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Successful Writers Pass Along Advice to Canton Students

By John Fitts 

For the writer, dissatisfaction with a finished piece does not have to signal failure.

Sam Adler-Bell, a successful social advocate and journalist, recently told Canton students to embrace the fact that they might be unhappy with their work. It’s a sign of growth, motivation and the desire to always do better.

“One thing I find in my writing is I almost never like it,” he said. “That’s a good sign.”

Adler-Bell is one of six writers who recently visited the Canton Middle/High School campus for the school’s first “Author Afternoon,” presented by the English Department and library media centers at the school.

In two sessions, each writer addressed students, offered some insight on their approach to writing and passed along tips on story ideas, editing, structure and inspiration. … Continue Reading

Pete Pidgeon Continues Musical Journey With ‘All the Little Things’

All the Little Things - Pete Pidgeon and Arcoda - coverBy John Fitts 

It took years of listening, practicing and working every odd job he could find for Pete Pidgeon to bring his latest recording to market.

But the former Collinsville resident is passionate and serious about his music. After 5 years of hard work and a $30,000 investment “All the Little Things” by Pete Pidgeon & Arcoda is available now in vinyl, CD and digital format.

Pidgeon’s fourth full-length album, “All the Little Things” is firmly planted in roots music, borrowing from and expanding musical stylings that range from bluegrass to R&B. The album, recorded at Applehead Studios in Woodstock, NY, features the likes of the late Levon Helm, banjoist Chris Pandolfi of the Infamous Stringdusters and bassist Catherine Popper.

“All the Little Things is very much an Americana record,” said Pidgeon, a 1995 Simsbury High School graduate. “It’s rooted in traditional American music.”

The album is also firmly rooted in Pidgeon’s own life and moments that are easy to relate with. It’s “a whole reference the course of life – from elementary school through old age,” he said.

“‘All the Little Things'” are the small steps along the way during the long journey of life,” he said. … Continue Reading

Local Bands Honored at Regional Competitions

Zac Mulcahy and Adam Eytan of Ragtop Doozy at a recent Luna Pizza Under 21 Open Mic. Photo by John Fitts

Submitted by Darrell Cookman

Ragtop Doozy and Kais & Dollz, musical acts with ties to Canton, each took top prize in recent Battle of the Bands events.

On Friday, April 29, both bands competed in the first annual Avon Battle of the Bands to benefit Vie for the Kids, a medical charity that supports clinical trials to treat cancer. Ragtop Doozy, a quartet made up of Ben Sullivan (Canton) on drums, Zac Mulcahy (Canton) and Adam Eytan (Canton) on guitar, and Ian D’Arcangelo (Avon) on bass, claimed the top prize among the five bands in the event. They earned several hours of recording studio time at Sohno Studios in Avon. Ragtop Doozy will perform next on Friday, May 13 at the outdoor stage near Downright Music & Art in Collinsville. … Continue Reading

Artist’s Talk Scheduled May 15 at Gallery on the Green

Kevin Rita

Kevin Rita

Submitted Release 

CANTON, Conn. — The public is invited to attend a talk by Kevin Rita – “Polished Lines: A Journey through Poetry and Prose” – at the Gallery on the Green on Sunday, May 15 at 3 p.m.

Rita has spent more than three decades immersed in the world of artistic expression as a curator, collector, and dealer of rare books and fine art. A variety of objects from his private collection are currently on exhibit at the gallery until May 22.

Rita’s talk is sponsored by the Maxwell Shepherd Memorial Arts Fund. The Gallery on the Green is located at the corner of Dowd Avenue and Route 44.

Images of Canton: CHS Spring Instrumental Concert

The Canton Music Department presented its Spring Instrumental Concert on Wednesday, May 4, 2016. … Continue Reading

Farmington Valley Stage Presents ‘Sex Please, We’re Sixty’

From left are Karen Sidel, Ingrid Smith, Laura Garger, Marsha Howard Karp Albert Geetter and Cliff Gibson. Photo by Anna Zuckerman-Vdovenko

From left are Karen Sidel, Ingrid Smith, Laura Garger, Marsha Howard Karp
Albert Geetter and Cliff Gibson.
Photo by Anna Zuckerman-Vdovenko

Submitted Release 

A little blue pill is the focus of the Farmington Valley Stage’s zany comedy, “Sex Please, We’re Sixty” which is performed May 12, 13, 14 at 8 pm, at the Canton Town Hall Auditorium in picturesque Collinsville.

