Great Line up of Local & Regional Musicians Slated to Perform at the Hilltown Spring Festival on June 1st!

Local & Regional Musicians will Grace Two Stages at the Hilltown Spring Festival on June 1st at the Cummington Fairgrounds!

From Hot Day at the Zoo to Mister G, there’s a great line up of local & regional musical acts scheduled for the Hilltown CDC Hilltown Spring Festival this year on June 1st at the Cummington Fairgrounds! All great entertainment for the entire family, the music begins at 11am and continues until 5pm on two stages. Check out who’s gonna be there and make plans to come for the day with your family: Read the rest of this entry »

Family Contra-Dance at the 6th Annual Hilltown Spring Festival!

Family Contra-Dance at Hilltown Spring Festival
May 12th, 5-7pm

Family Contra-Dance at the Hilltown Spring Festival in Cummington! Bring your dancing shoes and join in from 5-7pm at the Cummington Fairgrounds!

New this year at the Hilltown Spring Festival is a family contra-dance featuring The Gaslight Tinkers, a new group that includes Peter Siegel and Zoe Darrow!

They describe their music as “Afrobeat, Caribbean, breakbeat, funk, and Latin grooves meet traditional Northern Fiddle. It’s the future of the music of the past; it’s a live remix; it’ll move your feet and intrigue your mind.”

Steve Howland will be the caller. Happens under the new pavilion at the Cummington Fairgrounds from 5-7pm. Come early and enjoy live music and dinner from the many local food vendors.

For more info call the Hilltown CDC at 413-296-4536 x112. Cummington Fairgrounds is located at 97 Fairgrounds Rd. in Cummington, MA (>$, kids 12yo & under FREE)


Hilltown Spring FestivalThe Hilltown CDC’s 6th Annual Hilltown Spring Festival will be on Saturday, May 12 at the Cummington Fairgrounds! 2,000 people are expected at the Hilltown Spring Festival this year and entertainment will include musical performances and workshops, exhibits by artists and craftspeople, displays by local businesses, food from local vendors, a family contra-dance, kids-made craft bazaar, children’s activities and much more. More information is available at www.hilltowncdc.org.

[Photo credit: (ccl) Patrick Smyth]

Four Interactive Music Workshops Planned for Hilltown Spring Festival on May 12th!

Music Workshops for All Ages
Hilltown Spring Festival
May 12th at the Cummington Fairgrounds

Tony Vacca will lead a hands-on session. Learn to play a "World Music" percussion composition by listening and playing back what you hear. All ages and skill levels are welcome. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

In addition to a great line up of live music on two stages, the Hilltown Spring Festival on May 12 at the Cummington Fairgrounds will feature four interactive music workshops for all ages:

AFRO-CARIBBEAN SONG & DRUM WORKSHOP

At 1 PM, Aimee Gelinas of Gaia Roots will lead an intergenerational, interactive Afro-Caribbean song and drum workshop featuring music from Cuba, Haiti and Puerto Rico. – www.gaiaroots.com

WORLD MUSIC PERCUSSION

At 2 PM, percussionist Tony Vacca will lead a hands-on session. Learn to play a “World Music” percussion composition by listening and playing back what you hear. All ages and skill levels are welcome. The instruments usually include djembe drum, balafon, tuned bells, shekere, talking drum, gongs and drum set. Instruments will be provided, and you are welcome to bring your own as well. Whether you’re a professional drummer or a first time player, there’s a part for you to play in the ensemble. – www.tonyvacca.com

FAMILY MUSIC JAM

At 3 PM, singer and teacher Lui Collins will lead a Family Music Jam! We’ll sing together, play instruments, do a bit of movement, maybe even dance! We’ll sing traditional and original songs, accompanied by guitar and banjo. All ages are welcome, from grownups down to babes in arms. – www.luicollins.com

RECYCLED PERCUSSION

At 4 PM, in a hands-on workshop, we’ll make a wooden “harmonica” and a wacky, found-object drum set with percussionist Scott Kessel from the band Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem. Along with cans, bottles, cardboard boxes, pencils, and rubber bands, we’ll recycle rhythms from around the world into beats of our own — and then we’ll strike up the whole, recycled band! —  www.raniarbo.com


