Time for Outdoor Summer Concerts and Events!

. Tonight, Sunday, May 16th, is the first free summer concert at Green Lane Park of the 2021 season! Morrow and Ford will take the stage at 6 p.m., and keep on playing until 8 p.m., with a mix of music, featuring “the vast and rich catalogue of Jerry Garcia and David Grisman.” All ages are welcome, and everyone is encouraged to bring a lawn chair or blanket for comfortable seating on the grassy expanse. There are also picnic tables not far from the concert area, which is nice for a pre-show meal, and a playground within sight of the performance area. The bandstand is located near the tennis courts and parking lot at 2298 Green Lane Road, Green Lane Pa.

The 2021 Summer Concert Lineup at Green Lane Park continues throughout the season, with one show a month. All concerts are free and begin at 6 p.m.

Wunderbarn, at Rainbow Tomatoes, is once more holding Third Friday Variety Hours, and is adding more arts events throughout the summer – many free and open to the public! This Friday, May 21st, the Foolbright Scholars will take the stage at 6:30 p.m. Parking can be a bit tricky, but that’s not the only reason one should try and get there early – the farmstand and shop will be open and have assorted refreshments including baked goods available for sale, along with zines, books, art, and other interesting miscellaneous items. The June Variety Hour, on Friday, June 18th, will feature Lewis Everline, a 95 year old storyteller telling tales of Appalachia. Third Friday events are free and open to the public.

Vaudeville Storytime is another of the Wunderbarn’s summertime series. Pocket Joys (who has previously appeared locally at Make Music Upper Perk) will be on site at 10 a.m. on Saturday morning, June 5th;

Join us for some whimsical music from the Pocket Joys. This is a sea-themed, family friendly event where we explore the underwater world of our imaginations through song, words, and a fun, make-and-take found object sea anemone.

Donations accepted at event. Outdoor seating. Wear a mask.


On Monday, June 21st, Make Music Upper Perk is back with live performances all outdoors, all free, all open to the public, and all over the Upper Perkiomen Valley. The 2021 event will be held in 13 locations with music going from 9 a.m. until 10 p.m. (different times at different spaces). Come celebrate music and enjoy part or all of the day out in the community. A detailed schedule of musicians with times and places will be published online soon, and will also appear in handouts at various spaces in the area, as well as in the Town and Country newspaper. Some of the performances will be livestreamed and available to watch on the Make Music Upper Perk Facebook page – a specific schedule for livestreams will also be available online before June 21st.

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MMUP Volunteer Meeting – Saturday, May 15, 2021

Our first community volunteer meeting for this year’s Make Music Upper Perk will be next Saturday, May 15th, 2021, at 10 a.m., at the New Goshenhoppen Park bandshell (618 Third Street, East Greenville) with all public safety protocols in place (in other words, outside, with plenty of room to spread out/socially distance, and masks encouraged). This is a covered space, so the meeting will be held rain or shine.

On Saturday we’ll be handing out MMUP yard signs and flyers, along with location info on where they should go (we have permission to place yard signs at certain spots around the area – which means, among other things, that we’ll be able to get the signs back and use them again next year!)

Some key volunteer opportunities are “site hosts” – introducing performers at venues; “sound engineers” – overseeing sound systems at certain venues; photographers; handmade poster designers – putting venue specific set lists on poster board for display at venue on June 21st, and “roadies” – dropping off and picking up equipment, banners, water jugs, etc. at different venues on the Monday, June 21st.

If you can’t make it to the meeting next Saturday, you can also register as a volunteer online today, learn more about all the different volunteer roles and tasks available, and let us know about your availability, via the online Volunteers MMUP2021 form.

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Last Call! Midnight Deadline for Musician Registration for this year’s Make Music Upper Perk!

Midnight tonight – Tuesday, April 20th – is the deadline to sign up to perform at this year’s Make Music Upper Perk

In 2021, Make Music Upper Perk will take place on Monday, June 21st from sunup to sundown (or very nearly so), all outdoors, all open to the public, all free.

