Start your Summer with Music, Arts, and Theater


Rain or shine, Joyful Noise 7 Music Festival is happening in Quakertown, PA 837 Old Bethlehem Road) today, Saturday, June 24, 2017, from 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. This free festival benefits local food pantries and features some fantastic local musicians, crafts, classic cars, kids activities, food, and more!

Manayunk’s Annual Arts Festival takes over Main Steeet, Manayunk, PA all weekend; Saturday, June 24 from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. and Sunday, June 25 from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. Nearly 300 amazing artists will be showcasing and selling their work. This is a rain or shine event.  (I always take one of the shuttle buses which run from two different parking lots down to the Manayunk Arts Festival. My favorite spot to pick up the shuttles is at 555 City Avenue. You can also pick one up at the Ivy Ridge Train Station (4910 Umbria Street. The usual fare for a round trip is a $3 donation to North Light Community Center.)

The Sabor Latin Festival continues through Sunday, June 25, 2017 at Steel Stacks in Bethlehem, PA;

Experience three days of music, food and family fun including free concerts, arts and crafts, children’s activities, Latin dance presentations, and a Mariachi Mass.

This is the final weekend to see The Dixie Swim Club at DCP Theater in Telford, PA (795 Ridge Road);

Five Southern women, whose friendships began years ago on their college swim team, set aside a weekend every August to recharge. Free from husbands, kids and jobs, they meet at the same beach cottage in the Outer Banks to catch up, laugh and meddle in each other’s lives. This story focuses on four of those weekends over a span of thirty-three years. When fate throws a wrench into one of their lives, these friends, proving the enduring power of teamwork, rally around their own with strength and love.

This is the only weekend to take the family to see Once on This Island, Jr, staged by Star of the Day Productions’ youth performers at McCoole’s Arts and Events Place, 10 Main Street, Quakertown, PA;

Once on this Island, JR. is an adaptation of the celebrated Broadway musical. This rousing Calypso-flavored tale follows one small girl who finds love in a world of prejudice. Once on This Island is an engaging, Caribbean-flavored musical set on an unnamed island in the French Antilles. The story of Ti Moune, a peasant girl who falls in love above her class, is told around a fire by a group of Caribbean peasants as they wait out a terrible storm.​
With its poignant story and catchy Caribbean-flavored musical score, Once on This Island JR. is a highly original theatrical adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s popular fairy tale, The Little Mermaid, and the Tony-nominated Broadway musical by the legendary writing team, Ahrens and Flaherty.
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Free Concert Tonight; chorale, instrumental, handbells, dance, and more!

St. Mark’s Summer Music Camp will be presenting a free concert tonight, Friday, June 23, 2017 beginning at 7 p.m. in the sanctuary of St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, 81 Main Street, Pennsburg, PA. All those who attended the camp have spent a fair portion of the week learning and preparing for the concert. The event features an Instrumental Ensemble, guitar playing, handbells, singing, Orff Instruments (instruments include miniature xylophones, marimbas, glockenspiels, and drums), and Folk and Sacred Dance. The program is expected to run about 75 minutes. Free and open to the public!

Next year’s St. Mark’s Summer Music Camp will be held from June 25-29, 2018. Registration will open in late February 2018.



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Work and MMUP Do Mix!

We know that many people have to work on Wednesday, June 21, 2017, but that doesn’t mean you have to miss out on Make Music Upper Perk! Music will be playing from 9 a.m. until 10 p.m. at night!

Make Music was started in the 1980’s in France as a way to celebrate music on the first day of summer wherever you are – that is why music performances are held in all different types of public spaces. In the Upper Perkiomen Valley, that means there will be music playing when you stop by for a cup of coffee and muffin or croissant to go at Java Bake, and at the YMCA in Pennsburg when you are fitting in your daily exercise. There will be music playing at the public library and at the Community Thrift Shop (open on Wednesday, just this week!) that you can catch when you drop off donations or books needing to be returned (or listen to while you roam the aisles during a quick break in your day looking for a hidden treasure).

Even the hardest workers should take time for lunch, and this year six restaurants (in addition to Java Bake and Company in East Greenville) will be serving live music along with good food; Kaufman House in Sumneytown, Chiaro’s in Green Lane, M&J Gourmet (next to Valley Cafe at Shady Nook in Pennsburg), Diehl’s Real Teas and Mario’s Pizza in East Greenville, and Wing Man down the road by Walmart.

