Monthly concerts on the third floor of the Town Hall (handicap accessible). We take donations for the musician at the door.
Frustrated with politics as usual? The band Sour Cherry Pie is here to help! They sing songs of justice with a religious base and a dose of humor that can help others see the world with a slightly different tone. On November 10 at 7 pm, Sour Cherry Pie will perform on the third floor of 154 North Main Street, for the Bluffton Town Hall Concert Series. Phil Hart started writing folk songs in the early 70s, influenced by Dylan, Ochs, Paxton, Prine, and many others. He continues to create tunes that carry thoughtful stories about real stuff. Steve began adding his heady bass lines to Phil’s songs several years ago. They’ve been enjoying playing coffee houses, farmers markets, and house concerts, and are looking forward to helping Bluffton shake their PESD (Post Election Stress Disorder).
Donations at this event will benefit the Dare to Dream scholarship at Bluffton University. The scholarship fund, established by a group of Bluffton alumni, faculty and staff, provides support for undocumented, immigrant children in the United States who are ineligible for federal aid. They are often referred to as DREAMers because of the failed legislation known as The Dream Act (Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act).
Those who know Lucas know that music flows out of him effortlessly. His talent on piano, sax, and Barbershop Quartets have delighted audiences most of his life. But lately, Lucas has been playing guitar more than ever, and has developed a unique and exciting style for pop songs to hymns. He'll be playing with his brother Christopher, and adding the musical stylings of Halle Steingass, for an unforgettable evening in B-Town. Don't miss Lucas in his first full length concert!
Showcasing three local singer-songwriters: Sam Stucky is a graduate (almost!!) of Bluffton University where he studied Math and Music. He has been writing songs since his sophomore year of high school about everything from girls to world problems and in genres from everything from folk to pop punk. He has been involved with his own personal music, a band called The Luna Program, and several different groups during his experience at the Contemporary Music Center in Nashville, TN during the fall of 2015. After graduation, he is looking forward to focusing more on writing and getting involved with other groups. Jeff Brassell is a self-made singer songwriter, usually writing in moderate to slow tempo homespun music. He is a Lima Ohio native raised in Bluffton Ohio, and describes himself as a blue collar “regular kind of guy” and strives to reflect everyday life in his music. Brett Prothro is a recent Bluffton transplant from outside of Wichita, Kansas. Raised on a steady diet of early rock and roll, classical, jazz, and everything in between and around, his musical tastes and influences are as eclectic and unpredictable as a Kansas spring. He enjoys reimagining jazz, early Americana and blues, and rock and roll artists ranging. Brett is also coming into his own as a composer and songwriter. He has a keen ear for elegant complexity and a knack for articulating the tragedy and beauty of the human experience. Using music to connect with people in an authentic, simple and soulful way, Brett desires to share his love of music to reflect the universal voices and themes already within each of us. There are no tickets required, but musicians are paid by donations at the door. Everyone is welcome, and the town hall is wheelchair accessible.
Dave Haas and Joe Steiner perform April 23rd as part of the Bluffton Town Hall Concert Series
Dave Haas is a nationally-acclaimed performer and recording artist who has been playing and delighting audiences for the past 20 years with the wonderful sounds of the mountain dulcimer. Come listen to a wide variety of music, including traditional fiddle tunes, Celtic favorites, hymns, classical, and contemporary arrangements played on this versatile Appalachian instrument. A very popular instructor at dulcimer festivals, Dave is known for his gentle, patient, and humorous teaching style. He grew up in Findlay, Ohio and now lives in Charleston, WV where he works as a chemistry professor at the University of Charleston. Here, one of his favorite teaching activities is singing chemistry songs with his students! More information on Dave is available at www.davehaasmusic.com.
Dave will be accompanied in concert by Joe Steiner from Findlay, Ohio. Joe is a well-respected and innovative instructor on several instruments, and has many recordings to his credit with various bluegrass and old-time groups. Joe is nationally recognized for his banjo knowledge and skills, both in bluegrass and clawhammer style, but is just as comfortable with a guitar, harmonica, mandolin, bass, or mountain dulcimer. Join in the fun as Dave and Joe engage the audience in some wonderful and funny songs. It will be an evening to remember!
The concert is scheduled for Saturday, April 23, 2016, at 7:00pm at the Bluffton Town Hall. For more information on the concert, contact Wendy Chappell-Dick: email@example.com.
Earlier in the day, Dave will be teaching both advanced and beginning dulcimer workshops, beginning at 9:00am, at the First Mennonite Church, 101 S. Jackson Street, Bluffton, OH. Contact Alice Lora: firstname.lastname@example.org with questions. Pre-registration is not required.
Jeff Gundy, Bluffton University professor and poet of the people, brings his Midwestern Mennonite sensibilities to the Town Hall Series on Thursday, April 7 at 7:00 p.m. Having transfigured poems from his last two published collections, Somewhere Near Defiance and Abandoned Homeland, into lyrics, Jeff will be sharing his folksy, irreverent and wide-ranging poetic art to benefit the Town Hall Music Series. His poetry has been compared to the tradition of Walt Whitman- if Whitman had “listened to Dylan and the Dead and loved to laugh at himself” (Poet Phillip Metres). After reading Gundy’s recent collection, critic Kate Fox was filled with awe and envy: “Such exquisite lines about belief, desire, small-town life, grief, grace, mercy, failure and faith.” Jeff will be joined by his musical wife Marlyce Gundy and his friend and harmonica whiz Perry Bush. Join this Ohio Poet of the Year for an evening’s journey to places absurd, lovely, raw and real. Can’t wait for the concert? Check out Jeff’s link at https://soundcloud.com/gundyj/sets/somewhere-near-defiance-by-jeff-gundy And remember, all your contributions will be donated back to the Town Hall Series!
