautifully colored by the rich tones of piano and pedal steel guitar.

Featuring vocalist Mary Beth Sippin, Goldrush provides exciting entertainment both in sight and sound. The Goldrush repertoire features a mix of original songs, as well as classic country, swing, acoustic and traditional bluegrass songs.

The NHS Jazz Ensemble’s recent accolades include first place and a Superior rating at a national music festival last spring in Virginia Beach, Va. Four current members — Liam Reynolds and Andrew Jensen, trombone; Aimee Alexander on trumpet, and Richie Sadlon on tenor saxophone — have been honored with selection to the 2013 Connecticut All-State Band and Jazz Ensemble.

The Newtown High School Singers are an after school auditioned a capella group. It is quite an honor to be chosen to be part of Singers and most students, once they join, remain with the group until graduation. Students are required to both sing and sight read for the audition. Only 20 students are selected to be part of Singers.

The NHS Singers have performed at the town’s annual Ram Pasture tree lighting ceremony, the annual Madrigal Feast, Voices for Haiti Benefit Concert, among other performances.

Under the direction of Jane Matson, students in the group rehearse two days a week and are responsible to learn the music on their own time. Ms Matson’s professional credits include playing the Narrator in Joseph, Maria in West Side Story, and the mistress and Eva Peron in Evita. In her first year directing, along with Brian White, Ms Matson won the Connecticut High School Theater Award for Outstanding Musical Direction for NHS performances of Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

Smokebomb Mondays is a seven-piece ska band that has been playing around western Connecticut for almost three years. The band’s music infuses elements of rock, ska, and punk to create a unique, fun, and dance-able sound. They have played at numerous teen centers, battle of the bands, and other venues. They released their first EP, I’d Like To Think The World Is On My Side, in late 2012.

Also in 2012, Smokebomb Mondays took first place in the Connecticut Association of Schools BandJam, beating out bands from all over the state. In addition, special outstanding musicianship awards were given to a handful of the musicians, including Smokebomb’s drummer, Matt Spencer.

HealingNewtown is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization located at 5 Queen Street.

Major support for the HealingNewtown project is being provided by the Cultural Alliance of Western Connecticut and DECD Connecticut Office of the Arts with planning, development, and implementation.

First Selectman E. Patricia Llodra extends sincere thanks for the generosity of caring persons in creative communities and encourages those interested to please work through the Cultural Commission so that efforts may be better coordinated and produce the desired outcomes. 

The Newtown Cultural Commission serves as a liaison for all arts related offers to help families and Newtown. HealingNewtown has been charged to serve as the official curator, custodian, archivist and cataloger of all artwork donated to the town of Newtown from around the world.

Nearly 1,000 offers have been received so far from visual and performing artists, arts therapists, arts organizations, and various stakeholders looking to connect with this effort. The Commission receives at least 15-20 offers a day regarding the arts, including offers to conduct workshops and programs, to donate art, music and dance performances, fundraising events, murals and memorials.

“This group is archiving all these very kind offers for us to review when we are ready to consider our plans for a permanent memorial,” said Mrs Llodra.

Tickets for “Random Acts of Music” are $15, and available directly through vendini.com as well as at HealingNewtown.org (which will redirect visitors to the ticket vendor’s site).

All proceeds will benefit HealingNewtown, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization managed by Newtown Cultural Arts Commission with support from The Cultural Alliance of Western Connecticut and The Connecticut Office of the Arts.

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