Hilltown Spring FestivalThe Hilltown CDC’s 6th Annual Hilltown Spring Festival will be on Saturday, May 12 at the Cummington Fairgrounds! 2,000 people are expected at the Hilltown Spring Festival this year and entertainment will include musical performances and workshops, exhibits by artists and craftspeople, displays by local businesses, food from local vendors, a family contra-dance, kids-made craft bazaar, children’s activities and much more. More information is available at www.hilltowncdc.org.

Mark Your Calendars for the 6th Annual Hilltown Spring Festival: May 12th!

6th Annual Hilltown Spring Festival
Cummington Fairgrounds
May 12th, 2012

The Hilltown CDC’s 6th Annual Hilltown Spring Festival will be on Saturday, May 12 at the Cummington Fairgrounds! 2,000 people are expected at the Hilltown Spring Festival this year and entertainment will include musical performances and workshops, exhibits by artists and craftspeople, displays by local businesses, food from local vendors, a family contra-dance, kids-made craft bazaar, children’s activities and much more.

Here’s a recap from the last two years at the festival:

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NEW THIS YEAR

New this year is an Emerging Artists Stage for musicians who have had little public exposure and have made little income from their music.  Samples of their music will be juried by professional musicians, and up to eight emerging artists will be chosen to perform two songs at the festival.  The music played must be original, and must be family-friendly (no “metal”, no “thrash”).  There is a $5 fee for submissions and interested artist can email to festival@hilltowncdc.org or mail P.O. Box 17, Chesterfield, MA 01012 by March 23. Include names, instruments, and a brief biography.

Also new this year is a family contra-dance from 5 to 7 PM (beginners and children always welcome)!

JOIN US: VOLUNTEER, SPONSOR, DISPLAY

Support for the Hilltown Spring Festival is provided by thirteen Local Cultural Councils; by local business sponsors; and by the exhibiting businesses.  All proceeds will contribute to the work of Hilltown CDC, including support for small businesses and support for low and moderate income Hilltown residents.  Interested in being a sponsor, vendor or volunteer? Contact Seth Isman at sethi@hilltowncdc.org and join our team!

Massachusetts Sheep and Woolcraft Fair This Weekend in the Hilltowns

Massachusetts Sheep and Woolcraft Fair
Memorial Day Weekend in the Hilltowns

This year marks the 36th anniversary of the Massachusetts Sheep and Woolcraft Fair on May 29th & 30th, 2010, at the Cummington Fairgrounds in Cummington, MA. One of the oldest of all the New England sheep fairs, the Massachusetts Sheep and Woolcraft Fair is a fun and affordable way to spend a day with family and friends discovering one of the oldest industries in the world.

[rockyou id=70920227]
(Photos credit: Sienna Wildfield)

Shepherds, spinners, weavers, and other fiber artists come from all over the Northeast to demonstrate their skills and sell their handmade fiber products. But the sheep are the real stars of it all, and there will be hundreds of them attending, both meat and wool breeds. They will be joined by a host of other fiber animals, including angora rabbits and goats, llamas, and maybe even a yak or two!

Other festival highlights include sheep dog trials, spinning and weaving contests, a fleece sale, fiber workshops, a shearing service, live music, and workshops for kids (see below). Breakfast and lunch items will be available at the food booth, including the popular lamb bits. Admission is free, however you must pay for parking.

Activity Highlights for Families:

  • Sheep Dog Trials
  • Make Knitting Needles for Kids
  • Learn to Spin for Kids
  • Kool-Aid Dyeing for Kids
  • Needle Felting For Young People
  • Felting Treasure Bags for Kids
  • Tree Branch Loom Weaving for Kids
  • Felted Flowers and Animals for Kids
  • Click here for a full schedule

Hilltown Spring Festival: A Big Green Success!