Gather your friends, dust off your instruments, and sign up – anyone and everyone is invited to participate – students, amateurs, professionals, and everyone in between – all musical genres are welcome (but do keep it family friendly).

Spoken word aka poetry, rap, short prose, and slam poetry will also have a special time and place and be part of this year’s Make Music Upper Perk.

We will try to accommodate the time and place you request, but depending on the popularity of some times and places, we can not promise it will exactly match. You may sign up to play at multiple venues for more than one set during the day. You will be notified the first week in May as to your schedule for the day, via the email address that you list on the form.

Make Music Upper Perk (MMUP) is a free event organized by volunteers with musicians who are not compensated and a public that is not charged.

Make Music Upper Perk is co-sponsored by ValleyArtScene and Grace Note Piano Studio. MMUP is a non-profit 501c3 organization. Donations are gratefully accepted.

Learn more about Make Music Upper Perk at https://valleyartscene.wordpress.com/make-music-upper-perk/ and keep in touch on our Facebook page and on Twitter @MakeMusicUP

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Spoken Word at Make Music Upper Perk 2021

Last year, Make Music Upper Perk 2019 included a Spoken Word set as part of its day long celebration of the first day of summer. Students and adults read and recorded original and favorite poetry – several published authors also took part.

This year, Wunderbarn, one of our newest venues, will host an evening show as part of Make Music Upper Perk, which will weave and mix music and poetry, alternating spoken word and musical performances. As always, everyone and anyone is invited to sign up to participate, and the event will be free and open to the public, on Monday, June 21st, 2021. (We do remind folks to keep it family-friendly!)

Wunderbarn is the only location where spoken word (poetry and prose readings, original and otherwise) will be hosted this year. Because the musician registration form is open to all forms of music and venues, and no specific checkbox exists this year for spoken word, here is what you need to know to register to read original or other favorite works;

Most questions and checkboxes fill out as anyone would (name, contact info, etc) – for certain boxes, please check as suggested below;

  • Venue – Wunderbarn
  • Set Time – Other (then write 5 or 10 minutes, based on the time you estimate you’ll need)
  • Preferred Time – Evening
  • Genre – Spoken Word

Everyone participating in Make Music Upper Perk must register by April 20, 2021!

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Support Make Music Upper Perk!

Donate with PayPal

Make Music Upper Perk – in need of your support! Please donate with this secure PayPal donation button – we will NOT be holding a Kickstarter fundraiser this year.

In 2021 we are counting on you to support this year’s Make Music Upper Perk, which will be held on Monday, June 21st, 2021 – in person, outdoors, all around the Upper Perkiomen Valley.

This is our promise that the music will go on, a promise we all need to hear as winter gives its final puff of cold, and we enjoy a few teaser days of warm springlike weather!

The event gathers musicians, volunteers, and audience members every year on the first day of summer to kick off the season with a day of free live music.

As a non-profit, 501(c)(3), grassroots organization, Make Music Upper Perk (MMUP) operates on a shoe-string budget and is funded completely by your donations! Donations are used to print programs, publicize the event in local media outlets, fund banners and signs, and digital storage, among other key behind-the-scenes items. No one is paid, all staff are volunteers. In keeping with MMUP’s commitment to act locally, volunteers work hard to patronize local businesses, which also serve as venues.

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Looking for Musicians and Volunteers for Make Music Upper Perk 2021!

Planning for 2021 Make Music Upper Perk has begun!

The music festival, always free and always open to the public, will be held on Monday, June 21st, 2021. Online musician registration opened on February 1 and continues through April 20, 2021.

Gather your friends, dust off your instruments, and sign upanyone and everyone of all ages and abilities is invited to participate – students, amateurs, professionals, and everyone in between – all musical genres are welcome (but do keep it family friendly).

Our current plan is to hold the 2021 event entirely outdoors, at different spaces throughout the Upper Perkiomen Valley. We will, as always, rely on best public health practices to make our final determination as to what form Make Music Upper Perk 2021 will take this June, and what guidelines must be followed.

