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Exciting new additions to JCCNS Summer Camps

March 21, 2014 10:00 AM
The following was submitted by the JCC of the North Shore:

The JCC of the North Shore is proud to announce several exciting additions to its award winning Summer on the Hill camps, including the arrival of new Camp & Community Engagement Director Josh Ackman. 

Ackman has a strong background in youth programming. 

“I bring a passion for camping and Jewish education,” Ackman said. “I look forward to making an impact in the lives of our campers and members, working with the amazing JCC staff and creating some interactive and innovative programs.”

Ackman’s role is year-round and he will be collaborating with local Jewish agencies on youth and family programming. You can reach Ackman at

The JCC is also welcoming Melissa Caplan as director of its new Special Needs Inclusion program at Summer on the Hill camps. The program will welcome children ages 3 years and older with special needs.

“They’ll have an opportunity to make new friends and share new experiences, but mostly – to feel like part of their peer group, to have a true sense of belonging,” said Caplan, who has more than 20 years of experience working with children with disabilities.

For more information about the Special Needs Inclusion program, contact Melissa Caplan at 

“We are excited to work with Josh and Melissa and to offer families even more impressive programming this summer and year round,” said Exec. Director Marty Schneer.

Summer on the Hill camps are located on the JCC’s 11-acre campus in Marblehead and welcome toddlers to teens. New this summer: Outdoor Adventure Camps (featuring an overnight), Kids Action Zone and J’s Got Talent Music Camp. Popular specialties are returning, too, including Robotics, Dance, Premier Hoops, Golf, Soccer, Art and more.

Learn more at JCCNS.ORG and come to the Camp Open House on Sunday, March 30, 1:00-3:00pm. The JCCNS is located at 4 Community Road, Marblehead. You can also call the Summer on the Hill Camp Office at 781-476-9916.

Exciting new spring gala will benefit Marblehead’s Premier Arts Organizations

March 20, 2014 10:00 AM
The following was submitted by the Marblehead Arts Association: 

An exciting evening of art, music, dancing and food, is being added to Marblehead’s spring event calendar thanks to two of the North Shore’s premier arts organizations. The Marblehead Festival of Arts and the Marblehead Arts Association have come together to create ArtsFusion, a gala in support of the arts, on Saturday May 3 from 6:30 to 10:30 at Abbot Hall in Marblehead, MA. 

The evening will start with passed and stationary hors d’oeuvres, libations, interactive experiences and live music while guests in their party finery peruse silent auction. Following the close of the silent auction, a fast-paced live auction will begin, featuring selected artists from the North Shore and beyond. A band will go into full swing once the live auction ends, with dancing and dessert to round out a fabulous evening. 

“We’ve seen that the majority of artists and art appreciators supporting our organizations are the same,” said Lynne DeVoe, president of the Marblehead Festival of Arts. “So it doesn’t make sense to make them choose—by attending this event, they can assist both organizations and have a fantastic night out.”

Emily Cantor, MAA president agrees. “The Marblehead Arts Association is essentially a home base for artists year round, while the Festival brings people from all over New England for a wonderful annual event. ArtsFusion is a celebration of what each organization does for our fabulous arts community.”

Deborah Greel, MAA Executive Director agrees. “We are lucky to have such a vibrant art scene on the North Shore and this is a great way for artists and art lovers to make sure it flourishes. And doesn’t everyone love a great party?”

 Tickets will go on sale shortly. For more information contact Marblehead Arts Association,  (781)631-2608.