Lucky Day for Many, Green Success for All
At the 4th Annual Hilltown Spring Festival

Luck was smiling on Helene and Paul Copp. The couple, who are renovating a house they bought in Chesterfield, were spending time with family last weekend and just happened to be passing the Cummington Fairgrounds during the fourth annual Hilltown Spring Festival. They stopped to take in the sights and sounds of the event—and ended up winning the door prize, a family day-pass to Look Park.

“It was the icing on the cake for us,” Helene says. “What impressed us most about the festival was the energy there. It was relaxed and warm and yet, the stuff that people were talking about there—clean water, organic farming—is really world important stuff.”

The May 15th Festival was the biggest and greenest since the Hilltown CDC launched the event four years ago. Some 2,000 people attended—a third more than last year—and there were more eco-friendly businesses and recycling volunteers than ever before. Click here to see photos from the day.

The Hilltown CDC is a nonprofit membership organization supported by individuals and local businesses helping to build strong and caring communities throughout the Hilltowns. To sign up as a volunteer or vendor at next years Festival, contact Seth Isman at sethi@hilltowncdc.org. To learn more about the Hilltown CDC visit them at www.hilltowncdc.org or 413-296-4536.

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Hilltown Spring Festival 2010 Performance Schedule

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Hilltown Spring Festival Performance Schedule
Saturday, May 15th, 2010 from 10am-7pm
Cummington Fairgrounds, Cummington, MA

The Hilltown Spring Festival, a daylong celebration of Hilltown music, arts, culture and community, will take place Saturday, May 15th, 2010 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Cummington Fairgrounds. Produced by the Hilltown CDC, the fourth annual Festival will celebrate music diversity with 15 musical acts on two performance stages, including headliners Charles Neville, The Primate Fiasco and Swing Caravan, all-day children’s activities, local food and local brews, arts and crafts and a sustainable living expo. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

10:30am

11:30am

12:15pm

  • Maypole: Community Maypole Dance with Morris Dancers

1pm

2pm

3pm

4pm

5pm

6pm

Musical Diversity at the Hilltown Spring Festival!

Celebrate Music Diversity at the Hilltown Spring Festival

Mark Your Calendars for the Hilltown Spring Festival on May 15th at the Cummington Fairgrounds in Cummington, MA!

This year at the Hilltown Spring Festival, the Hilltown CDC will be featuring 15 bands on 2 stages! Musical offerings at the Festival will range from the jazz saxophone of Charles Neville to the Scottish pipes of Dan Houghton and will include special musical jam sessions and hands-on demonstrations throughout the day. Also on the bill are the local psychedelic Dixieland band, The Primate Fiasco, alt-jazz from Swing Caravan, Celtic fiddler Katherine First and student choirs and musical groups from Hilltown-area schools.

Among the 15 acts scheduled to perform are Gaia Roots & the Ladies Auxiliary Ukulele Orchestra:

  • Gaia Roots
    The women of Gaia Roots blend vocal harmonies with percussion rhythms creating a unique weave of traditional music and original creations. Their influences and instrumentation draw on traditions from Europe, Native America, Israel, Macedonia, South Africa, India, Brazil, Puerto Rico, Jamaica and Haiti. Their new CD, Mother Drum, was just released last month in Northampton. This is Amiee, Shanti and the rest first appearance at the festival and they’ll be playing at 3PM.
  • Ladies Auxiliary Ukulele Orchestra
    The Ladies Auxiliary Ukulele Orchestra is a rare treat for irreverent unplugged fans across the country. Formed in 1994, the members now include songwriter and educator Bernice Lewis, composer and arranger Cathy Schane-Lydon and artist Sarah McNair. Close-cropped harmonies and unrestrained ukulele strumming produce a highly original sound, as the Ladies propel themselves through a set peppered with familiar classics alongside lesser-known gems. Nothing is sacred in the Ladies’ quest for suitable material. Expected and surprising genres are equally lavished with attention to harmony, humor and originality.

Potty Talk at the Hilltown Spring Festival!

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Poop Happens at the Hilltown Spring Festival
Composting Porta-Potty to Debut!