Don’t be fooled by the title. “Sex Please We’re Sixty” is a very clean, comedic farce written by Michael and Susan Parker. Michael and Susan Parker are Florida playwrights with several “American” farces to their credit. Those include “The Sensuous Senator,” “There’s a Burglar in My Bed”, “Whose Wives are they Anyway?,” among others. English born and raised, Michael Parker and his wife Susan, write plays that combine familiar British farce situations, into an American setting. Their plays are stereotypical comedies, with over the top, bawdy, nonsensical plots. As with “Sex Please We’re Sixty”, the result is a great deal of fun.

Like the best of the classic British bedroom farces, “Sex Please We’re Sixty”  is all tease and no delivery, especially given that the plot involves  80 year old “Bud the Stud”, who’s having a Viagra shortage.

The show centers around Mrs. Stancliffe’s Rose Cottage Bed & Breakfast and her neighbors, Bud “The Stud” Davis, a man with a rich sexual appetite, thanks to his Viagra-enhanced libido and the optimistic Henry Mitchell who has been courting Mrs. Stancliffe unsuccessfully for 20 years. … Continue Reading

Images of Canton: Davy and Leo Rock Bridge Street Live

COLLINSVILLE — It was a packed house at Bridge Street Live Thursday night as Davy Carton and Leo Moran from the Saw Doctors came to town as part of a very limited acoustic tour.

The enthusiastic crowd sang, drank, laughed and clamored loudly as the two performed many of the Irish Band’s hits and debuted a few new songs.

Next up at the Collinsville venue on Friday night is Lara Herscovitch and Caroline Doctorow and Kate Callahan and a Lucky 13 Comedy night on Friday, May 13. See more at http://www.41bridgestreet.com/calendar/index.php?id=579

See a full-screen gallery at https://johnfitts.smugmug.com.

Art Rock Band Midnight Snack to Perform at Downright Music

Midnight Snack

Midnight Snack

Submitted Release 

Asheville, NC-based band Midnight Snack brings their original style of art rock to Downright Music in Collinsville at 7 p.m. on Saturday, May 7 as part of the Vernal Lensing of the American Northeast tour. The free concert will be held outdoors, weather permitting.

Midnight Snack blends masculine rock tradition with a distinct feminine delicacy. The 6 piece integrates elements of psychedelic rock, indie-dance and baroque pop.

Originally the childhood attic project of brothers Jack Victor and Michael Johnson, the duo developed their sound while attending Berklee College of Music. Featuring Jack Victor (vocals, drums), Michael Johnson (guitar, synthesizers), Katie Richter (vocals, trumpet), Peter Brownlee (bass), Zack Kardon (guitar) and Meryll Davis (vocals, percussion), Midnight Snack tours nationally, charming audiences with prominent vocal harmonies, lush instrumentation and introspective performances. Currently, the band is working on their third studio album.

Visit midnightsnackmusic.com to learn more, watch videos, stream and download their original songs.

Downright Music & Art is located at 100 A Main Street in Collinsville CT. Visit DownrightMusicandArt.com or call 860-693-6530 for more information. In the event of inclement weather, the concert will be held indoors.

Luna Pizza, Corey Rieman Debut Under 21 Open Mic

SIMSBURY — There’s numerous open mic events in the Farmington Valley but a new once-a-month offering at Luna Pizza specifically caters to youth under the age of 21.

“We want to be an outlet for young musicians and artists,” said host Corey Rieman, who hosted the first event earlier this month.  … Continue Reading

Images of Canton: An Evening of Percussion 2016

The Canton High School Percussion Ensemble recently presented the 4th Annual Evening of Percussion, directed by Artist in Residence Bob Rush. The evening featured the ensemble as well as a myriad of middle- and high-school groups. Selections included

  • Crescendo for Percussion by Alexander Lepak – Symphonic Band Percussion
  • Mi Milagro by Ralph Hicks – Seventh Grade Percussion
  • Afterthoughts by Alice Gomez – Percussion Ensemble
  • We Work the Black Seam by Sting, Arrangement Bob Rush – Eighth Grade Percussion
  • The Rock Syndicate by Murray Houllif – Freshmen Percussion
  • Adagio for Strings by Samuel Barber – Canton High School Percussion
  • Tell it all Pat Metheny/Lyle Mays arr. Bob Rush – Percussion Ensemble
  • Music for Pieces of Wood by Stephen Reich – Rowan Cookman, Mia Tuccillo, John Solomon, Zach Oliver, Jacob Allen.
  • Wildwood for Percussion Ensemble by Matt Bissonnette arr. Paul Rennick – Entire Cast


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