Americana road show rolls into the Me&Thee Coffeehouse

March 20, 2014 10:00 AM
The following was submitted by the me & thee coffeehouse: 

Spuyten Duyvil is an Americana powerhouse rising rapidly through the vibrant Northeast music scene. On April 11th, 2014, they bring tightly crafted songs, stellar musicianship and soaring vocal harmonies to Me&Thee Coffeehouse.  Opening for Spuyten Duyvil is Greg Klyma, an old school troubadour with contemporary edge.
With Spuyten Duyvil (pronounced "SPITE-en DIE-vil"), every performance is a barn-burning romp through the last 100 years of American Roots music. According to Delarue of New York Music Daily, the band plays "an exuberantly original take on classic Americana that draws on influences from the 70s on forward, from outlaw country to newgrass to folk-pop... They’ve got a sense of humor, sizzling instrumental chops and catchy tunes." Their appearance at Me&Thee Coffeehouse follows a rockin’ 2013 CD release tour for their new CD” Temptation”, featuring stops at The Philadelphia Folk Festival, The Falcon Ridge Folk Festival, Caramoor’s American Roots Music Festival, the Bethel Woods Performing Arts Center, NYC’s Rockwood Music Hall and the Ardmore Music Hall in Philadelphia. The New York Times describes their music as “Raucous roots”.  The Huffington Post calls them "a mighty powerhouse...channeling straight honky tonk country one minute and drug-addled mystical blues the next.  All the playing is hot."
Since it’s release in October, “Temptation” ( quickly reached the #2 song and #7 album spots on the International Folk DJ Chart and broke in to the Top 20 of The Roots Music Report  Airplay Chart Top 30 of the Roots 66 Airplay Chart. Spuyten Duyvil’s previous release, “New Amsterdam” (2011) received a “Top American Roots Album 2011” nomination from The Alternate Root TV and placement on a dozen radio DJ “Top Ten” lists.
Me&Thee Coffeehouse is a volunteer-based, not for profit community folk music venue offering the North Shore great original acoustic music . The Boston Globe's Scott Alarik has labelled the Me&Thee "Folk Music's living room." while writer Jeff McLaughlin has said "the Me&Thee has become one of the most prestigious venues north of Boston for first-rank performers." But the Me&Thee has resisted the temptation of becoming a concert hall.  It is not.  It's a living, breathing folk community that exudes friendliness from the front door back. 

The me & thee coffeehouse is locate at 28 Mugford Street, Marblehead, MA. Tickets start at $15.

DancEnergy celebrates 30 years, draws big crowd at the JCC of the North Shore

March 14, 2014 10:00 AM
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DancEnergy offers more than a dozen free classes every week at the JCC

The following was submitted by the JCC of the North Shore: 

DancEnergy is celebrating its 30th anniversary this month and more than 130 fans and friends came out to toast the popular program at the JCC of the North Shore.  Joyce Colahan launched DancEnergy in Marblehead back in 1984 and has taught  more than 1,000 people over the years. 

“The program is still going strong with people who come week after week to exercise their bodies and their brains,” said Colahan.  There are more than a dozen FREE DancEnergy classes at the JCC every week. For more information, contact JCC Group Ex Manager Maria Calla at or 781-476-9913. 

Sea Serpents blaze at swim championships

March 14, 2014 10:00 AM

Members of the Sea Serpent Swim Team at the JCC of the North Shore are sporting new medals after the New England 12 & Under Championships in White River Junction, VT.  This race features the fastest kids in New England in this age group. 

Swimmers had to qualify just to compete! The JCC Sea Serpents scored Top Ten medals in six different races! For more information about the JCC Sea Serpents or to schedule a tryout, contact Head Coach Ashley Vieira at or 781-476-9912.

Bill Staines and Sally Rogers set as next guests at me & thee

March 13, 2014 10:00 AM
The following was submitted by the me & thee coffeehouse:

On Friday, April 4, the me & thee features a co-bill of Bill Staines and Sally Rogers.  A season at the me&thee would not be complete without a visit by Bill, one of the most beloved performers to ever grace our stage.  Sally Rogers is primarily an educator now but has had a long career as a performer. She sticks close to home now and fortunately the coffeehouse is close to her.  