And why not head straight for the music at dinner time? The Green Lane Marlborough Lions Club will be cooking and selling hot dogs, along with other refreshments, on the lawn at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, Pennsburg, PA, while the music plays. The Acoustic Blues Project will be performing on the lawn at 5 p.m., followed by the Houseblend Acoustics Duo at 5:30. Meghan Williams will be the “opening act” for the Red Hill Band; she sings at 6:15 p.m. and the Red Hill Band plays from 7 p.m. – 8: 30 p.m.  Java Bake will still be serving food and featuring musicians Wednesday evening, until 7 p.m.

The bands don’t even start to play until 6 p.m. at Bike and Sol (formerly the Community Center, 104 Main Street, East Greenville); 4 bands will be playing between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. Make some art of your own or just sit back and enjoy the variety of live music from 3 p.m. – 8 pm.. at Art on Main, 218 Main Street, East Greenville, PA. The Upper Perk High School Select Choir is the first one on The Porch at Pennsburg UCC (775 Main Street) at 7 p.m., followed by some wonderful soloists singing pop, contemporary Christian music, folk music, and more (Ryleigh Fisher, Paul Johnston, and Maggie Friedman; 7:30, 8, and 8:30 respectively).

Finally, join in the singing by the campfire at 9 p.m. – there are 2 Campfire SingAlongs to choose from; Pennsburg UCC and New Goshenhoppen Park, 3rd Street, East Greenville, PA.

Complete schedule here. 


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Another Way to Plan Your MMUP Day

Screen Shot 2017-06-18 at 4.50.57 PM

illustration by Mary GrandPré (appeared in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban)

Trying to figure out how to spend your time and plan your day and/or night of listening to some of the music playing on Make Music Upper Perk – Wednesday, June 21, 2017 – can be quite challenging (until someone figures out how to be two or three places at once – time turner anyone? – hard choices have to be made).


Some people have found it slightly easier to make their  plans when looking at a spreadsheet with the times and performances for the day laid out on a grid. Thanks to one of our intrepid photographers, Art Olsen, we have such a spreadsheet.



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Enjoy a Musical Weekend to Start a Musical Week!

Allentown’s 43rd Art in the Park starts at 10 a.m. Saturday morning, June 17th, 2017, in West Park (16th and Turner Streets), Allentown, PA, and continues to 5 p.m. Some 70 juried artists will be showing and selling their work at this free event, while several musical performances have been scheduled to take place as part of Art in the Park.

The event will feature a range of two- and three-dimensional works including jewelry, ceramics, weaving, glass, painting, sculpture, drawing, photography, constructions, and art made from recycled or repurposed materials. High school and college students from Lehigh Valley schools will (also) be participating, providing them with a unique learning and earning opportunity.

The event will feature music from the El Sistema String Orchestra and the Allentown Band as well as performances by Repertory Dance Theatre.

I’m sure some potters and visitors will be whistling a happy tune at Stahl’s 30th Annual Pottery Festival in Zionsville, PA from 9 a.m – 5 p.m., rain or shine (along Route 29/100)

Over 30 local potters displaying and selling traditional & contemporary pottery

  • tours of the potting sheds and kiln
  • pottery demonstrations
  • hands-on potting opportunities
  • an exhibit of original, historic Stahl’s pottery
  • the sale of baked goods & light refreshments
  • Our newest Commemorative Ornament & other SPPS items

Admission is $4.00 per person; children under 18 are free. Parking is free.

Two  musicals have recently taken the stage in our area; Hair is on stage at Muhlenberg Summer Theater, Empie Theatre, Baker Center for the Arts, 2400 Chew Street, Allentown, PA from June 14 – July 2, 2017. Evita opened this week at Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, 2755 Station Avenue, Center Valley, PA (on campus of DeSales University) June 14 – July 2, 2017

In Harleysville, The Church of the Holy Spirit is hosting a free concert, Rhapsody in Blue and other genre defying music, on Saturday night, June 17th, beginning at 7 p.m. The public is invited to the concert, and to the reception afterwards. There will be a freewill offering. The Church of the Holy Spirit, 2871 Barndt Road, Harleysville, PA.

The BLT Trio (Bolding, Lockman & Trumbore) returns for their 3rd annual summer concert of music for violin, cello and piano. This concert will feature Keoni Bolding’s own arrangement of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue!

