The Latest News for Make Music Upper Perk 2019!

While summer may seem far away, we’ve been busy growing Make Music Upper Perk (MMUP) and getting ready for the 7th Annual Make Music Upper Perk, taking place on Friday, June 21, 2019.

In July of 2018, the first official Board of Directors for Make Music Upper Perk met. At this meeting, organizational bylaws were approved and it was agreed that the organization should file Articles of Incorporation as a Non-Profit with Pennsylvania Department of State before the end of 2018. (This is the first step needed to become a recognized non-profit with the U.S.) The next board meeting is scheduled for January 12, 2019.

Representatives of the many venues where musicians play on June 21st as part of MMUP will meet on Thursday morning, January 17, 2019 to discuss this year’s event.

Volunteers, and those interested in volunteering with MMUP, are welcome to attend our first volunteer meeting of 2019 on Saturday morning, February 2nd, 2019 at 9:30 a.m. at Java Bake, 254 Main Street, East Greenville, PA.  We will be distributing MMUP flyers to post around the Valley, and signing up volunteers for various jobs leading up to June 21st, as well as volunteer positions needed on the day of Make Music Upper Perk.

Musicians of all ages, abilities, and playing any type of instrument (or singing “a cappella,” aka “without instruments”) may sign up online, beginning on February 1st, to be part of Make Music Upper Perk 2019. Registration closes at midnight on April 20, 2019. Check back at this blog or on the MMUP Facebook page for the link to the registration page on February 1st, 2019.



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This weekend’s craft and musical events!

“tis the season for more craft shows in one weekend than one can possibly attend. If you want to stay local, here’s some stops worth making;

Marlborough Elementary School Holiday Bazaar, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Route 29, Green Lane, PA – free admission. Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018

Annual Gingerbread Craft Show, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Church of the Holy Spirit 2871 Barndt Road (intersection Rt 63/Sunneytown Pike and Barndt Road), Harleysville, PA. In addition to crafts, tea, and cookies, there will be a jazz combo providing live music! Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018

Christmas Craft Show, 4 p.m. – 8 p.m., Woman’s Club of Quakertown, Train Station, 15 Front Street, Quakertown, PA. Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018

And on Saturday, 9:30 a.m. -4 p.m., Sunday, noon-4 p.m. (so if you can’t fit it all in today, it won’t be too late tomorrow!), Dec. 1st and Dec. 2nd, 2018 Goshenhoppen Historians and Mennonite Heritage Center Christmas Market; Mennonite Heritage Center, 565 Yoder Road, Harleysville, PA ; Goshenhoppen Historical Museum at Red Man’s Hall, 116 Gravel Pike, Green Lane, PA; Schwenkfelder Library and Heritage Center, 105 Seminary Street, Pennsburg, PA.

Spend a musical Sunday (Dec. 2, 2018), by going to Lansdale for an afternoon choir concert, and Sumneytown for an evening musical event featuring brass quintet and violin music, along with gifted solo vocalists and a chance to sing-along with a few holiday favorites.

The United Schwenkfelder Choir will present its 90th annual concert on Sunday, December 2nd. The 85-voice, non-denominational choir will perform a program of traditional and contemporary Christmas music at 2:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. at the Central Schwenkfelder Church, located at 2111 Valley Forge Road (Rte. 363), Lansdale, just north of Skippack Pike (Rte. 73). A free will offering will be taken.

On Sunday, December 2nd, the annual Valley Arts Concert and Carol Sing will be held in Sumneytown, PA at St. John’s Lutheran Church (Route 63/Sumneytown Pike). The 7 p.m. concert features the Suite Brass Ensemble, violinist Pastor Jennifer Ollikainen, soprano Pastor Susan Lynch, and tenor Kevin Schanely. Refreshments will be served afterwards in the social hall, and a free will offering will be taken to benefit the Adopt-A-Family program.

Read about future concerts and craft fairs this December (and check back for non-holiday related arts events in a post coming soon).



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Musical Interludes

The rush and bustle of the holiday season, like yesterday’s snowstorm, seems to have arrived earlier than in years past! Which may be all the more reason to set aside some time to stop running, take a breath, and enjoy some music.

