Letter to the Editor:
In a season not conducive to outdoor performances, the recently completed 40th anniversary season of the Norwood Village Green Concert Series was successful on both financial and artistic levels.
More donations were raised than ever and our record of “pass the bucket” donations was surpassed by $700. Since the concerts were plagued by rain that is amazing.
One of our artistic goals was to elevate the performance level, and artist fees exceeded other seasons. The resulting programming was awe-inspiring. The enjoyment, feedback and response from the audience equaled that effort.
Two diverse dance groups were presented, Soul Street from Houston and Danse Cadence from Montreal. Other acts included Sacred Steel Gospel music from the Afro American Church as performed by National Heritage Award recipients; the Campbell Brothers, and Juno award winner Kellylee Evans. Evans’s performance was extraordinary, given the fact that she was struck by lightning two weeks before.
Denis DiBlasio exhibited a mastery of tone colors. His “scat” singing was fabulous and the members of the All Star Big Band were up to the musical task. Thank you Wally Siebel and the All Star Big Band. The partnership with Crane Youth Music continued and 350 students benefited from workshops and the concert.
With short notice of just 27 hours the great acoustic bluegrass/newgrass innovators Della Mae were engaged. Ten minutes before the concert, it was moved indoors and 200 people enjoyed a totally acoustic concert. The audience loved it. Della Mae is expected to make a return appearance.
Preparation for the probability of using the Norwood-Norfolk auditorium for a rain site for the Suzy Bogguss concert was set in motion. A special thank you is in order for Ed Penny, head custodian. He made it all work on a Sunday, including the air conditioning. There was a breakdown of house sound equipment. Andy Van Duyne figured out what was needed, sent my crew back to Norwood (at 5 p.m.), where we fetched our two Mackie self powered speakers and snake. The sound check proceeded at 5:35 p.m. We were only delayed 10 minutes.
We are still in the afterglow of that concert. More than 500 people packed the auditorium to enjoy a remarkable performance by this gifted performer. People will remember this concert for a long time.
There were many more musical highlights of the season and many more people to thank that space doesn’t permit. I am currently working on next season’s schedule with a full range of potentials. The job now is to focus in on what is possible.
Joseph M. Liotta
Norwood Village Green Concert Serie