There are Outdoor Concerts Every Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday  this summer at Levitt Pavilion SteelStacks, 101 Founders Way, Bethlehem, PA These are free concerts with free parking, folks are encouraged to bring blankets or folding chairs; lawn seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis. The front section of the Pavilion is reserved for blankets only. Concerts are rain or shine, family friendly (occasionally concerts may be moved indoors or cancelled due to weather). The musical genres scheduled range from blues to country, folk to jazz, oldies to rock and roll. Coolers are permitted (non-alcoholic beverages only). Alcohol is available for purchase for patrons 21 or older. Outside alcohol is not permitted.

And don’t forget about the Make Music Upper Perk PREVIEW EVENTS this weekend! You can catch a sneak peek at some of the musicians who will be performing at Make Music Upper Perk at preview performances planned for Saturday night, June 17th at the Wing Man’s Open Mic (622 Gravel Pike, East Greenville, PA – by the Walmart), beginning at 7:30 p.m. and at Songwriters’ Showcase Sunday Brunch on Sunday, June 18th at Diehl’s Real Teas (239 Main Street, East Greenville, PA) from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Stop by Monday’s Free Community Meal at Pennsburg UCC (775 Main Street, Pennsburg, PA) at 6 p.m. on June 19, 2017, you will have a chance for one more MMUP musician “sneak peek;” musicians from the Erica Cherry Teaching Studio will providing the music during the meal.

Which brings us to this Wednesday, June 21st, 2017, when the music will be playing all day, all over the Upper Perkiomen Valley, all free and open to the public! Check out the program and start making your plan for the annual Make Music Upper Perk!

Posted in art shows, concerts, festivals, for children, local artists, local musicians, Make Music Upper Perk, MMUP News, theater, weekend highlights | Leave a comment

Another rainy day (or night) idea

Here are a few ideas for those spending a rainy day or night at home (with or without kids);

Pick up your smart phone (or tablet or computer) and make a music video for the Make Music Upper Perk Cell Phone Video Showcase! We’ve extended the deadline to submit a short video to midnight tomorrow (Saturday, June 17, 2017). Take some photos and video of your favorite moments, add your favorite song (easily done with some free phone apps) and submit your newly minted video to this year’s Cell Phone Music Video Showcase at Make Music Upper Perk! It can be about whatever brings you joy; graduation, walks in the woods, you and your friends playing air guitar in the backyard, a story you want to tell with music, singing around the campfire, an original song you’ve written, film a band playing in the garage, whatever images put to any music (within family friendly limits, please!) There are prizes for youth and adult categories (video makers 18 and under, and over 18 years of age). Read more about the contest, suggested apps, and how to submit the video.

Make and decorate an edible cake based on a Broadway musical or show tune; go wherever your imagination and creativity take you, whether it be few musical notes and the name of a show or character; or a design based in any way on Cats, Wicked, Hamilton, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Chorus Line, Oklahoma, Phantom of the Opera, Spamalot, or any other musical you like. The cake can be as small as a cupcake, or as large as you can carry. Cakes must be delivered to the Schwenkfelder Library and Heritage Center, 105 Seminary Avenue, Pennsburg, PA between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Tuesday, June 20, 2017. There will be prizes for Best Design in two separate age brackets; Youth (18 and under) and Adult (over 18). There will also be a “People’s Choice Award” voted on by the public throughout the day of Make Music Upper Perk for favorite decorated cake (for each age group). The cakes will be on display upstairs in the music room of the Schwenkfelder Library and Heritage Center all day Wednesday, as part of our celebration of 5 years of Make Music Upper Perk. We will be cutting the decorated cakes and sharing them with the public at 3:30 p.m. at Schwenkfelder Library and Heritage Center on June 21, 2017 (after the final musical performance of the day at this location). Read more about the contest.

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Jump Start Your Weekend in Southside Bethlehem

Start your weekend this afternoon (if you can) at the Southside Film Festival in Bethlehem, PA, featuring an incredible range of short and feature length dramas, comedies, documentaries, and animated films that you are unlikely to find elsewhere; for synopses, run-times, and other info on the films please head over to the Film Info page.  The Children’s Film Festival has four different sets of films running today and tomorrow (Friday, June 16 and Saturday, June 17, 2017); 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1 p.m., 2:30 p.m. – all free admission! Ticket prices for the other films range from $5 to $10. An All Access Pass is available for $50.  The Southside Film Festival started Wednesday and runs through Saturday night, June 17, 2017.

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