, Newburyport, MA

March 14, 2013

Lookout: Wilson Music Series concludes on Sunday

The Lookout
Katie Lovett

---- — The Jean C. Wilson Music Series will conclude for this year on Sunday with a performance by trumpeter Richard Watson and organist Douglas Major.

The concert program at the First Religious Society in Newburyport offers three concerts annually, during the first three months of the year.

Sunday’s performance begins at 4 p.m. at the church, 26 Pleasant St., and will highlight pieces from the Baroque era to the modern. The programs includes works by Telemann, Tomasi, Hovanness and Damase, as well as Major’s “St. Michael Concerto.”

The duo is well known in New England. A Danvers native, Watson studied at New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. He has performed with the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra, and studied with Vincent Penzarella of the New York Philharmonic and James Pandolfi of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra.

Watson is the principal trumpet of Symphony New Hampshire and of the Granite State Symphony. He is also an assistant principal trumpet of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra and serves on the faculty at Salem State University.

A Salem resident, Major is an internationally recognized solo artist and has toured in North America, Europe and the Far East. He has been the organ soloist on tour with the Orchestre National de France and Lorin Maazel and participated in the American Organists’ Festival in Kiev.

Major is a composer of music for organ, synthesizer, choirs and chamber ensembles. He is the music director at Saint Michael’s Church in Marblehead.

The Wilson music series is named in honor of one of the program’s founders. It is operated by the First Religious Society Unitarian Universalist Music Committee. There is a suggested donation of $15 for adults and $10 for seniors. Students and children can attend free of charge.

Animals and Shapes takes off with new CD

Greater Newburyport’s Animals and Shapes celebrates the launch of its debut CD, “Wish Them Well,” tomorrow night with a release show Downstairs at The Grog at 13 Middle St. in downtown Newburyport.

The four-piece band includes Matt Beevers on guitar and back-up vocals, James Paone on bass and vocals, Brandon Almas on drums and Shawn Teal on keyboard and vocals. They have been working on their original brand of adventurous rock and roll for a little more than a year.

The new CD features seven original tracts and was produced by Chris Plante of The Brew. Animals and Shapes has opened for The Brew as well as Van Ghost and Will Dailey and has played Brighton Music Hall and Tammany Hall in Worcester in recent months.

Tomorrow’s 21-plus show at The Grog starts at 9 p.m., with Nevermorceaux opening the night. For more on Animals and Shapes, visit or check out the band on Facebook.

Craft market in Newburyport Saturday

A healing arts/craft market will be held on Saturday. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., artists and healers will sell fine crafts and offer healing sessions and readings at the church, 26 Pleasant St., Newburyport.

This is the first month for this ongoing new program. The healing arts/craft marketplace will run each month from March through November. Visit for more information.

Flutist performs with Merrimack Valley Philharmonic

Spend this St. Patrick’s Day with the Merrimack Valley Philharmonic Orchestra.

The resident orchestra of the Rogers Center for the Arts at Merrimack College will host an afternoon concert on Sunday, featuring a performance by flutist Marjorie Hogan of Rutter’s “Suite Antique.” The performance begins at 2:30.

Hogan will perform John Rutter’s “Suite Antique.” Hogan has a master’s degree of music from the Hartt School of Music and a bachelor’s degree from the University of South Florida.

The program also includes Rossini’s “La Gazza Ladra” (Thieving Magpie), Mascagni’s “Intermezzo” from the opera “Cavalleria Rusticana” and Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony or Symphony No. 6.

The Rogers Center at Merrimack College is located at 315 Turnpike St. (Route 114), North Andover. Tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for seniors and students. Admission for children age 12 and younger is $5. Tickets can be purchased at the door or via the website at

Composer premieres new piece

Newburyport’s David Schumacher, a professional composer and director of jazz for Pentucket Regional High School, will celebrate the premiere of his new piece, “Deconstructing Victor,” this weekend.

The piece will be performed by Joshua Thomas of the United States Coast Guard Band, who commissioned the work, on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. at the North American Saxophone Alliance Region 8 Conference hosted by Salem State University.

“Deconstructing Victor” is a solo saxophone sequel to Schumacher’s “Deconstructing Eddie.”

“Based on the music of virtuoso bassist Victor Wooten, ‘Deconstructing Victor’ employs the graceful unfolding development and minimalist approach to material that are integral to Wooten’s style,” Schumacher wrote in an email. “I explore the dichotomy of soulful groove and ethereal beauty I found captivating in his music. Though the piece certainly has its moments of virtuosity, ‘Deconstructing Victor’ is more about emotion and nuance, than the pyrotechnic audacity of ‘Eddie.’”

Schumacher is the director of the jazz orchestra, Sound Assembly, in New York City.

Jurney speaks at Art Association Sunday

Newburyport landscape painter Donald Jurney will host a discussion on Sunday at the Newburyport Art Association. From 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., Jurney will discuss his plein air art and offer some tips on the art form.

Following his presentation, Jurney will answer questions from the audience and critique one painting from each participant, if he or she desires.

“Both painters and non-painters alike are encouraged to attend,” Jurney said in a statement. “For the non-painter, to experience a painting from the point of view of the artist can often enhance one’s overall pleasure in appreciating art and make one a better-informed gallery/museum visitor.”

