Windham – Pleasant surprises come from all places. Mine started in the form a flyer in the Nelson town hall for the “First Snow” concert. I figured that if they weren’t that good, it was still only $6 and for a good cause. Then I found that low price sometimes is no indicator of quality.
“First Snow” is a Trans-Siberian Orchestra cover band, and the age “eight-to-eighty” audience at the Renaissance Family Center reflected their classical-to-rock range of style. By the groups third song, they had included all three T-S O Christmas CDs. Keyboardist/singer Beth Salisbury gave an interesting interpretation of “Prince of Peace”. She then added a traditional version of “Hark the Herald Angels Sing”. Most of the night showcased their rock side, as guitarist/singer Kevin Bennett perfectly reproduced the T-S O vocals on “This Christmas Day”. Their self-titled song “First Snow” included a “snow machine” that chased away the photographer that was blocking the middle aisle up front. Drummer Scott Weiner even contributed a rousing drum solo. The band branched out into a blues song, and then young Ethan Long soloed on acoustic guitar with “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”. “Christmas Jam” was especially amazing, with Bennett, Salisbury, Long and multi-talented Brian Briggs each taking turns with impressive guitar solos. Bennett then contributed a heartfelt song that he had written about his father after his passing. The keyboardists also delighted the crowd with “Flight of the Bumblebee”.
Some of the band returned as Division Bell, an impressive Pink Floyd tribute band with only three instrumentalists. Both bands battled sound system problems throughout the night; I would have loved to hear Monique Orban’s vocal gymnastics on “Great Gig in the Sky”. The members were also a tribute band to the group Heart, as the crowd got one last treat with the song “Barracuda”.
In one night these talented musicians had three established bands “looking over their shoulders”. Windham was really fortunate to host such a team of incredible musical talent December 4th, and it won’t be too soon if they can be persuaded to return.
Ravenna – The Portage County Historical Society in Ravenna will host a Christmas Open House & Holiday Fund-Raising Sale on Saturday, December 11, 2010 from 1:00 to 5:00 P.M.
The Lowrie-Beatty Museum, Carter house, Strickland house, Log Cabin, Campbell Land Office, Ford Seed Store, Mahan Barn and Indian Village will all be open for tours.
The “Unique Gift” Fund Raising Sale will feature items donated just for this sale. Tables will be set up throughout the facility and a special table will be Just for Kids, with all items under $1.00. The society needs good quality items donated for the fundraising sale and will be accepting donations until Thursday, December 9, 2010. Things such as older Christmas decorations, glassware, china, tools, old toys, games and books are the type of items the society needs for the fund raising sale. A 50-50-Raffle, Door Prizes and refreshments will be located in the Library area of the Museum building. The Historical Society is located at 6549 North Chestnut Street, Ravenna Ohio. For more information call 330-296-3523 or visit http://history.portage.oh.us
Middlefield – Come visit Vancura Gallery at 14279 Old State Road, Middlefield during our 4th annual Christmas in the Country on Friday and Saturday December 3rd and 4th and 10th and 11th. The lineup this year includes: Amish feather painter Ben Miller, music duo Amy Timco and her father Jeff Hise, well-known published area artist Florian Lawton, candle smoke artist Laura Fields, and Somerset-published artist James Seward. These artists will be available for meet-and-greet, sales, and demonstrations.
Purchase your raffle ticket for a chance to win a dinner for two at Mary Yoder’s Amish Kitchen, a sleigh ride for two from Ma and Pa’s gift shack, and an overnight stay at the Red Maple Inn. Ticket price is $3.00 per ticket. Raffle tickets are also for sale for a custom framed giclee Christmas print painted by Greenwich Workshop artist Paul Landry. This art piece is valued at $500. Ticket price are $1.00 per ticket or 10 for $5.00.
All this money goes to two Middlefield Police Charities which are: Shop with a Cop and Middlefield Cares! (the area food cupboard) Refreshments, Christmas fun, artists, raffles, live Christmas carols and unique Christmas gifts will be available at Vancura Gallery during Christmas in the Country. Enjoy old-fashion friendly service, no long lines and plenty of parking, and smiles
Call Vancura Gallery at (440) 632-1124 for more details and times, or visit us on line at www.vancuragallery.com, or Settlers’ Village on facebook or in person at 14279 Old State Road, Middlefield 44062.
Left to right, Victor Fackler, Junior Steward; Clint Wright, Junior Deacon; Rev. Fred Bell, Chaplain; Dan Schaer, Trustee; Glenn Showalter, Junior Warden; John Porter, Treasurer; Guy Alexander, Master; William B. Owen, Secretary; Roger Norton, Senior Warden; Richard Collopy, Senior Deacon; and John Grosell, Senior Steward.
Garrettsville – The proud Masons of Garrettsville Lodge #246 recently held their 157th consecutive installation of officers. The Lodge members have been meeting at the same location since 1874 and are proud to count among their past members James A. Garfield who served as Lodge chaplain while president of Hiram College. Pictured above are the newly installed officers.
– Celebrate Christ’s coming at Sparrow Christian Bookshop in Middlefield during the month of December.
The Church Boys will perform in the shop on the evening of Friday, Dec. 3rd from 6pm to 8pm. The Church Boys are a local quartet and will perform many Christmas and gospel favorites.
On the evening of Wed. Dec. 8, at 7pm, The First United Methodist Church Junior Choir will perform special selections from their annual Christmas musical – It’s A Wonder-Ful Life.
For all your Christmas gifts, music, cards and ornaments, stop by the bookshop. Sparrow Christian is located at SR 608 and SR 87. Christmas hours are: Dec. 6- Dec. 19 Mon-Fri 9-8pm, Sat. 9-6pm. Dec. 21 – Dec. 23 9am-9pm, Christmas Eve. 9am-5pm. 440.632.0011, sparrowchristian.com