Last year taught us how to hold a virtual music festival and still remain free and open to the public – and as a result we garnered a world-wide audience and were able to include musicians who formerly had been part of Make Music Upper Perk but have since moved out of the area. Because of the positive response we had from last year’s audience, concerning a music event that in many ways was more accessible than ever, we do plan to do our best to livestream some of the music performances on the Make Music Upper Perk Facebook page (no Facebook account is needed to view this page).

Of courses, an event like this can’t happen without community support, and many volunteers! Volunteers will be needed regardless of what form MMUP takes in 2021, whether in person, virtual, or a mix of both. We will not be holding any in-person meetings until late spring, so please sign up for information concerning volunteer opportunities. Go to the online volunteer registration form to let us know how you might be interested in helping out this year, before, during, and after June 21st .

We invite everyone to  be part of our ninth year celebrating music in the Upper Perkiomen Valley; all day, all free, and all open to the public. Make Music Upper Perk (MMUP) is a free event organized by volunteers with musicians who are not compensated and a public that is not charged. Make Music Upper Perk is co-sponsored by ValleyArtScene and Grace Note Piano Studio. MMUP is a non-profit 501c3 organization. Donations are gratefully accepted.

Donate with PayPal

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“The Show Must Go On,” and Traveling Around the World (without leaving home)

Theatre is still happening at North Penn High School, and the students are not only insisting that the show must go on, but showcasing their creativity and ingenuity in an original production sharing their perspective on the times in which we find ourselves – Breathing Through Covid!

Beginning with school closing on March 12, the production is alternately a frank, funny, heartbreaking, and heartwarming chronicle of what our “kids” are thinking and feeling and experiencing. And it’s FREE!! (Though donations will be gratefully accepted by buying a ticket online.

North Penn High School Theater and Thespian Troupe 5464

Streaming days/dates/times and more information about the production can be found at www.npenn.org/theatre. To watch the show, Breathing Through Covid, just follow the links below.

If you live in the North Penn Community, you can also watch the show on Comcast 28 and Verizon 29 at the same days/dates/times above.

Traveling has always been one of my favorite things, and staying within a 30 mile radius over the last eleven months has left me longing for a change of scenery.

So, I’ve spent the last few weeks soaking up the sights and sounds of London and Glasgow, Auckland and Paris, India and the South Pole – all through the wonderful work of books I found on my shelf, unread until this year. If you are looking to travel, while safe and warm in a comfy chair, with a cup of tea or hot chocolate (or maybe a glass of wine or mulled cider), here are a few recommendations;

London, England – The Word is Murder, Anthony Horowitz

Glasgow, Scotland – The Riverman, Alex Gray

Auckland, New Zealand – When We Believed in Mermaids, Barbara O’Neil

Paris, France – Paris by the Book, Liam Callanan

India (historical/mystery) – The Widows of Malabar Hill, Sujata Massey

India – A Burning, Megha Majumdar

South Pole – South Pole Station: a novel, Ashley Shelby

Japan – A Midsummer’s Equation, Keigo Higashino

Books can be purchased online, through the usual suspects, and through local independent bookstores.

In our area, Let’s Play Books in Emmaus, PA and Towne Book Center in Collegeville, PA both have excellent books on hand and will be happy to order anything they don’t have in house – they also offer curbside pickup (as does the local library!)

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Take an Art Walk this Weekend! (and check out what else is happening, from a safe social distance)

This is a great time to go on an art walk; enjoy the beautiful weather and appreciate art on display, all while social distancing and following recommended guidelines.

Corona Season: Beauty Revealed is the name of the outdoor exhibit at Hellertown’s Borough Authority Park, that opened in September and continues through Sunday, October 18. The Community Art Walk includes mosaics, sculptures, chalk drawings, photography, and paintings created by individuals, groups, and families over the last few months. Free, family friendly, and open to the public; take a walk around the park next to the pool (Durham Street and E. Depot Street, Hellertown, PA).

The submission guidelines were as follows:

The artwork should represent how your household found joy during quarantine or what brought you light and hope in the midst of this dark season.

Each household or quarantine group may submit one piece.

The artwork should be constructed with consideration given to wind and rain.