While known for his interpretations of the French countryside, Jurney also likes to explore the area marshes. His recently published book features drawings and musings from his personal sketchbooks that he carried with him while traveling through the French countryside.

Admission is $25 for the general public.

Film screening at Stage Two

Local independent filmmaker Mark Battle will host a premiere of his new short film, “The Janitor,” on Monday at Stage Two Cinema Pub, 109 Main St., Amesbury.

Filmed in New Hampshire and Massachusetts, the movie depicts “a ‘hitman cleaner” who is faced with a moral dilemma when he is ordered to finish a botched job.”

The film begins at 7 p.m. It is free to attend, but donations will be accepted.

Submit your favorite poems

For the 11th year, Newburyport High School will be hosting the Favorite Poem Project.

Started by former U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Pinksy, the National Favorite Poem Project is a way for the public to “celebrate the sheer pleasure of poetry.”

Locally, the community is doing the same. Newburyporters of all ages are urged to participate in the local project by submitting a favorite poem, along with a brief statement of why this poem has personal meaning.

Students will review and select 24 poems to be read at the Firehouse Center for the Arts at the end of the Newburyport Literary Festival on April 28. Poems must be received by April 1. Email it to or mail it to Deborah Szabo, Newburyport High School, 241 High St., Newburyport, MA 01950.

‘Four Days of Fury’ talk in Portsmouth

The Portsmouth Athenaeum is continuing their series looking at the intense blazes of the past century and how they restructured landscapes and downtowns.

On Wednesday, the documentary “Four Days of Fury” will be shown, detailing the largest forest fire to occur in New Hampshire at Marlow in 1941. Tracy Messer, film producer, and Charles Strickland, who helped fight the fire when he was 15 years old, will join in a discussion after the film is shown.

The program will begin at 7 p.m. and will be held in the Research Library of the Portsmouth Athenaeum at 9 Market Square in Portsmouth, N.H. Reservations are required. Call 603-431-2538, ext. 2. Admission is $10.

Don Campbell performs at Firehouse

Maine singer-songwriter Don Campbell will perform a tribute show to his longtime musical influence, singer-songwriter Dan Fogelberg, on Saturday, March 23.

The concert will begin at 8 p.m. and feature songs from the multi-platinum selling artist. Fogelberg passed away in 2007 from prostate cancer. Campbell has recorded 23 of Fogelberg’s songs from 11 albums and released a tribute CD, “Kites To Fly: Celebrating The Music Of Dan Fogelberg” last year. Campbell is making a donation from the CD sales to three charities in Fogelberg’s honor.

Campbell was the national winner of the Texaco/True Value Country Showdown at the Grand Ole Opry, Nashville, Tenn., and was named Male Artist of the Year at the Just Plain Folks Music Awards.

Tickets are $20 for the general public and can be purchased at the box office, online at, or by calling 978-462-7336.

Adaptive dance lessons in Groveland

Agnes Strecker Dance Studio in Groveland is running another session of its Adaptive Dance program. Lessons will be held each Saturday from 10 to 10:45 a.m. from now through June.

The program is designed to foster a love of dance for children and young adults with special needs. The primary goal of Adaptive Dance classes is for participants to experience the pure joy and happiness of dance and music through creative movement. The classes include stretching, modified ballet positions, skipping, galloping and jumping.

The free program is taught by a special education teacher. Registration is not required. Parents are welcome to assist their child. Call the Revere office to register, 781-284-9787.

Agnes Strecker Dance Studio is located at 908 Salem St. in Groveland on Route 97.

Groff speaks at Emma Andrews Library

The author series at Emma Andrews Library continues this month with a visit by Bethany Groff, the regional site manager for Historic New England. Groff will discuss her book, “A Brief History of Old Newbury: From Settlement to Separation,” on Thursday, March 21.

Groff recounts the history of some of Newbury’s founding families “and the tumultuous events in which they participated.”

The talk begins at 7:30 p.m. Light refreshments will be served. The program is free to attend, but registration is suggested. Call 978-358-8097. The library is located at 77 Purchase St., Newburyport.

Children’s art show at Valerie’s Gallery

The Newburyport shop Valerie’s Gallery is hosting a special art show through Sunday. The 30 pieces were created by students in kindergarten through third grade at Newburyport Montessori School and Inn Street Montessori School.

Kindergarten students at Newburyport Montessori School were inspired to create the artwork in their “Spilt Milk” project by scenes from the book, “It Looked Like Spilt Milk” by Charles G. Shaw.

“Kindergarten students blew white and gray paint through a straw into their desired shape,” shop owner Valerie Stanton wrote in an email. “They learned about color mixing and paint flow.”

There is a total of four different art projects displayed in the shop. The other three projects, created by students in the Lower Elementary School at the Inn Street Montessori School, include “Cave Paintings,” “Matisse Cut-Outs” and “Eat Cake!”


To submit a Lookout item, email it to, fax it to 978-465-8505 or mail it to The Daily News, 23 Liberty St., Newburyport, MA 01950. Follow me on Twitter at PortwatchNDN.