Labor Day Weekend!

House of Hamill is giving a free show (!!) at a new brewery – Blueprint Brewing Company just down the road in Harleysville, PA (1571 Gehman Road), on Friday night, August 31, 2018, from 7 p.m. – 10 p.m.  Rose Baldino (fiddle/vocals) of Burning Bridget Cleary and Brian Buchanan (guitar/fiddle/vocals) of Enter the Haggis make up the eclectic folk/roots/Celtic group. Wondering about their music and want a sneak preview? Listen to their new album online for free, buy it digitally or get a CD shipped quick!  Blueprint Brewing Company makes “gluten free and gluten full beer.”

Saturday, September 1st might be a good afternoon to head over to New Goshenhoppen Park (3rd Street, East Greenville, PA) for one last picnic, and a chance to hear Piano in the Park presented by students from Susan Royer’s Grace Notes Piano Studio from 3 p.m. – 4 p.m. Take a break to eat at 4 (food will be on sale from 4 – 8 p.m.) and then settle in for the Allentown Band Concert, which starts at 5:15 p.m. and continues until 8 p.m. The musicians will be on the bandshell stage; there is bench seating under cover. Parking and concerts are free and open to the public.

If you feel like taking a slightly longer drive this weekend, don’t forget about the 166th annual Allentown Fair (Allentown Fairgrounds, 17th and Chew Streets, Allentown, PA), now through Labor Day; showcasing goats, chickens, sheep, cows and more, the biggest tomatoes and pumpkins, blue ribbon photographs , cakes, and Lego constructions, midway food and rides, free entertainment at multiple stages (in addition to the ticketed grandstand shows). Other festivals worth a drive include the Pocono Garlic and Harvest Festival featuring 35 garlic food vendors and musicians, magicians, and jugglers, on Saturday and Sunday – the first two days of September – at Shawnee Mountain Ski area and the Polish-American Family Festival and Country Fair  on the grounds of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa (654 Ferry Road, Doylestown, PA), featuring polka musicians and dance groups and Polish and American food, and crafts, this weekend, Saturday through Monday, and next weekend, September 8 – 9, 2018.




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No matter the weather, outside and inside events for the last weeks of August abound.

The Philadelphia Folk Festival takes place this weekend, August 16-19, 2018, outdoors, by the Perkiomen Trail in Schwenksville on the Old Poole Farm. Day and weekend passes are available online and at the gate.

The annual Peach and Ice Cream Festival at Pennsburg UCC (775 Main Street, Pennsburg, PA) is this Saturday, August 18, 2018. In addition to homemade bbq, soup, desserts, and, of course, peaches and ice cream, there will be live music from 3:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. on the church lawn. In case of rain, the event will be held on Sunday, August 19, 2018. Patrick McGovern, who many of you may have heard at Make Music Upper Perk, among other venues, will be playing from 3:30 – 4:30, followed by the Red Hill Band, scheduled to play from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.

If you prefer to be inside, out of the heat and potential rain storms, head over to some local art museums (Schwenkfelder Library and Heritage Center, Michener Art Museum, or Allentown Art Museum, for example) or buy a ticket to a show at a local theater!

The family friendly Broadway Disney musical Newsies takes the stage in Pottstown at the Steel River Playhouse (245 E. High Street) tonight, and runs through August 26, 2018.

Next weekend the Disney musical Beauty and the Beast, Jr will be staged at the McCoole’s Art Event Place (10 Main Street) in Quakertown, PA. Performances are August 24-26, 2018.

Phil Stahl opens for the Little River Band at the Quakertown Amphitheater (501 W. Mill Street) on Thursday, August 23, 2018. This is a ticketed event.

The free concert summer series continues at the Church of the Holy Spirit on Friday, August 24, 2018 with Break from Blue Collar.  The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. The Church of the Holy Spirit is in Harleysville (corner of Sumneytown Pike and Barndt Road).

Break from Blue Collar is making a distinct mark in the world of barbershop and acappella music, mixing fresh interpretations of barbershop classics with the exciting sounds of rock & roll. The result is an entertainment experience that can’t be beat.

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Summer Concert Series in Harleysville Continues

There are 3 more summer concerts (free and open to the public) taking place in Harleysville as part of The Best of Holy Spirit 25th Anniversary Concert Series. 

This Saturday, July 28th, 2018, Lizdelise (Liz de Lise and Mark Watters) will be performing beginning at 7 p.m. at the Church of the Holy Spirit (2871 Barndt Road), Harleysville, PA). Free will offering and refreshments after the concert.

Lizdelise is a dreamy pop rock duo from Philadelphia. Angular guitar lines meet looper, drum machine, and synth to create pulsing, intricate soundscapes and melodies–distortion and delicateness at once.

On Wednesday, August 1, 2018, the Church of the Holy Spirit Choir, along with some friends, will perform a concert of music they will be singing on their pilgrimage tour to Lincoln Cathedral, UK. The concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. at the Church of the Holy Spirit (2871 Barndt Road), Harleysville, PA). Free will offering and refreshments after the concert.