All forms of art are welcome, but must be family-friendly and able to be displayed in an outdoor environment. You are encouraged to consider creating on a large scale to suit the outdoor space.

from Saucon Source – Community Art Walk to Brighten Borough Authority Park

Christkindlmarkt in Bethlehem opened this week, with some major changes for 2020, beginning with being held completely outdoors and spread out at the SteelStacks (instead of inside closed warmed tents). There are crowd limits, so buying tickets in advance is the best way to be sure of getting into Christkindlmarkt this year (It’s also cheaper to buy your ticket online!) Online tickets for each day end at midnight the day before. This year’s event will be held Thursdays through Sundays, now through November 29, 2020 (closed on Thanksgiving, Thursday, November 26).

As always, there will be artisans and vendors, from nearby and far away (and German nutcrackers, pyramids, and smokers, of course), though this year autumn themed items and an Oktoberfest ambience will on hand during October, while St. Nicholas will wait to make his appearance until November 7, 2020.

According to the official siteThe jolly, old man will be on hand for special story times and socially distanced photos on Saturdays, while Sundays will feature new virtual “Cooking with St. Nicholas” events for families via Zoom.

FACEMASKS ARE REQUIRED INDOORS AND OUTDOORS (except for when eating or drinking). Live music has also been promised!

DeSales University is presenting a prerecorded live production of Shakespeare’s comedy As You Like It this weekend. The play will be streamed Saturday and Sunday, October 10 and 11, 2020 – tickets per viewer must be purchased online – the link and password will be good for 24 hours after purchase.

DCP Theater hosts The Covid Cabaret in their parking lot this weekend, Saturday, October 10 and Sunday, October 11 at 2 p.m. (rain dates the following weekend).

FAQ’s for COVID Cabaret 

Q:  Are reservations required?

A:  Reservations are not required.
Q:  What are the seating arrangements for COVID Cabaret – do we stay in our cars?

A:  Patrons will park on the cast/crew side of the parking lot (the smaller of the two parking lots).  Parking attendants will assist them.  Patrons should bring lawn chairs. They can set them up and sit in the patron parking lot.  We request that you and your group socially distant yourself(ves).  The stage will be located at the far side of the patron parking lot.  There will be a sound system.  Patrons will have access to DCP Theatre’s restrooms.

Q:  Can patrons bring snacks/drinks to the show?

A:  Patrons are invited to bring their own non-alcoholic drinks and snacks of their choice.  DCP will be offering snacks and drinks for a donation (no set amount).
Q:  What if there is bad weather?

A:  A decision about whether the show is being postponed will be made by 6am the day of the performance.  Postponement information will be posted on our website:  http://www.dcptheatre.com.
Q:  How can we donate?  Will cash only be accepted?

A:  Cash is preferable, but we will have a computer available to accept donations via credit card through our website.
Q:  Is the Cabaret ‘family friendly?’
A:  Absolutely!  There will be a variety of musical performances, skits and monologues.
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Local (Virtual) Music Festivals


Summer is usually filled with music festivals, near and far. Thankfully, there are still music festivals, free and ticketed, going on in 2020. However, nearly all of them have gone totally virtual. On the plus side, lots of music can be enjoyed without driving any distance or sitting out in the hot sun (and with easy access to your refrigerator and favorite snacks and beverages).

Make Music Upper Perk tookplace on June 21st, as always, but unlike other years, you can go back and enjoy all the performances at any time, as all the videos – pre-recorded and those who performed live on June 21st – are still available online, still free and still open to everyone! Check out who played, by musician or by set list.  The music can be found on Facebook – Make Music Upper Perk page and YouTube – Virtual Make Music Upper Perk 2020 channel.