Marblehead native Amanda Maffei has written a beautiful song about the Boston Marathon and with the marathon just around the corner she is stopping by to perform it for the me&thee audience. Doors open at 7:30 PM for this 8:00 PM show. The me & thee coffeehouse is located at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Marblehead at 28 Mugford Street.
After touring and playing concerts for over 41 years, you would think that musician and songwriter Bill Staines might think about slowing down, but that’s just not the case. Bill continues to perform more than 175 shows a year and drives close to 70,000 miles getting to them.  He is one of the most durable and beloved singers on the folk music scene today. Staines has twenty-six recordings to his credit and has written over three hundred songs, many of which have been recorded by the likes of Peter, Paul, and Mary, Makem and Clancy, Nanci Griffith, Glen Yarborough, and Jerry Jeff Walker. 

His music is sung at campfires and folk music gatherings, in homes and churches, all around the country. Songs like “All God’s Critters,”  “The Roseville Fair,”  “Child of Mine,” and “River,” have become folk music classics. Composer David Amram once described Bill as “a modern day Stephen Foster. His music will be around a hundred years from now.” 

On stage, Staines is an intimate, compelling performer, out of the folk scene of the 60’s, encouraging his audience to sing with him on his chorus songs. He will mix in traditional tunes with his own contemporary folk ballads. His humorous tales of life on the road and observations of everyday people provide an entertaining blend of story and song.
Sally Rogers performs traditional, contemporary and original ballads and song, interwoven with stories taken from her life as a performer, a wife and a mother. Throughout her concerts, she accompanies herself on guitar and Appalachian dulcimer, or performs without accompaniment in a voice that needs no further enhancement. Reviewers have described her voice in superlatives ranging from “remarkable” to “mesmerizing.” As one critic summarized, “…it’s really next to impossible to do justice to a voice of that quality.” Much of the material performed by Sally includes compositions of her own, many of which are considered classics of the folk and popular genre. 

Rogers began her career as a full-time touring musician in 1979, after encouragement from Stan Rogers, the legendary Canadian singer-songwriter.  That was followed by an invitation from Garrison Keillor to appear on  A Prairie Home Companion.  She appeared more than a dozen times on that show, which launched her performing career.  Her travels have since taken her to Europe, China, Hungary and Poland, England and Scotland and across the United States. 

Sally has released thirteen albums, not including several collaborative projects with other artists. Although much of Rogers’ time is spent teaching music in the public schools and being an artist-in-residence these days, she continues to perform in concerts as opportunities arise.  Her gorgeous singing voice, boundless energy and good humor are welcomed from coast to coast.

One of our members heard Amanda Maffei perform “Run Boston Strong” at a luncheon and in talking to her discovered she was a Marblehead native. A musician by trade, Amanda is also a runner. This song began as a rock song, but has been turned into a gospel song with a choir and being arranged for an orchestra.  She will perform the song in her hometown and will honor all marathon runners past, present, and future.

 Tickets for the performance by Bill Staines and Sally Rogers with special guest Amanda Maffei are $20 in advance and $23 at the door. Tickets are available online at and can be purchased in person at the Spirit of ’76 Bookstore or the Arnould Gallery in Marblehead. 

The Landing Restaurant at 81 Front Street, Marblehead offers a 10% discount on dinner if you show your ticket or receipt.  Enjoy a meal before the show! As at all me & thee coffeehouse events, refreshments are available, including homemade pastries, coffee, and teas. The me & thee has a handicapped-accessible entrance and an accessible bathroom, is a smoke-free environment, and is easily reached by MBTA bus.

The me & thee is one of the oldest continually running acoustic coffeehouses in New England, and probably the country. It has been and will always be a volunteer, non-profit organization sponsored by the Unitarian Universalist Church of Marblehead.  For information and directions, call 781-631-8987 or check the website at

"Building A Handsome Church": St. Michael's 1714, A Tercentenary Symposium

March 11, 2014 10:00 AM
The following was submitted by Grace Friary Public Relations: 

On Saturday, June 7 the establishment and building of St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, Marblehead, Massachusetts, will be the topic of a one day Tercentenary Symposium in the Morse Auditorium at the Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Massachusetts.   Founded in 1714, the oldest Episcopal congregation in New England holding worship services in its original building is celebrating its 300th anniversary in 2014.  