If there is any thing parent’s become comfortable talking about once they have their first baby, it’s potty talk. So what better audience to announce to that the first-ever composting porta-potty will debut at the Hilltown Spring Festival, slated for Saturday, May 15th from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Cummington Fairgrounds. The environmentally-friendly toilet will be built this Sunday, May 2, by local installers of Phoenix Composting Toilets.

“Composting toilets are becoming more popular and people have been asking me for years, ‘When are you going to have one that’s a porta-potty?’” says Ben Goldberg, a Leeds resident who sells and installs Phoenix composting toilets. “We’re excited to be building this in time for the Hilltown Spring Festival.”

The fourth annual Spring Festival, produced by the Hilltown Community Development Corporation, is a daylong celebration of Hilltown life, featuring 15 musical acts on two stages, arts and crafts, unusual games, children’s activities, local food and local brews. (Program details at www.hilltowncdc.org)

The composting toilet is part of the Festival’s continued focus on eco-friendly business and sustainable living. The idea for the toilet has received approvals from the Cummington Fairgrounds and the Cummington Board of Health. A local farmer will provide a long-term home for the compost produced by the porta-potty.  Potty training however is still left up to the individual parent!

Hilltown Spring Festival 2009 Music Schedule

Hilltown Spring Festival Music Schedule
Saturday, May 30th, 2009 from 10am-6pm
Cummington Fairgrounds, Cummington, MA

10:30

  • Hampshire Chamber Singers & Hampshire a Capella
  • Marla BB Kids rock ‘n’ roll band – KIDS SHOW
    www.marlabb.com
    Marla BB has sung her Sassy Mama Blues across the country for over two decades. She chose the Hilltowns as her home to raise a family. She started the Hilltown Kids’ Rock ‘n Roll Band for her daughter & friends. Debuting at the Ashfield Fall Festival (where they brought tears to the audience’s eyes with their heartfelt “Peace On Earth”) last year, they are thrilled to bring their upbeat grooves to the Spring Festival this year!

11:30

  • Improvers Anonymous & Landslide, Actually
    Improvers Anonymous, an improvisational comedy group from Hampshire Regional High School. Landslide, Actually is a group of teenagers from Western Massachusetts who fuse classic rock sensibilities with modern rock experimentation and go for broke with songs that range from heart-breaking slow jams to bluesy funk riffs, fuzzed out garage rock, middle eastern-inflected reggaeton, and acoustic singalongs that build to the point of explosion. Their age belies their considerable musical invention and talents. They don’t want to sound like any other band out there; they craft an individual sound that becomes easily recognizable. The Shelburne Falls Independent says, “They’re smart, they’re funny, they’re fun, and they rock out.” See for yourselves.
  • Hilltown Charter Cooperative Public School Chorus
    www.hilltowncharter.org
    The Hilltown Charter Cooperative Public School Chorus, directed by Penny Schultz, is a non-auditioned group made up of thirty-three 3rd through 8th grade students from The Hilltown Cooperative Charter Public School, a regional K-8 school in Haydenville, MA serving students in Hampshire and Franklin counties. The chorus performs music from community singing traditions around the world. They sing about peace, justice, and the celebration of life and community. The director, Penny Schultz, has been teaching music and dance at HCCPS for 13 years. The chorus is one of her special loves. The chorus is supported on piano and accordion by the remarkable musician and composer, parent volunteer Chris Haynes.

12:30

  • The Academy Freightshakers~bluegrass (The Academy at Charlemont)
    The Academy Freightshakers count among their sources and influences Mac Wiseman, Old Crow Medicine Show, Woody Guthrie, Guns n Roses and They Might Be Giants. This fun-loving student band from The Academy at Charlemont plays a mix of original songs, roots music, and new arrangements of pop classics.
  • Stephen Katz innovative cellist
    www.stephenkatzmusic.com
    “With a bow and fingers as light as feathers, Stephen Katz makes a cello bring out meanings you might not have suspected were there.” — New York Times
    “Stephen Katz makes some remarkably innovative music with the cello. While revering its traditions, he is on the cutting edge of liberating the instrument… His composition Eight Days of Eve is the most beautiful piece of “looped” music I have ever heard.” — Paul Winter

1:00

  • Huntington Dance Centre
    The Floralia Children’s Company of the Huntington Dance Centre performs musical adaptations of popular children’s stories. This year’s production is “Penny Pan,” a new twist on the story of Peter Pan with singing pirates and dancing mermaids – it is sure to entertain audiences of all ages.

