Hosted by area songwriter Monte Michel Bleu, the concert will feature three mid-west songsmiths: Adrienne Frailey, Molly B Moon, & Jess Lucille, performing their compositions; "as they were written, one instrument/one voice."
Each artist will perform a solo segment, and then “in the round” with all 3 taking the stage and sharing songs and stories about the tunes, the songwriting process, and tales of life as a performing artist. A very intimate show for audiences & artists alike.
The concert is dedicated in memory to the highly revered Northwest Indiana songwriter Larry Platz, who participated in the previous Rust Belt concerts in 2012 and 2013.
Performances of the "Out of the Box Playfest" winning 10-minute plays will be presented at the Box Factory for the Arts on Dec. 5 and 6 at 7:30 pm both nights. The six plays were selected by a panel of judges from 32 submitted in a play writing competition held earlier this year. Each winning playwright will receive a $50 award.
Artistic Director Lisa Kelleher has announced the plays to be presented include 20/20 Hindsight by Anne Brandt and Judi Thompson of Benton Harbor; There's an App for That by Gary Cook of Stevensville; Next Door by Debra Davis of St. Joseph; Things That Go Bump by Greg Ladewski of Benton Harbor; Twinkle Little Star by Michael La Tour of Berrien Springs; and A Gift of the Snow-globe by Sherry C. Miller of Coloma.
Cast members, who were selected at auditions held in October, include Beth DeCoursey, Jerry Sirk, Chase Samuelson, Christa Dolejsi, Jim Yates, Kalina Dolejsi, Kraig Kirkdorfer, Katrina Harmon, Sherry Saenz, Rebecca Maxey, Barbara Simpson, Julie Dokter and Cory Wetterlin.
Joann Schma McMahon is directing the performances. "I was involved last year as an actor, and had such a good experience." she said "It was an honor to give voice to the unique characters created by local playwrights. I wanted to contribute again, in a different capacity." McMahon is enthusiastic about Playfest as a growing festival that allows the audience to be part of the evaluation of plays, through audience choice awards.
Judges Linda LaRocque of South Haven, Phil Sturdevant of Holland and Kevin Wurz will score the plays during the Saturday performance. A "Best Play Overall" will be awarded to the winning playwright. A special audience choice award will be presented at both the Friday and Saturday performances.
The North American Brass Company (NABC) returns to the Box Factory for the Arts on Saturday, January 3 at 7:30 pm. The brass quintet will feature many styles of music, including classical, Broadway hits and popular. Following is additional information regarding members of the NABC: The North American Brass Company is a professional brass quintet specializing in innovative performance and teaching programs. The NABC involves the audience by combining music and fun.
Jay Crouch - Trumpet - Jay is a retired public school music teacher (31 years) He has performed with Southwest Symphony, Elkhart Symphony, and the St. Joseph Municipal Band. He currently works for B&S USA in Elkhart and teaches private trumpet at Southwestern Michigan College. Mr. Crouch also performs with the Ed Bagatini “New” Swing Orchestra and with Black River Jazz.
Charles Steck – Trumpet- Chuck teaches at LaPorte High School and is the trumpet instructor at Valparaiso University. He is the principal trumpet of both the LaPorte and Elkhart Symphonies. Mr. Steck also performs with the St. Joseph Municipal Band and the Tom Milo Big Band.
Gary Cooper – Trombone- Gary is the “artist in residence” at St Joseph High School. He maintains a large studio of private students and performs with the Whiting and Southwest Symphonies and the St. Joseph Municipal Band. Mr. Cooper is also a talented vocalist.
Roger Lewis- Tuba - Roger is the low brass specialist for the Miraphone Company. Roger plays with the Elkhart and Whiting Symphonies and is the “first call” sub for many other groups. He also teaches at Goshen College and Southwestern Michigan College. Along with Gary, Roger is a “founding Member” of the NABC.
San, Emily and Jacob return to the Factory for the Arts on January 10 at 7:30 p.m. The trio played at the Box Factory, before a large and very appreciative audience in September and will be bringing some new material, as well as reprising some of their favorites from their last visit.
The trio of San, Emily and Jacob formed in 2013, but they have a long history together. Father and daughter San & Emily Slomovits have been playing music together since Emily was a young child. San, along with his brother Laz, as the duo Gemini, have been a highly popular folk duo throughout Michigan and the United States since 1973, and Emily began joining them on stage when she was just eight years old.
Jacob Warren and Emily have known each other since kindergarten and have played music together in many settings throughout their school years. Emily is an accomplished violinist, having studied classical violin for more than a decade, and has also developed a lovely and unique singing style. Jacob studies bass at the University of Michigan's School of Music, Theatre and Dance, where he is principal bassist of the University Philharmonia Orchestra, and was a member of the National Youth Symphony of the United States.
San, Emily and Jacob’s concerts feature a range of traditional and contemporary folk, jazz and classical music, and Broadway show tunes. Their beautifully blended harmony vocals and exciting instrumental work breathe new life into a wide variety of American and international music, and audiences thrill to their warmth, humor and ease on stage. They released their first CD, “Innocent When You Dream” in 2013.
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