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Lenten Music Series features Robert Couchon Concert

LACONIA — The Congregational Church of Laconia, UCC invites the public to share in Music for Lent. All events will be held in the sanctuary of the church, in at 18 Veteran's Square in downtown Laconia. An organ concert will be presented at noon on Friday April 11, and a Good Friday service will feature music by the combined choirs of the Laconia and Sanbornton Congregational churches.

An organ concert on April 11 will feature Robert D. Couchon, a native of Worcester, Massachusetts. He studied piano from the age of seven, and pursued a degree as a foreign language major before finally majoring in Organ at the Boston Conservatory of Music. While at the Conservatory, he was accepted as one of a very limited number of students of concert Organist, Virgil Fox, with whom he studied for five years. During that time, he also pursued advanced piano studies in New York City with Mary Louise Boehm, a concert pianist and pupil of the legendary German pianist, Walter Gieseking.

Mr. Couchon is currently Organist and Music Director of the United Church of Christ in Temple, New Hampshire, and Director of Music and Organist of Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Parish in Winchendon, Massachusetts and also Organist of Temple Emmanuel-Sinai, in Worcester, Massachusetts, a position he has held for the past twenty six years. Mr. Couchon is also a frequent recitalist in the New England area and a teacher of both piano and organ.

On the evening of April 18 at 7 pm, a Good Friday service will be held at the church, with music by the combined choirs of the Laconia Congregational Church and the Sanbornton Congregational Church. The combined choir will be accompanied by Bob Bengtson, Director of Music and Organist of the Laconia Congregational Church and Doug Embree, Organist of the Sanbornton Congregational church, and directed by Dennis Akerman, Minister of Music and Choir Director at Sanbornton Congregational Church.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 08 April 2014 08:11

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Tower Hill Club hosting JamGrass event Friday & Saturday

WEIRS BEACH — The Tower Hill Club, located at 290 Lakeside Ave, Laconia, will host the inaugural JamGrass Spring Festival and canned food drive on Friday, April 11 and Saturday, April 12, from 6 p.m. until 1 a.m. on both nights.
A half a dozen bands from across New England will get that spring feeling in the air, and will make even the coldest winter is a distant memory. Bluegrass music regularly features banjo, guitar, fiddle, mandolin, and stand-up bass, dobro, and tight vocal harmonies. Bands will be performing both traditional and original tunes.
This event doubles as a canned food drive to benefit Strangers Helping Strangers, a unique organization that provides support and resources to care for those less fortunate by setting up food drives at local concerts and festivals, after which supplies are delivered to local food banks, pantries and shelters.
JamGrass is an affordable event, $8 for a one day pass and $14 for a two day pass 21+ or all ages with a parental guardian. Concessions, beer, wine and liquor will be available. The festival is housed indoors and will be a rain or shine event, there are several places to stay in the area. For hotel or motel reservations visit www.weirsnh.com
The JamGrass Spring Festival is held at the Tower Hill Club, located on the 2nd floor above Tower Hill Tavern. Parking on Weirs Beach is free for this event. For more information, contact Jay Santagate at (603)366-9100 or visit www.TowerHillClub.com

Last Updated on Tuesday, 08 April 2014 08:05

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Hermit Woods celebrating the Grand opening of their new Meredith home


MEREDITH — Hermit Woods Winery will be celebrating the grand opening of their new Meredith home on Saturday and Sunday, April 12 and 13 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 72 Main Street, Meredith.

In May of 2013, with the help of Meredith Village Savings Bank and Belknap County Economic Development Council, Hermit Woods purchased the building that was the long time home of the Fermentation Station and began what turned out to be an extensive eleven month renovation. With that renovation almost complete, Hermit Woods is now ready to share their new home with the public.

Festivities will include live music by Local Artists Mark Dionne from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and David Young from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday. Wine tasting and light food will be available and Hermit Woods will be offering complimentary tours of their new wine making facilities.