Bethlehem’s Musikfest is also going virtual this year, starting on Friday, July 31, 2020. There are a limited number of sets that will be performed live at the SteelStacks, however due to very limited seating, reservations are required and most are sold out. See the entire lineup on their site, where you will also find links to the free streaming concerts.  The music begins at noon on Friday, July 31, 2020 and continues through Sunday, August 9, 2020. You can get ‘Fest Food to Go; “During Musikfest 2020, patrons can walk up and order from any or all of these vendors. Onsite beverages, as well as Musikfest merchandise like the popular collector’s mug, will also be offered.” Hours for the walkup food service at PNC Plaza are July 31 and Aug. 3-7 from 4-8 p.m., and Aug. 1-2 and 8-9 from noon-8 p.m. The Handwerkplatz is online this year, as well – check out the online artisan village starting on Thursday, July 30, 2020. You can also download a Zoom Musikfest background, if you want to add to the illusion of being there.

Virtual Familienplatz

As part of the family fun at Musikfest, Crayola is partnering with ArtsQuest for a Musikfest coloring contest featuring the official Musikfest 2020 poster artwork created by artist and illustrator Doug Boehm. The coloring contest is one of the many visual arts activities being offered this year as part of the virtual festival.

As part of the Musikfest poster coloring contest, Crayola and ArtsQuest will be offering daily prizes featuring Crayola products, as well as one grand prize awarded at the end of the festival.

In keeping with its family focus, Musikfest has also developed free Take-Home Art Kits that families can pick up to engage in art activities during the festival. The art kits can be picked up at the Banana Factory daily Aug. 3-7 from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. In addition, the ArtsQuest Visual Arts Team is developing a series of daily videos that will teach families how to create artwork based on common objects found around the home. Videos will be posted starting July 31.

All this, and more information, can be found at https://www.musikfest.org/lineup/virtual-familienplatz/

The 59th Annual Philadelphia Folk Festival is scheduled for August 13 – 16, 2020. The Philly Folk Fest has always been held just down the road from the Upper Perk Valley, in Schwenksville, but this year the drive is even shorter, as it will all be held online (even the campgrounds!)

The Philadelphia Folksong Society has partnered with Mountain View Staging, with over 20 years of streaming excellence, to present the 59th Annual Philadelphia Folk Festival as a fully digital interactive musical experience, complete with multiple stages/streams of curated music, fully integrated chat features, campfire open mics, zoom campsites, craft show, food and merchandise tents, and above all else: the invaluable sense of community and connectivity that comes from the shared experience of enjoying music together.

While this is still a ticketed event, the tickets are lower in price than they have been in many years – with some as low as $25 for a day pass, $75 for the entire weekend.

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Music Schedule for Sunday, June 21, 2020 – Virtual Make Music Upper Perk!

Here it is!  The long-awaited Virtual MMUP 2020 schedule we have been working on for the past few months.  Thanks to all the volunteers who have worked behind the scenes to help us get to this point! And thanks to all the musicians who bring the music and make this possible!


As you may recall, June 21st is Fete de la Musique (Make Music) around the world.  As always, we are celebrating music with our 8th Annual  Make Music Upper Perk, but this year……it is Virtual.   Remember, as always, MMUP is put together by volunteers, all musicians are volunteers, and you get to watch for free!

What time does it start and end?  The music will begin at 7:30 a.m. and will go till about 11 p.m. EST.  We have Livestreams (at the top of the hour), we have Recordings (on the half hour), and as always, we have a huge variety of musical genres, abilities, ages, and instruments involved.

Where to watch?  To see both the Livestreams and the Recordings, go to Facebook – Make Music Upper Perk.  (You do not need a Facebook  account, you can just scroll down the page to see the videos and posts, and tell Facebook “not now” when it prompts you to create an account.)   To watch recorded sets, go to You Tube – Virtual Make Music Upper Perk 2020.

Who can see this?  The beauty of Virtual MMUP 2020 is that anyone can watch it anywhere in the world, as long as they have an internet connection and a computer, tablet,  or smart phone.

Can’t watch all day long on June 21st? You can return to the day-long musical festival after June 21st, to see what you may have missed.

How to find which artists are featured when?  For more information about specific artists or sets, check the Musicians at Virtual Make Music Upper Perk page.

We hope we will be together again next June 2021. We hope you will be able to enjoy your help creating this event, once again.  In the meantime, stay safe, stay well.

Enjoy the music!  And again, please pass this along to everyone you know, far and near.

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