The snow and ice are expected to melt and clear away by the end of today, by which time cabin fever may have already struck. Tonight, Friday, November 16, 2018, baritone singer Brian Ming Chur will be giving a concert in Harleysville at the Church of the Holy Spirit (2871 Barndt Road; corner of Barndt and Route 63/Sumneytown Pike). The free concert begins at 7:30 p.m. There will be a reception after the performance. A free will offering will be taken during intermission.

(The Church of the Holy Spirit welcomes) Brian Ming Chur, Baritone. Hailed for his “rich, authoritative tone” (Kansas City Metropolis), ”an impressive performer of wide range, agility, and expressive storytelling ability”(Monterey Herald), baritone Brian Ming Chu has been a soloist with numerous ensembles, including The King’s Noyse, Brandywine Baroque, Portland Baroque, Piffaro, The Dryden Ensemble, Kansas City’s Spire Ensemble, the Choral Arts of Philadelphia, Washington’s Cathedral Choral Society, the Bach Choir of Bethlehem, and the Carmel Bach Festival.

Next weekend, on Sunday, December 2nd, the annual Valley Arts Concert and Carol Sing will be held in Sumneytown, PA at St. John’s Lutheran Church (Route 63/Sumneytown Pike). The 7 p.m. concert features the Suite Brass Ensemble, violinist Pastor Jennifer Ollikainen, soprano Pastor Susan Lynch, and tenor Kevin Schanely. Refreshments will be served afterwards in the social hall, and a free will offering will be taken to benefit the Adopt-A-Family program.

The chamber music trio Illumine  returns to Pottstown on Friday, December 7, 2018 for a Christmas concert featuring the premiers of three new suites of traditional carols, “Winter” from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, and other Christmas classics. The musicians will also lead the audience in caroling at the end of the concert. The music begins at 7 p.m. at Shenkel United Church of Christ, 1580 Shenkel Road, Pottstown, Pa.

The Valley Choral Society invites the public to attend their winter concert, Ring the Bells, on the weekend of December 8 and 9, 2018. Saturday’s free concert begins at 7 p.m. at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Pennsburg, PA (81 Main Street), while Sunday’s concert is scheduled for the afternoon, at 4 p.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church in Perkasie, PA (19 S. 5th Street).

The wonderful student musicians in the Upper Perkiomen School District will be sharing their talents in a series of winter concerts in December. The Upper Perkiomen Middle School Holiday Winter Concert is Tuesday, December 11, 2018 at 7 p.m. The High School Band and Orchestra Winter Concert will be held the following night, Wednesday, December 12, 2018, from 7 p.m. – 10 p.m. Finally, the many choirs of the Upper Perkiomen High School will take the stage once again on a Sunday afternoon, for their winter mix of sacred and secular music, this year on December 16, 2018, beginning at 3 p.m. All the concerts are held in the auditorium at the Upper Perkiomen High School, 2 Walt Road, Pennsburg, PA, and are open to the public.

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Fall and Holiday Craft Fairs – starting this weekend!

The Allentown Morning Call has a very comprehensive list of upcoming holiday craft shows, starting with some taking place this weekend, November 3/4 through to the end of December 2018. It does not list ones in Upper Perk Valley, however (but read on, ValleyArtScene has that covered!).

Here are a few of the nearby craft fairs listed in the paper, along with some that are not:

Nov. 2-4, 2018 Sugarloaf Craft Festival in Oaks, PA at Greater Philadelphia Expo Center

More than 350 juried artists and artisans. Also demonstrations, music by Ed Wright on acoustic guitar, Don Thomas and Janet Spahr on handpans and Middle Earth Studios costumed storytelling for children.

Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018 Handmade for Holidays Craft and Vendor Show in Allentown at Merchants Square Mall, 1901 S. 12th Street, Allentown, PA. 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Sunday, Nov. 4, 2018 Applewood Christmas Craft Boutique in Fogelsville, PA at 1951 Mulberry Road. 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. FREE

39th annual event features handcrafted gifts, stocking stuffers, decorations, needlecrafts and baked goods.