1:30

  • Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem~ KIDS SHOW
    www.raniarbo.com
    Valley favorites Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem invite families to buckle up for their children’s show – a rollicking musical trip across America! We’ll head down to the Georgia Sea Islands, hop over the Appalachian mountains, swing through a Mississippi blues joint and duck into a zydeco dance hall on the way. We’ll play some old songs and some new songs. We’ll mix up folk and blues songs. We’ll even play some rock and roll, on a drum set made of cardboard!
  • Dave Bartley & Friends (jazz)

2:30

  • Lilac Wine~an intoxicating ensemble
    www.radiofreeearth.com
    www.sarahstockwell.com
    Lilac Wine is an intoxicating ensemble that will seduce you with their canny song selection, mellifluous vocals and harmony, and kaleidoscopic string instrumentation. Comprised of Kim and Josh Wachtel of Radio Free Earth, Sarah Stockwell-Arthen, and Heather Cupo and Sean Kimball, the act is not to be missed.
  • Malachite~celtic rock fusion
    www.malachitemusic.com
    “Somewhere between the acoustic lilt of traditional Celtic music, the rowdy brawl of Irish pub songs and the punk sensibilities of the Pogues lies a Hilltown gem called Malachite.” – Daily Hampshire Gazette

3:30

  • Dan Houghton & Garry Jones~bagpipes & guitar
    www.pipingtool.co.uk
    Dan Houghton is a Scottish piper, flautist and DADGAD guitarist currently residing in the Brattleboro area. Winner of many competitions, including the Scottish Lowland and Border Piper’s Society Open Borderpipes and New Composition events and the St. Chartier Mâitre de Cornemuse, he has toured and taught extensively throughout Britain, Europe, Ireland, America, Asia and the Antipodes.
    Garry Jones is a guitarist, instrument maker and composer of rich pedigree from Queensland, Australia by way of Ireland, now residing on the banks of the West River. He plays a wide variety of musical styles but always with a strong Celtic traditional influence.
  • Swing Caravan~alt-jazz for the people
    www.swingcaravan.com
    Swing Caravan is a toe tappin’, finger snappin’, get it down deep in your soul kind of group. Their music is rooted in the great acoustic Gypsy Jazz tradition of Django Reinhardt from France in the 1930s and 40s. Their sound ranges from uplifting and blazing fast swing rhythms to heartbreaking acoustic ballads with vocals. They play Reinhardt compositions, American jazz standards, original compositions, and some other eclectic surprises. The band is rapidly becoming known throughout western Massachusetts for their ability to refresh this traditional music with a modern approach and sound that is all their own. Their performances are special because of the fun, spontaneous playfulness that the group shares with audiences. Swing Caravan’s instrumental playing, singing, and group chemistry opens up the idea of jazz as a popular music to a broad acoustic music audience.

4:30

  • Zoë Darrow & the Fiddleheads~celtic fiddle tunes
    www.zoedarrow.com
    Zoë Darrow and the Fiddleheads play traditional Scottish, Irish, and Cape Breton style fiddle tunes. Zoë Darrow’s soulful interpretations of Celtic music and her charming persona are not to be missed.
  • The Primate Fiasco ~psychedelic dixieland
    www.primatefiasco.com
    The Primate Fiasco is what you might call a psychedelic dixieland band. With the instrumentation of tuba, trumpet, clarinet, banjo, drums, and vocals, any modern style of music can be fused with that New Orleans festive sound to create high energy jams that will move the feet of hippies, ravers, jazzers, break dancers, and their grandparents.

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