The Church of the Holy Spirit in Harleysville will host its final concert of the summer on Friday, August 24, 2018. Break from Blue Collar will fill the sanctuary with music beginning at 7:30 p.m. As always, tasty treats and beverages will be offered (at no charge) to all in attendance during the reception following the concert. A free will offering will be taken at the end of the night.

Break from Blue Collar is making a distinct mark in the world of barbershop and a cappella music, mixing fresh interpretations of barbershop classics with the exciting sounds of rock & roll. The result is an entertainment experience that can’t be beat.

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Relive Make Music Upper Perk 2018 – Images of the Day Online Now!

If you were at any of the Make Music Upper Perk performances this year, you most likely spotted at least one of our two amazing roving photographers. They assigned themselves the task of capturing images of every single musician who took the stage at one of our venues in the Upper Perkiomen Valley on June 21, 2018! Relive the day and enjoy the images of a beautiful day when the community came together to share and celebrate live music throughout our area, inside and outside (and then mark your calendar for next year’s Make Music Upper Perk – always June 21st!).

Kristi Morris of Littlewing Studio

Here is the link to your “Making Music Upper Perk 2018” online gallery.
The second set of photos are a smaller resolution for sharing on the web.
Please feel free to share the link with friends and family.
Making Music Upper Perk 2018

When you select an image, the download button will appear.
Be sure to download and save all of your images.

To save photos to your phone, download the free Photo Moments app for iOS or Android then click here to view the gallery.

Art Olsen

Everyone is welcome to view these photographs from Make Music Upper Perk 2018. Please contact the photographer if you are interested in downloading these photos, or in prints.


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Free Summer Arts Events!

One of my favorite things about summer time is the overwhelming bounty of free theater, concerts, and arts events that are held in our area and beyond.

In The Heights, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s first Tony award winning musical, will be performed free outside at the Levitt Pavilion Steel Stacks (645 E. 1st Street, Bethlehem, PA – South Side Bethlehem) tonight, Monday, July 16th and Monday, July 23rd, beginning at 7:30 p.m. I suggest folks get there early! Parking is free, as is seating;

  • 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.
  • Food & beverage are available for purchase at the Mack Truck Stop and the ArtsQuest Center.
  • Coolers are permitted (non-alcoholic beverages only). Alcohol is available for purchase for patrons 21 or older. Outside alcohol is not permitted.

Third Thursday in Allentown, PA, on July 19th this month, in downtown Allentown is free and open to the public from 5 p.m. – 8 p.m., and this month features a group summer art show, “Landscapes, Cityscapes, Faces & Places,” Free Art Making with Francis Beaty from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. at The Baum School of Art (510 Linden Street, Allentown),  and free admission to the Allentown Art Museum where the galleries will be filled with the sounds of Interactive Drumming with LV Drum Circle, along with photography workshops, a documentary screening, and free tours of the art on display will be offered.

The marvelous chamber music trio, Illumine will be giving a concert at New Goshenhoppen UCC Church (1070 Church Road, East Greenville, PA) on Friday, July 20, 2018 at 7 p.m. Admission is free; a donation is suggested.

Projecting the distinct voices of five contemporary composers, illumine presents a dramatic journey from the depths of hardship and longing for what could be, through enlightenment, to the whimsy of wit, and ardent love of family. Specially featured is the world premiere of The House With Nobody In It, composed for illumine by Timothy Miller (PARMA Recording Artist), winner of the 2018 Commissioning Competition. Joining Miller’s piece will be works by the two competition runners-up, Paul Richards (Research Foundation Professor of Music, University of Florida) and Tony Solitro (PhD, UPenn); flutist-composer, Cynthia Folio (Chair of Music Studies, Temple University); and illumine violinist, David BrownFlutist, Carolyn Giardini, and composer-conductor, Andrew Desiderio join the ensemble.

The 2nd Annual Red Hill Band Pops Concert is Sunday night, July 22nd, 2018, at the New Goshenhoppen Park (3rd Street, East Greenville, PA). Music selections include pieces by Frank Sinatra, Glenn Miller, The Beatles, Barry Manilow, Lady Gaga, and more. The concert is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be sold by the Green Lane-Marlborough Lions Club.

And for something completely different, the Monkees tribute band, The Monkeephiles (yes, there really is such a thing!), will be playing at Maurice W. Foulke bandshell in Souderton Park (Wile Ave & Reliance Rd, Souderton, PA ) on Sunday, July 22, 2018, as part of Concert Sundaes.  The concert is free (bring blankets/lawn chairs, and maybe some pocket money if you are interested in buying some ice cream!). In Case Of Rain, the concert will be moved indoors at Indian Crest Midddle School at 139 Harleysville Pike. 

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Summer is here!

With the passing of the first day of summer, and Make Music Upper Perk 2018 having come and gone, all I am really thinking about is sitting on the back porch and reading a good book or two (or three).

