Dancing To Live Music During Debut 'Choose Love' Concert Event

Photo: Kendra Bobowick

Bill Wisnowski, left, and Leif Smith, right, accompany Susan Lang with the folk sounds of My Dad’s Truck on August 16, for the kick-off performance in the Choose Love Concert Series. The Sandy Hook Organization for Prosperity (SHOP) is hosting the event held outdoors, on the Sandy Hook Village Green, weekly through mid-September. 

Sunshine on Saturday, August 16 caught bright ribbons rippling. Hula hoops spun and children played while local musicians Susan Lang, Bill Wisnowski and Leif Smith — a/k/a My Dad’s Truck — performed folk music at the Sandy Hook Village Green.

The music at the first Choose Love Concert Series, including arts and crafts and other activities thanks in part to My Circles Of Love, a Trumbull-based organization that has reached out to Sandy Hook following 12/14. As the trio played, children and parents picked up hula hoops or kept a beat with drums provided by My Circles of Love. According to the group’s website, the organization is led by local residents Mike and Janet Maurice, who “want nothing more than to continue to help the wonderful village of Sandy Hook and community of Newtown move forward … We created the My Circles Of Love and began the Hand Drums & Hula-Hoops for Sandy Hook project to help them do just that.”

Last weekend, during the afternoon event hosted by Sandy Hook Organization for Prosperity (SHOP), Melissa Lopata, who serves as SHOP’s Marketing Director, was glad to see people enjoying the first of five concerts.

“We’re excited about bringing arts and culture to the community,” she said. With a ribbon swinging in one hand and her puggle on a leash in the other, she looked at families seated on the lawn and children playing. “The village is ready to transform into something wonderful and beautiful and we want people to experience it,” she said.

Glancing at the raised stage with the Pootatuck River running in the background, Ms Lopata said, “The stage is here, so we put it to good use.” Just a few feet away, Trumbull resident Isabella Burgos played with ribbons as sunlight lit up her curls. Behind her Ms Maurice swung a hula hoop around her hips and Ms Lang and her trio launched into a song with the refrain “It’s good to be back home again,” which, Ms Lang said to the crowd, “makes me think of Newtown.” Ms Maurice soon sat with Hayden Hughes a they two of them played with drumming sticks.

Elsewhere in a shady spot was Josh Nicosia, juggling with the Newtown Juggling & Circus Arts group, which often meets on Saturdays at the same location.

SHOP members recently announced the first of what they hope will be an annual “Choose Love” Outdoor Summer Concert Series in downtown Sandy Hook Village.

“This is an exciting time for evolution and exploration in Sandy Hook Village,” Ms Lopata said via an August 6 press release to announce the series, “and SHOP is excited to be a part of this initiative, bringing on musician and artist supporters willing to donate their time and talent, as well as sponsors who are excited about making a difference in the Sandy Hook community.” 

Performances will continue weekly until September 13, at Sandy Hook Village Green, 5 Glen Road. Each event will include a free, outdoor musical performance and tents with free arts, crafts and creative movement opportunities for children.

Upcoming performers include Griffin Anthony, with Americana/Soul Pop, August 23; Joe Proc & Off The Hook, with funk/jazz/reggae, August 30; the Beatles tribute band Ticket To Ride on September 6; and The Bruce Coviello Group, performing jazz standards and R&B for the season finalé on September 13.


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