The 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. symposium is open to the general public. The $75.00 registration fee includes a box lunch and afternoon tours of St. Michael’s Church including access to its crypt, belfry and archives.  Seating at the symposium is limited and early registration is encouraged.   For further information and to register for the June 7 Symposium
Media contact Grace Friary Public Relations  

Chaired by Donald R. Friary, President, Colonial Society of Massachusetts and an historian of religion and architecture in colonial America, the Symposium will open with remarks by Robert L. Howie, Jr., St. Michael’s Church Historian, emeritus, and Chair of the Tercentenary Committee.   

The morning will feature presentations by Stuart P. Feld, President, Hirschl & Adler Galleries, Inc., on “St. Michael’s Marblehead–From Widener Library at Harvard to London and Amsterdam and Back.” ; Christopher P. Magra, Associate Professor of History, University of Tennessee, on “Extravagance, Intemperance, Negligence in Religion, and Disorderliness”: Marblehead, the Early Years”; and David D. Hall, Bartlett Research Professor of New England Church History, Harvard Divinity School, on “Reliving the Past or Fashioning a Different Future? Anglicanism and Puritanism in Eighteenth-Century New England.”  

Afternoon speakers will  be Carl Lounsbury, Senior Architectural Historian, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation and College of William and Mary, discussing “The Church of England's First Colonial Buildings: Virginia, 1608-1714” and Louis P. Nelson, Associate Professor of Architectural History and Associate Dean for Research and International Programs, University of Virginia, who will speak about “St. Michael's, Marblehead: A Case Study in Atlantic Anglicanism.

A discussion with three Marblehead historians – Judy Anderson, social and cultural historian; Tercentenary chair and St. Michael’s Church Historian emeritus, Robert L. Howie, Jr., and Bette Hunt, Town Historian, Marblehead – will place the St. Michael’s experience in the context of the Church of England throughout colonial America. Tours of St. Michael’s Church and a reception will follow.

St. Michael’s Church Tercentenary year features concerts, lectures, community events, and services focused on the past, present and future of the 300 year old parish.  To learn more about the history and historic interior of St. Michael’s Church go to .

For further information, for a full list of tercentenary activities, to arrange interviews and for tours of St. Michael’s Church please contact Grace Friary Public Relations  978-745-0184

Marblehead Festival of Arts announces 2014 Art Scholarship Award

March 11, 2014 10:00 AM
The following was submitted by the Marblehead Festival of Arts: 

Among the many activities and events sponsored by The Marblehead Festival of Arts (MFoA) over the course of the year, the Festival is particularly proud to support our community by awarding a scholarship to a deserving student who resides or attends school in Marblehead. The Scholarship Committee is now accepting applications for the Art Scholarship Award.

This $3,000 prize is presented to a deserving high school senior pursuing higher education in visual or performing arts, crafts or music. The objective in awarding this scholarship is to encourage the graduating senior interested in pursuing the arts professionally to acquire a sound academic grounding in his or her field of choice.

The MFoA Scholarship Committee co-chairs Ron and Janet Lamkin, along with committee members Herb Goldberg, Mike Evers, Victoria French and Lynne DeVoe, define the criteria in selecting a winning candidate as follows: financial need, general academics, art achievements, arts-related and other activities both within school as well as the community, honors and special citations received, and a students intended vocation.
Applications are available at Marblehead High School and online at Information about the Scholarship is available on the Web site or by contacting The application deadline is April 9, 2014.