Saturday and Sunday Nov. 3 and 4, 2018 Reading-Berks Chapter of Pa Guild of Craftsmen Holiday Fine Arts and Crafts Festival at Kutztown University, O’Pake Fieldhouse, South Campus Drive  (Trexler Ave & Baldy St), Kutztown, Pennsylvania .

69th annual show features juried craftsmen of traditional Pennsylvania folk art and contemporary American crafts. There is a student gallery, live music by Acoustic Road Show and a cafe.

Friday, November 9 and Saturday, November 10, 2018 Ten Thousand Villages International Gift Festival in Zionsville at Upper Milford Mennonite Church, Kings Highway and Geissinger Roade, Zionsville, PA. Free admission.

Creations from Third World artisans, from jewelry and decorations to gifts. All income supports artisans; handmade, fairly traded items from around the world – beautiful household decor, linens, clothes, toys, food, Christmas ornaments, etc.

Saturday, November 10, 2018 Hereford Elementary School Holiday Bazaar, at the school on Route 29, Hereford, PA, from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Free admission.

Saturday, November 17, 2018 Palm Schwenkfelder Church Holiday Bazaar, in the church social hall and classrooms at 833 Gravel Pike (Route 29), Palm, PA – free admission.

Saturday, November 17, 2018 North Penn Holiday Craft Market, 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. at North Penn High School, 1340 S. Valley Forge Road, Lansdale, PA. $1 off coupon can be found online. This is a juried craft show.

The North Penn Craft Shows have become among the finest traditional and contemporary craft shows in the Mid-Atlantic region.  These craft shows are sponsored by the North Penn International Friendship Committee ( NPIFC) for the support of the International Exchange Program at North Penn High School, (NPHS) Lansdale, Pa.  

These craft shows include over 95 artists and feature fine and unusual pottery, jewelry, fiber, dried flowers, fraktur, tinware, baskets, folk art, theorem, quilts, appliqués, furniture, painted scissor cuttings, ceramics, scherenschnitte, embroidery, children’s clothing, dolls, rug weaving, decoys, calligraphy, leather, band boxes, iron work, toys, wood carvings, wooden spoons, and much more.

A highlight of the craft shows is a delicious homemade luncheon. There is plenty of free parking, and a modest entrance fee with discount coupon available both on line, and through advertising materials.

Christkindlemarkt (Thursdays – Sundays) in Bethlehem, PA in heated tents at SteelStacks (101 Founders Way) and Christmas City Village (Fridays – Sundays) outdoor wooden stalls at Sun Inn Courtyard (566 Main Street) on Main Street in historic Bethlehem, PA both open November 16th and run through December 23rd, 2018. Both markets recreate traditional German Weinachstmarkts with a mix of fine crafts, holiday gifts, nutcrackers and smokers from Germany, food, mulled wine, ice carving, live music, and more!

Friday and Saturday, November 23 and 24, 2018 Der Belsnickel Craft Show, Boyertown Senior High School, Fourth and Monroe Street, Boyertown, PA. This is a juried craft show.

Saturday, December 1, 2018 Marlborough Elementary School Holiday Bazaar, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Route 29, Green Lane, PA – free admission.

Saturday, Dec. 1st and Sunday, Dec. 2nd, 2018 Goshenhoppen Historians and Mennonite Heritage Center Christmas Market; Mennonite Heritage Center, 565 Yoder Road, Harleysville, PA ; Goshenhoppen Historical Museum at Red Man’s Hall, 116 Gravel Pike, Green Lane, PA; Schwenkfelder Library and Heritage Center, 105 Seminary Street, Pennsburg, PA.

Joint holiday tour with Goschenhoppen Historians Museum in Green Lane and Schwenkfelder Library & Heritage Center in Pennsburg. Be sure to take in all three sites!

Fine arts and craft show at Mennonite Heritage Center,

Hours: Saturday, 9:30am-4pm, Sunday, Noon-4pm

Saturday, December 8, 2018 St. John’s Lutheran Church Holiday Bazaar, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. in the social halls and classrooms at 3104v Main Street (Route 63), Green Lane, PA.

