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50-year veteran of Music Festival orchestra to be honored at concert

PLYMOUTH — The New Hampshire Music Festival will honor trumpet player Keith Johnson, who has been with the festival for 50 years, on Thursday, August 15.

Donato Cabrera conducts the Festival Orchestra at the Silver Center at 8 p.m. in a program of the Berlioz Les nuits d'ete featuring the acclaimed Heather Johnson, mezzo soprano, followed by Beethoven's triumphant Eroica Symphony No. 3.

The concert is titled "Heroic Summer Nights" because it is dedicated to two heroes of the Festival, Keith Johnson, celebrating 50 years of service, and the late Louise Canafax, beloved viola player who enriched the lives of concert-goers for over 30 years.

In the spring of 1964 Keith was a graduate student majoring in trumpet at the University of Illinois when one of his classmates asked him if he might be interested in a summer symphony job. Johnson sent an audition tape to the New Hampshire Music Festival and received a letter from Music Director Tom Nee telling him that he was hired for the summer. At the time, Nee was a faculty member at Macalester College in St Paul and Associate Conductor of the Minneapolis Symphony. The following year Johnson was invited to return and has been a member of the orchestra ever since.

Johnson is the author of two highly regarded books, The Art of Trumpet Playing (Iowa State University Press) and Brass Performance and Pedagogy (Prentice-Hall), which have been translated and published in several languages.

Tickets for the August 15 concert in Plymouth range in price from $22-$69, and may be purchased at 603-535-2787 or silver.plymouth.edu. Contact Brenda Conklin, General Manager, 603-238-9007, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

The NH Music Festival musicians are professionals from orchestras all over the country from Maine to California, and are professors of music at schools from West Virginia to Idaho. The Festival has been based at Plymouth State University for 40 summers of its 61-year history of music-making in the Lakes Region.

Last Updated on Monday, 12 August 2013 08:56

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Laconia Elks Lodge hosting two special events on Saturday

GILFORD — On Saturday Laconia Elks will be hosting its fourth annual Family Fun Day.
The event is from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Activities include a bouncy house, Dave the Twista (balloon animals), face painting, horseshoes, volleyball, bocce ball, carnival games including bean bag toss, football toss, duck pond and crazy dot game, dunk tank and the NH State Elks Drug Awareness Trailer. Participants can put on the goggles that allow them to see how you walk or grasp something while intoxicated. There will be prizes for games.

The event is free to all. There will be hamburgers and hot dogs. Kids eat free.

The Elks will also hold its first Youth Bike Fest from 3 to 5 p.m.

The Elks created this event for underprivileged youth of the Lakes Region to provide them with a bicycle. The Elks worked with the Boys and Girls Club of the Lakes Region and local papers to get the information out to the families. Each child that has met the financial guidelines will be provided with a bicycle. There will also be a bike safety course for all to teach youngsters the rules of the road.

Last Updated on Monday, 12 August 2013 08:43

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Curtain goes up Wed. on Winni Playhouse production of 'The Fantastics'

MEREDITH — The Winnipesaukee Playhouse is presenting the worlds longest running musical "The Fantastics" from Wednesday, August 14 to Saturday, August 24. Performances are 7:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday with an additional 2 p.m. performance on Monday's and on Thursday, August 15.
The Fantastics tells the story of a young man and the girl next door, whose parents have built a wall to keep them apart. The youngsters nevertheless contrive to meet and  fall in love. Their parents are in a long-standing feud and disapprove of the children’s decisions,  but all is not what it seems. This musical takes the audience into a world of moonlight and magic  to watch young love blossom.
The Winni Playhouse Professional Company is excited to be performing their first musical with Playhouse veterans Alex Jacobs, Richard Brundage, Brady Lynch, Adam Kee and Kevin Killavey and fresh faces Katie Proulx, Benjamin Estus and Adam Hadas.
Director Bryan Halperin says, "The Fantasticks is a beautiful musical that has played so long in New York for a reason.  As usual, we hope to celebrate all that is magical about the piece and add our own Playhouse flair to the proceedings by looking at it with fresh eyes.  I couldn't be  more pleased to bring The Fantasticks to the Lakes Region as our first professional musical."
As always pre-show dinners are available and catered by Magic Foods Restaurant Group, the owners of Canoe in Center Harbor and O Steak and Seafood in Laconia. A post-show discussion with the cast and crew will take place on Wednesday, August 21. Be sure to check the  Winnipesaukee Playhouse website for the selected nights of free pre-show entertainment at the outdoor amphitheatre.
Tickets are $27 for seating in the orchestra, $22 for seating in the first row of the balcony and $15 for seating in the second row in the balcony. Tickets can be ordered by calling 279-0333 or by using a credit card at www.winniplayhouse.org.

Last Updated on Monday, 12 August 2013 08:09

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Documentary producer to present program about World War II in N.H.

LACONIA — Lake Winnipesaukee Museum in Weirs Beach is presenting "World War Two New Hampshire," featuring John Gfroerer on Wednesday 14 at 7 p.m.

This documentary tells the story of life in New Hampshire during the Second World War. Through interviews, historic news film, photos, and radio reports from the battlefields, this documentary and discussion facilitated by Gfroerer chronicles how a nation, a state and the citizens of New Hampshire mobilized for war.

Gfroerer is a documentary producer and owner of Accompany, a video production company based at the Capitol Center for the Arts in Concord. He has produced more than 40 documentaries, ranging from profiles of towns along the Maine Coast to a history of the New Hampshire Presidential Primary. Gfroerer's work has been aired on public television stations, The History Channel, and many other venues.

This event is free to the public thanks to a donation from the New Hampshire Humanities Council.

Last Updated on Monday, 12 August 2013 07:54

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