Monthly concerts on the third floor of the Town Hall (handicap accessible). We take donations for the musician at the door.
On April 12 at 7:30pm First Mennonite will host the Anabaptist Bestiary Project, with a concert that is also a fund-raiser for First Mennonite Youth. Rocking the world through reflection on creatures, the Anabaptist Bestiary Project is a ten piece alternative rock ensemble under the creative direction of Trevor Bechtel that combines the influence of such diverse bands as Arcade Fire, The Story, Ben Folds Five and Death Cab for Cutie. The ABP collects vocal and instrumental musicians from Bluffton University to delve into the artistic and literary heritage of the spirituality of creatureliness. To preview their music visitAnabaptistBestiaryProject.bandcamp.com. Admission is by donation.
On Friday April 4 at 8pm Bluffton will have the chance to enjoy a concert of vintage swing and jazz by Morgen Stiegler and her band at the Town Hall Concert Series. The concert will be on the third floor, which is handicap accessible. The public is welcome to attend and will be asked to share a donation for the musicians.
Northwest Ohio has become familiar with Stiegler through her appearance on Portraits in Swing as well as live performances on PBS. Morgen Stiegler seeks moments of connection—with her students, the audience, and the musicians she performs with. Having come to thinking of herself as a singer somewhat late in her musical life, which began at the piano, she has dedicated the last dozen years to shaping her voice into a versatile instrument for building genuine musical relationships.
"Morgen sees herself as a storyteller, and the story she tells on her debut recording Reaching for the Moon is her own” (David Dupont—Sentinel Tribune). The songs on this collaboration with guitarist Chris Buzzelli that seeks to honor the duo recordings of Ella Fitzgerald and Joe Pass—are ‘snapshots’ of her musical development that include songs from her childhood alongside familiar standards. The record receives regular airplay on radio stations throughout the US and was number 2 on WBGUs Jazz Top 10. Says Kim Nazarian of New York Voices: "Reaching for the Moon is a heart to heart conversation—an innocent dialogue of pure, sweet music!"
Stiegler has directed and arranged for vocal jazz/ a cappella ensembles at Bowling Green State University, Tiffin Univeristy and Terra Community College. As instructor for applied jazz voice and ethnomusicology at BGSU, where she graduated with a MM in Ethnomusicology, her research has focused on the Native American connections to Jazz—an effort rooted in the heritage she shares and seeks in her music.
Saturday night, April 5. Bluffton Town Hall 7:30pm, donate at the door. The Field Dogs are a group of acoustic musicians who get together once a year to write, arrange, and record original music. They have just released their second studio album. This album will include a great fiddler from North Newton, KS, Jesse Graber (He also designs the CD artwork). At the performance April 5th at the Town Hall they will perform songs from both records as well as some great fiddle tunes and traditional bluegrass selections. Their harmonies are tight and fun, and the musicians are great. Field Dogs have a banjo, mandolin, Dobro, upright bass, fiddle, and guitar. Jesse Henry writes most of the music, but there are 4 songs that the Field Dogs wrote together in Athens Ohio in the summer of 2013. The audience can expect good American Roots music of multiple genres and fun originals. Musicianship is great, these boys can pick!!
“The years of lessons and the countless hours of practicing are immediately evident in the sureness of their sound. Few musicians develop serious chops like theirs without that kind of training, but classical schooling doesn’t always provide adequate preparation for performance chops, i.e.: the visually exciting stage presence we more frequently associate with rock and pop music shows, or the freedom and abandon we often enjoy in folk and ethnic music concerts. The Moxie Strings’ gift is to blend all these elements into a seamless stage show.”
"After listening to a few tunes, the best description we could come up with is Americana, which according to Ladio certainly fits. Listen to The Moxie Strings’ music and you can hear influences from Celtic to rock since the band’s founders, Ladio and electric cellist Alison Lynn have an array of musical training”
-MLive Media Group
“They teach their special fusion of classical, contemporary and world music to students and music teachers at schools throughout the Midwest. The future of music could not be in better hands” -Current Magazine, 2012
Wednesday, November 6. Show at Town Hall starts at 7pm.
The Moxie Strings is the electrifying combination of fiddler, Diana Ladio, and electric cellist, Alison Lynn. With their feel-good melodies and foot-stomping, rock-influenced rhythms, these young women have put a fresh, enticing spin on Celtic and Americana music. Though rooted in tradition, The Moxie Strings offer listeners the unique opportunity to experience some of the world’s best-known instruments and oldest tunes through a young, progressive lens. Diana and Alison often join forces with dynamic drummer and world percussionist, Fritz McGirr, who lends his spirited expertise of traditional music’s percussion component, and a creative rhythmic energy to the show. The ensemble calls on Bluegrass, Celtic, Canadian, Rock, Jazz and Old Time influences to create their unique, American hybrid that exemplifies the United State’s identity as a melting pot of traditions.
While Moxie can light up the stage, they can also be found in classrooms throughout the country, where they spend much time introducing new genres of music to high school and middle school string programs, and preaching the importance of non-classical music in youth music education. On Wednesday the group will be doing a master class with the Bluffton High School Strings, taught by Rachel Lewis. They will also do a concert in the Bluffton School System. The Moxie Strings have taught enrichment clinics in over 20 schools throughout the Midwest, and they have presented on their research and methodologies at a variety of music educators conferences.
After a day at the school, this exciting band will offer their gifts to an audience at the Bluffton Town Hall. At 7pm the Bluffton High School Strings will open the show, followed by the Moxie Strings until 9:30pm. Snacks will be available from The Mustard Seed Café.
Diana, Alison and Fritz hold Bachelor of Music degrees in music performance and music education, which have given each the technical foundation to explore the limits of his/her instrument, and helped the group build a reputation for musical excellence. Both Diana and Alison use a variety of audio effects pedals. Alison performs on a newly invented, electric instrument and Fritz on a variety of world percussion instruments in celebration of their generation’s redefinition of folk music. The Moxie Strings write the majority of their pieces, and also arrange traditional tunes from many different countries and genres. The Moxie Strings’ ear-catching originals and dance-worthy, traditional tunes have been captivating audiences since 2006.
The Bluffton Town Hall Concert Series prides itself in finding the best regional and touring musicians Northwest Ohio has to offer. It brings together a rare collection of multi-cultural, folk and other genres that are hard to find in public settings elsewhere.
This series of monthly concerts is a volunteer run, nonprofit project. All donations at the door go toward paying the musician or band to try to reach their regular fee.
The Rough and Tumble met when Mallory Graham found a notebook on a double-decker bus. When she opened it there were pages and pages of words from sad, old country songs, to-do lists with nothing crossed out, pages torn from church hymnals, minor league baseball tickets, self-written wedding vows, a Number 1 China take-out menu and a copy of the declaration of independence with all the vowels crossed out in red ink. She saw Scott Tyler sitting in the corner of the bus drinking coffee and she asked if it was his. “Yes,” he said, even though it wasn’t. “Do you remember the melodies?” he asked. “Yes,” she said, even though she didn’t.
The Rough & Tumble are two scarecrows in a cornfield, two pairs of hands stealing the same piece of candy, a dust devil that traveled seven states to get to you only to make you cry. They are the only surviving memory of the first bike accident in the history of bikes and the skinned knees and the broken hearts. They love eating fish but always feel bad about it when they put them in the pan, especially when the eyes are still intact. They wake up every morning and work on that crossword puzzle written in a forgotten language that only gets harder the more you forget. The Rough & Tumble are here to lock eyes with you in a crowded room, smile and wink at you.