Sunday, December 9, 2018 JCC of Allentown Artisans Craft FairJewish Community Center of the Lehigh Valley, 702 N. 22nd St., Allentown, PA. $5 admission

Works by local and international artists, including ceramics, jewelry, fiber, woodworking, photography and more.

When: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Dec. 9.

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Don’t let the rain get you down!

More rain, another grey day….why not make a date with an art museum, a show at the theater, a book festival in Doylestown, or a Sunday afternoon concert in Pennsburg?

The 2018 Bucks County Book Festival in Doylestown is being held this weekend;

Most festival events on both Saturday Oct. 13 and Sunday Oct. 14 are free and open to the public. A few activities, including a writers’ workshop and keynote authors, require a ticket. Those events are highlighted on the schedule.

More than 40 professionally published authors are scheduled to speak at the Book Festival. The author’s and illustrator’s most current books will be available for purchase in a book-buying area. Doylestown and Lahaska Bookshops will be available both days to handle book purchases. Authors and Illustrators will be on hand to sign books purchased at the festival.

On Sunday afternoon, festival-goers can also visit our vendors, located in booths on Hamilton Street, west of the parking lot. Our vendors included self-published authors and non-profit organizations.

Down the road in Boyertown, PA, enjoy over a dozen musical performers on 7 stages, along with artisan galleries, great food, and local ciders, craft beers, and wine – Friday, Saturday and Sunday, October 12, 13 and 14, 2018 – at Boyertown’s Pickfest.

Billy Elliot, the Musical, just opened Thursday at the newly renovated art deco Civic Theater on 19th Street in Allentown, PA (runs through October 28, 2018).

26 Pebbles is on stage at Parkland High School for this weekend only;

This insightful work focuses on the lives of the citizens of Newtown, CT while they recover from the events that occurred on December 14, 2012 at Sandy Hook Elementary School. On that day, the world of this small town was shattered by the unspeakable act of a lone intruder. Based on interviews between the author, Eric Ulloa, and the residents of Newtown, we learn how a community joins together to heal and move forward. Written in the style of Our Town, this conversation about people reaching out to help others is inspirational and moving. Recommended for ages 14 and older.

The Sondheim musical A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum is in its final weekend in Bethlehem at the Pennsylvania Playhouse (390 Illick’s Mill Road).

And in Pennsburg, concert organist Alan Morrison will be giving a free concert at 3 p.m. on Sunday afternoon, October 14, 2018, at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, 81 Main Street, Pennsburg, PA.

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Oktoberfest! (more fall festivals)

Stahl’s Pottery 11th annual Pottery Festival this fall begins at 9 a.m. on Saturday, October 6, 2018 at Stahl’s Pottery, historic property in Powder Valley, Pennsylvania (GPS address: 6826 Corning Road, Zionsville PA).

There are two local festivals this weekend billing themselves as Oktoberfest;

In Sumneytown, at St. John’s Lutheran Church (Main Street/Route 63), from noon to 2:30 p.m., all are welcome to enjoy German style food and drink (rumor has it there will be some Weyerbachers on hand!) and the music of Red Hill Band.

For the 8th year, and for two weekends (Oct. 5-7 and Oct. 12-14), in Bethlehem, PA (Southside) celebrate Oktoberfest at SteelStacks:  a free festival that features brew samples, authentic German food and beer, live music and schuhplattlers, as well as attractions like the exciting Beer-Lympics competition, the popular dachshund races, Yuengling Oktoberfest 5k, local artisans and more.

From 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. in downtown historic Bethlehem on Saturday, October 6th, there will be live music on Main Street and in the courtyard of Sun Inn, as well as food and craft stands, a biergarten, “family fun activities,” and more as part of the 13th Annual Harvest Festival.

Harleysville’s Mennonite Heritage Center (565 Yoder Road, Harleysville, PA) is hosting their annual Apple Butter Frolic;

This popular autumn festival has been enjoyed by the local community for over 40 years. The Frolic is an opportunity to learn how Mennonites and their neighbors lived 100 or more years ago, and it’s great fun for young and old alike. It also raises important funds to support the mission of the Mennonite Heritage Center.