The Festival also offers the Milton Bloom Student Art Scholarship, open to students in grades 7 through 11 who reside or attend school in Marblehead. Selection is based on artistic talent, accomplishments and motivation. Information and applications are available on the Festival Web site.

Run away with the circus at a Community Purim Celebration

March 4, 2014 10:00 AM
The following was submitted by the JCC of the North Shore:

Everyone’s invited to spend a day under the Big Top at the Chagenu Community Purim Circus celebration on Sunday, March 16, 1:00-3:00pm at the JCCNS in Marblehead.
The event, which features Wunderle’s Big Top Adventures, includes….
Four Circus Workshops for children,  1:00-2:00pm
Circus Performance,  2:00-3:00pm
The Circus Workshops are just $10 per child and the Circus Performance is $36 per family when you pre-register at 781-631-8330. The Circus Performance will be $50 per family at the door. Families save $14 by pre-registering!
Be sure to come in costume! More details at JCCNS.ORG. The JCCNS is located at 4 Community Road, Marblehead.
The event is sponsored by the JCCNS, Combined Jewish Philanthropies, Cohen Hillel Academy, Shirat Hayam, Temple Sinai, Temple Shalom, Temple Beth Shalom, Temple Emanu-El, Tempe Ner Tamid, North Shore JCC and The Jewish Journal.

Award-winning Canadian songwriter supports new his new album at the me & thee

March 4, 2014 10:00 AM
The following was submitted by Red House Records:

Former carpenter turned much-lauded songwriter David Francey returns to the US for select tour dates, including a Friday, March 14 show at the Me & Thee Coffeehouse in Marblehad at 8 p.m. Francey will be supporting his recent Red House release So Say We All. 

Born in Scotland and raised in Canada, the three-time Juno Award winner returns to Grammy-winning US indie label Red House for his his first big Stateside album release since 2005’s The Waking Hour, which caused critics to call him “Canada’s best contemporary songwriter” (Sing Out). So Say We All has just received four Canadian Folk Music Award nominations including Contemporary Album of the Year, English Songwriter of the Year, Solo Artist of the Year and Producer of the Year.  

Fourteen years ago at the age of 45, Francey began an astonishing journey from life-long manual laborer to award-winning folk troubadour renowned for writing with heart-wrenching honesty about the struggles of the poor and working class. His latest album reflects his own journey through a period of personal struggle, from dealing with depression to losing important people in his life.

“The lesson learned,” he says, “was to celebrate every day spent on this side of the soil and to keep marching no matter what comes our way.” 

Now 10 albums into his recording career, Francey has demonstrated the kind of consistency as a songwriter that makes even other songwriters shake their head in disbelief. On So Say We All, he shares yet another collection of so-good-they-could-be-traditional numbers marked by the perfectly-stated poetry and stick-in-your-head melodies of the enduring folk song, best exemplified by songs like “Blue Yonder” and “Long Long Road.” 

That spirit of perseverance bursts from each song on the album, from the opening track “Rain” about the failure and rebirth of love to the bittersweet hymn “So Say We All.” Capturing the dark times (“Pandora’s Box,” “Ordinary Man”) as well as life’s shining moments (“Satellite,” “Blue Skies”), the album is a perfect acoustic showcase of what makes Francey’s songwriting so special. Poetic and fearless, Francey draws from his own experiences, delving into his recent depression (“Harm”) and singing about his colorful experiences on the road (“Cheap  Motel”).

These remarkable songs are brought to life by Francey’s first-rate touring band – guitarist Mark Westberg, guitarist/banjo-picker Chris Coole and celebrated Maritime multi-instrumentalist Darren McMullen. Capturing their raw energy and musicianship, producer Ken Friesen recorded the band live at Signal Path Studio in Almonte, Ontario. Keeping it all close to home, Francey also brought in his son Colin to play drums and invited fellow Ontario artist Tannis Slimmon to sing harmonies.

Beautifully spare and full of instant classics, So Say We All is sure to be a favorite with folk fans of every generation.

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