Also, the owners of Hermit Woods are very excited about their partnership with Oglethorpe's Fine Arts & Crafts, who will manage the gift side of Hermit Woods winery. Oglethorpe's has been offering finely crafted, American made arts and crafts in Meredith for over 20 years, and will now bring that tradition to Hermit Woods Winery with a focus on wine related gifts.

Hermit Woods will also be developing a selection of locally made foods. Bob Manley, partner at Hermit Woods, said, "it will take a few months to develop our selection, but we are off to a good start with the most delectable breads and coffee in the area". The Bread Peddler will be offering hand made artisan breads and a there will be a wide selection of Woodshed Coffee.

"We look forward to taking our place amongst the Meredith business community and doing our part to create a wonderful environment for both tourists and residence alike" says Bob, "the staff at Mill Falls at the Lake have already expressed how happy they are that we are in town and have begun helping their guests find us". Bob added, "The whole town has been so supportive of our effort, we can't say enough how much we have appreciated the warm welcome."

Last Updated on Tuesday, 08 April 2014 08:00

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BIBA Holds Day-Long Retreat on Developing Local Initiatives

LACONIA — BIBA Board members, new and old, enjoyed a full day workshop facilitated by Joe Grafton, Director of Development & Community Engagement for AMIBA (American Independent Business Alliance). AMIBA is a non-profit organization helping communities launch and successfully operate "buy-independent, buy-local" campaigns, develop pro-local policies, and other initiatives to support local entrepreneurs and vibrant local economies. Belknap Independent Business Alliance (BIBA) is a member of AMIBA.
Thanks to a grant from NH Charitable Foundation and American Express Open, three New Hampshire local alliances were able to benefit from individual, professionally facilitated workshops. In addition to BIBA, the other two included Seacoast Local and Monadnock Buy Local)
Board members along with Executive Director Kate Hamel, and Grafton met at My Coffee House in Laconia for introductions and a brief period of networking before convening to the Gale Memorial Library's Volpe Room for the day, breaking only for a quick lunch at Burrito Me. They topped the day off with a quick round of appetizers at the Brickfront Restaurant. "We practice what we preach" states BIBA President Randy Bullerwell, noting that these businesses are independently owned, local businesses.
Topics of the day-long event included operational planning, value propositions, differentiation, activities and legal duties of board members. "With half of us being new to BIBA's board in just the past few months, this workshop offered a great opportunity to identify and redistribute duties as well as clarifying where we are with BIBA and where we want to go from here", stated Debbie Bolduc, one of the newest members.
Art Franson, Jack Landow and Bolduc recently joined Randy Bullerwell, David Buffington and Chris McCarthy, bringing the total number of board members to six, who along with Hamel manage all aspects of the organization. "The dedication of these individuals is to be commended", states Grafton. "Most of them are business owners and sole proprietors who gave up an entire day from their own work for the betterment of BIBA and the independent business community".
BIBA members benefit from a website listing, a decal to place in their shop window, participation in the Buy Local Advantage Card program and the right to use the BIBA logo in all advertising. "With the buy local movement continuing to grow, it's more important now than ever for businesses to identify themselves as locally owned independent businesses" states Buffington.
Recent studies show businesses in communities with an active buy-local movement experienced a 3-7% revenue increase in 2013. "In the strongest local economies, most dollars are spent at locally-owned businesses, where they recirculate several times in the community. This multiplier effect is a critical, but often overlooked factor in creating community wealth," said Hamel.
These statistics verify the need for organizations like BIBA. Membership fees and sponsorships help cover the expenses and allow BIBA to continue to offer more support to the independent business community. "Much like public television and radio, everyone benefits regardless if they invest in it or not, but without those investments, the entity can't exist" says Landow.
The annual membership drive is underway with current focus being on renewals of existing memberships, to be followed shortly by efforts to gain new members. Membership forms are available online at bibanh.org, or by calling 582-7270 or emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Last Updated on Tuesday, 08 April 2014 07:55

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