The Frolic is a rain or shine event!  There is plenty to do undercover if we have a shower.

–Pancake & Apple Sausage Breakfast (7:30-10:00 am)
–Apple Foods Tent
–Folk Craft Demonstrations
–Delicious PA German Food
–Children’s Activities
–Tractor and Wagon Rides
–Farming Demonstrations
–Grandma’s Kitchen
-18th Century Hearth Cooking

Parking at Indian Valley Middle School, 130 Maple Ave., Harleysville, with shuttle to nearby Frolic.


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Fall Festivals; from pumpkin painting to food trucks to Bethlehem’s Celtic Faire to Oktoberfest (in September) to ukes to pottery.

Fall Fest and Craft Fair Fundraiser at Herbein’s Garden Center, 4301 Chestnut Street (AKA Route 29), Emmaus, PA is this Saturday and Sunday, September 22nd and 23rd, from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. This Fall Fest features crafts for sale, a pumpkin painting contest, gardening workshops, educational seminars by the Lehigh County Humane Society (for whom the fundraiser is being held), food, and live music. One of the musical performers may be familiar to those who attended Make Music Upper Perk this year – Acoustic Project will be playing on Sunday afternoon, from 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.

One can spend all of next weekend going from one festival to another, from Red Hill to Pennsburg to Bethlehem, PA. Red Hill’s 3rd Fall Food Truck Festival, raising money for the American Cancer Society and Relay For Life of Upper Perkiomen, runs from 4 p.m. – 8 p.m. in the Red Hill Fire Company parking lot (71 E 4th Street, Red Hill, PA) on Friday evening, September 28, 2018. There is no admission charge; there will be food trucks, craft vendors, activities, a beer garden, and live music.

The Bethlehem Celtic Classic and Highland Games Festival The Celtic Classic Hours are Friday, September 28, 4:00 pm to 11:00 pm, Saturday, September 29,  9:30 am – 11:00 pm. Sunday , September 30,  9:30 am – 7:00 p.m. The Festival is set up in the fields behind Hotel Bethlehem in Old City, Bethlehem and along Lehigh River, featuring five stages of live music, as well as competitions (including Highland Dance Competition, Drum Major Competition, Fiddle Competition, Celtic Poetry Competition), food, celtic art and other vendors, and more.

Tickets are still available for the Upper Perkiomen Valley Library Beer Tasting fundraiser, featuring local craft beers (from micro-breweries and local home brewers within 40 miles of the Valley), a free tour of the vehicle museum on the Haines Estate, food trucks, and Oktoberfest style music performed by some of the musicians from the Red Hill Band. The event is scheduled for Saturday, September 29th from 4 p.m. – 7 p.m. (3327 Geryville Pike, Pennsburg, PA)

The Haines Estate is located on Geryville Pike in Pennsburg. Home of John B. Haines IV, the estate consists of the historic Andreas Reid House, a barn and tannery, and outbuildings housing the owner’s impressive collection of antique vehicles and equipment.

Funky Frets Uke Fest in Boyertown features evening concerts on Friday and Saturday, October 5th and 6th, 2018, as well as vendors and workshops on Saturday morning and afternoon, ending with a Strum-along Train Ride on the Historic Colebrookdale Railroad on Sunday morning, October 7th (train tickets must be bought before Sunday) – Strum-along train ride will be followed with a couple of workshops, picnic and a jam after the train for full ticket holders @ Funky Frets 124 N. Chestnut St., Boyertown, PA USA .The festival is a ticketed event.

Stahl’s Pottery 11th annual Pottery Festival this fall begins at 9 a.m. on Saturday, October 6, 2018 at Stahl’s Pottery, historic property in Powder Valley, Pennsylvania (GPS address: 6826 Corning Road, Zionsville PA).

The Pottery Festival features:

  • Around 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

The Festival will be held rain or shine.  Parking is free. Admission is $4.00 per person; children under 18 are free.

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