But I do have a few outings planned and marked on my calendar; free outdoor concerts, local plays and musicals (at least one of which features on of our MMUP musicians!), maybe a visit to a museum or two…

The Summer Concert Series at the amphitheater at Green Lane Park, Pa continues with Commonwealth Classic Theatre Company presenting “The Complete History of America (Abridged)” – a satirical and fast-paced review of all of American history, from the pre-colonial era to modern day – on Sunday, July 15, 2018 and The Perfect Strangers Band -Berks County’s premier party band, playing high energy dance, rock and pop from the 60’s to today – Sunday, July 29, 2018. Both performances begin at 7 p.m. These events are free and for all ages; bring a lawn chair or blanket to sit on (and maybe a picnic dinner!)

Free outdoor concerts are held very Sunday night in Souderton, PA at the Maurice W. Foulke bandshell in Souderton Park.  Concerts begin at 7 p.m. In Case Of Rain
The Concert will be moved indoors at Indian Crest Middle School at 139 Harleysville Pike. Check directions for details.

If you enjoyed hearing Max Gorman sing Broadway tunes at the YMCA on June 21st (or if you missed him), here’s another chance to see and hear him perform, along with the Playcrafters of Skippack. Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Tim Rice and Anthony Lloyd Webber’s first musical!) hits the stage in Skippack on July 12, 13, 14, 20, 21, 22*, 26, 27, 28 (* indicates matinee at 2:00).

A great family friendly musical with familiar themes and catchy music. The plot is based on the story of Joseph, as told in the book of Genesis. Everyone will enjoy this Rice and Webber classic, which has been produced more than 20,000 times.

Muhlenberg Summer Theater is always worth the drive to Allentown, PA. Their first production of the summer is Beauty and the Beast. at Muhlenberg College,
2400 Chew St., Allentown, PA.

And don’t forget about the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival on the DeSales College campus (9 shows over the course of the summer, not all Shakespeare despite the name!), Telford’s DCP Theater; Never Too Late in June, and the musical version of Little Women in August, and Souderton’s Montgomery Theater.

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Today is the day! Make Music Upper Perk begins at 9 a.m.!!!!

Today is the day! June 21st! The first day of summer! The day long celebration of music around the world, and around the Upper Perkiomen Valley!

The music begins at 9 a.m. this morning at Java Bake & Company, 234 Main Street, East Greenville, PA, and the YMCA (1399 Quakertown Road, Pennsburg, PA) joins in at 9:30 a.m.  By 10 a.m. the music will have spread to Red Hill to the Upper Perkiomen Library (350 Main Street), and by 10:30 musicians will have set up shop and be playing at Upper Perk Thrift Shop (301 4th Street, Pennsburg) and The Center at Open Link (517 Jefferson Street, East Greenville). At 11 a.m. you can continue your travels around the Upper Perkiomen Valley and hear music at M&J Gourmet (1267 Quakertown Ave aka 663 at Shady Nook, Pennsburg, PA) and at Diehl’s Real Teas on Main Street in East Greenville.

By noon, live music (all free and all open to the public, as are all Make Music Upper Perk events!) will also be playing outside Mario’s Pizza on Main Street in East Greenville, upstairs at the Schwenkfelder Library and Heritage Center on Seminary Avenue in Pennsburg, and at several popular lunchtime spots; the WingMan in East Greenville, Chiaro’s in Green Lane, and Kaufman House in Sumneytown!

Beginning at 3 p.m. in the afternoon, Art on Main (218 Main Street, East Greenville) will be showcasing musicians from wide and far, from Africa (Tshila from Uganda starts off the day there) to Pennsburg locals. Contemporary Christian Music singers from Camp Men-O-Lan will be performing by the gazebo on the lawn at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church (81 Main Street, Pennsburg) at 4 p.m. followed by the annual Hymn Sing at 4 p.m. that everyone can join in (led by Howard Holtje – hymnbooks provided). The Porch at Pennsburg UCC  (775 Main St, Pennsburg) becomes a stage at 5 p.m., with the Summer Solstice Community Drum Circle setting up on the lawn next to the porch at 7:30 p.m.

Not to be left out, Bike & Sol (104 Main St., East Greenville) will be hosting a few bands beginning at 7 p.m. tonight.

The complete program for today’s musical performances, along with a map of locations around the Upper Perkiomen Valley is available online, in last week’s Town and Country, and on flyers that are posted and and can be picked up at various locations around the towns. You can also track down your favorite musicians!

Remember, everything is free and open to the public. And if you feel like singing, there are two campfire sing-alongs at 9 p.m. tonight – one at Pennsburg UCC and one at the New Goshenhoppen Park on 3rd Street.

In case of rain, the outside venues will move the performers inside (performances scheduled for St. Mark’s Lawn and Gazebo will move to the bandstand at New Goshenhoppen Park, 3rd Street, East Greenville, PA).

Oh, and be on the lookout for “pop up performances” taking place at previously unannounced and unexpected places around the area!

Enjoy the first day of summer, the longest day of the year, at this year’s Make Music Upper Perk!

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