Theory Expats are a folksy swingin' band based in Goshen, Indiana, featuring Andrew Pauls, Ethan Setiawan, and Sadie Gustafson-Zook. Their sound is centered around drawing their collective backgrounds in folk, bluegrass, jazz, swing, rock and pop into a cohesive musical vision with acoustic instruments, rich harmonies and technical chops. After taking music theory 201 together at Goshen College and playing together sporadically in the spring of 2014, they decided to form a band together. Sadie (fiddle, guitar, kazoo, ukulele, vocals) has performed across the United States and Europe with her family band and solo since 2000. In 2010 she released her first album, Mélange, and has since sold over 500 copies. In 2011 Sadie won the New Song Showcase songwriting competition with her song, “Unless I Loved”. Currently Sadie is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in vocal performance at Goshen College. Ethan (mandolin) is also a member of the band Mutual Kumquat. He won the National Mandolin Championship held in Winfield, KS in 2014. Starting on cello when he was 8, and picking up mandolin when he was 13, he has been playing music over half his life. He is currently studying with jazz mandolinist Don Stiernberg. He has also toured with bluegrass duo The Matchsellers. Andrew (banjo, guitar, vocals) is a second year student studying music at Goshen College. Originally from Lancaster, PA, he enjoys reading, having enriching conversations, and of course, making music with others.
Joseph Helfrich, known simply as "Joseph" is a folk singer, multi-instrumentalist, and storyteller who has been performing in public for over 25 years. He has been a full time musician since 1992. Joseph specializes in vocals, guitar, banjo, mandolin, recorders and the mountain dulcimer. His programs include a wide variety of musical styles as well a healthy dose of humor. Joseph has a large repertoire for children and adults and tailors the program to fit the occasion.
In addition to entertaining, Joseph has taught general music and guitar classes at several schools and given seminars on communication techniques. He received his BA degree in speech communication from Bluffton College.
Joseph makes his home in Darke County, Ohio with wife Tonnya and two daughters Amanda and Alison.
On Jan 19 at 7 pm in the First Mennonite sanctuary, we will listen to two women who share a rich aboriginal culture. Our opening act will be Georgia Leichty Adams From Findlay. Her father is Carl Leichty of Lima Mennonite Church, a Swiss Mennonite, and her mother Sandy Leichty's ancestry is Miami and Kickapoo. Her husband's ancestry is Mingo, Shawnee and Eastern Cherokee. She has been active in language revitalization of her husband's Mingo language, which only has one living native speaker left. The songs she will sing will primarily be in Mingo. She will use a drum, which she made herself out of buffalo hide.
Our featured musician Diem Lafortune does not take life lying down. She’s a Mennonite singer/songwriter from Toronto whose varied life experience – from cab driver, to actor, photographer, near politician & constitutional appellate lawyer – has provided a rich source for her powerful music. Her powerful rhythms lay down grooves and together her voice and her playing are a mesmerizing package. Diem is honored to be a 2013 Canadian Aboriginal Songwriter of the Year nominee by the Canadian Folk Music Awards.
Lafortune’s album Beauty and Hard Times is a varied collection; Acadian fiddle tunes, Celtic, prairie Cree drums, and the accordion and strings-fuelled tunes of the Jews and Romany in Eastern Europe have all been integrated into Diem’s cosmopolitan sound, in stirring fashion. “I can get people dancing when I perform solo – I am a member of Toronto United Mennonite Church and I get them dancing too – or, at least up and/or seriously moving in their seats at our coffeehouse talent shows!”
With a voice described as “like a barn – big, earthy and full of timber”, people are catching on. She’s become one of the go to performers at peace and justice related events.
Her lyrics probe deeply into Hard Times. Themes tackled with unflinching honesty include incremental fascism (“If They Take Us In The Morning”); the need for reparations for victimized indigenous peoples and Mother Earth and other victims of other holocausts (the searing “And On The Evidence”); the unconsidered effects of broken parental dreams and alcohol abuse (the haunting “Minuet For The Staircase Children”); stolen childhoods (“Where Are All The Children?”); and corporate and personal greed (“Mr. Businessman’s Blues”).
We will take donations at the door.
On Monday January 19 Diem Lafortunae and One in a Number will be performing at the Town Hall Concert Series from 7pm-9pm.
Diem Lafortune does not take life lying down. She’s a fighter, a champion, an activist & a believer in guardian angels. She’s also a singer/songwriter whose varied life experience – from cab driver, to actor, photographer, near politician & constitutional appellate lawyer – has provided a rich source for her powerful music. Her powerful rhythms lay down grooves and together her voice and her playing are a mesmerizing package. Diem is honored to be a 2013 Canadian Aboriginal Songwriter of the Year nominee by the Canadian Folk Music Awards.
Check out her website http://horizondancer.com/
One in a Number: The Bluffton Women's choir is a group of Bluffton locals who sing music about peace, justice and social change. They will be celebrating Martin Luther King Day with songs from the civil rights movement and present day anthems.