Make Music Upper Perk February Update!

The first volunteer meeting for 2018 Make Music Upper Perk (MMUP) brought together volunteers who’ve been part of the event since the beginning, in 2013, and newcomers who have never even attended MMUP, let alone volunteered. In addition to talking about the event and the many varied volunteer opportunities, we handed out flyers and postcards to start posting and distributing in the area. Some people couldn’t make it to the meeting, but have emailed us or signed up online (it’s not too late to volunteer).

More than a dozen individuals and groups have already signed up to play on June 21st;  registration continues through April 20, 2018; sign up online to perform at this year’s Make Music Upper Perk. Sign up options include live music performance (concert, gig, session, jam etc), participatory events such as workshops, and public gatherings for music participation (sing-alongs, drums, guitars, kazoos, etc).  Music makers of all ages, abilities, and types of music are invited to be part of this event.

We started setting up this year’s Kickstarter campaign – that fundraiser is held during the month of March. This year, donations may be also be made with MMUP 2018 donation form (one can print it out and mail the form and a check to MMUP, address on donation form). Make Music Upper Perk is in the process of seeking non-profit 501c3 status.

Make Music Upper Perk takes place every year on the first day of summer, June 21st, throughout the Upper Perkiomen Valley; free music concerts held indoors and outdoors, in local parks, green spaces, libraries, coffeehouses, local businesses, community centers, everywhere and anywhere musicians of all ages and abilities and instrumental preference would like to perform. A full performance schedule will be widely distributed online and on paper in May.

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Preparing for a Snowy Weekend

Not sure what is more unbelievable, this spring like weather in February or the predicted 30 degree drop in temperature with 4-6 inches of snowfall predicted for Saturday night. Either way, tonight might be the best night to go out this weekend.

Among the many options for this evening’s entertainment, consider going to Perkiomen School’s Keh’s Theater (200 Seminary Avenue, Pennsburg, PA), especially if you missed last week’s Broadway concert in Harleysville. The middle and upper school students at Perkiomen are performing their favorite Broadway tunes in a song and dance Broadway Musical Review this Friday and Saturday evening, 7:30 p.m. curtain and on Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m., February 16-18, 2018.

Civic Theater’s Rock of Ages, the Tony Award-nominated musical featuring vintage rock tunes from the likes of Twisted Sister and Bon Jovi, opened last weekend and continues through  February 25, 2018. Due to ongoing renovations at Civic Theater’s usual venue, performances will be held in the Cedar Crest College Alumnae Hall Auditorium, 100 College Drive, Allentown, PA.

And don’t forget to check out current art exhibits and plan for upcoming theater events and concerts.

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Have a Musical Weekend!

Enjoy Broadway By Request, Saturday evening, February 10, 2018, in Harleysville at the Church of the Holy Spirit (2871 Barndt Road). Proceeds from the free will offering following the concert will go to the choir’s Lincoln Cathedral Pilgrimage fund.

The evening will also feature a silent auction, festive appetizers, desserts, and beverages throughout the evening.
Beverages sponsored by: Speakeasy Coffee Company and Weyerbacher Brewing.
Food sponsored by: Thrivent Financial

Enjoy Sunday brunch while listening to one of Make Music Upper Perk’s favorite musicians, Tom Cooney, who will be  playing an eclectic mix of folk, blues, and jazz music on February 11, 2018, from 11 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. at Diehl’s Real Teas, 239 Main Street,  East Greenville, PA.

This is also opening weekend for Civic Theater’s first theatrical production of 2018, the musical, Rock of Ages, which will run from February 9 – 25, 2018. Due to the major renovation project going on at the 19th Street home of Civic Theater, performances will be held in the Cedar Crest College Alumnae Hall Auditorium, 100 College Drive, Allentown, PA.

And now might be a good time to take a look at the schedule of some of the upcoming musicals and start buying tickets before they sell out!


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SnowBlast Winter Festival this Weekend in Emmaus

Starting Friday, February 2, 2018,  at 5:30 p.m. , with musical performances at 6 p.m. and at 7 p.m. tonight, Award-Winning Musician – Guitarist, Songwriter and Singer, Jim Steager and  Award-Winning Gospel Artist, Singer Nah-tarsha Cherry at SnowBlast Headquarter  Liberty Worship Center (former Elephants Trunk), 348 Main Street, Emmaus, PA, this year’s SnowBlast Winter Festival  has something for everyone. Cellist and guitarist Brian Kidd performs from 5:30pm to 7:30pm at Emmaus Jewel Shop, 338 Main St. Artists’ demonstrations, along with a Winter Art Show (display and sale) will be held at many Main Street store locations, tonight and Saturday, February 3rd, 2018.

Yarn bombing, ice sculpting, outdoor games, blacksmith artists, live music, and more will take over the Triangle Park in the center of Emmaus from noon to four on Saturday afternoon.

Check out the full list of artists and activities, along with special food and drink offerings for this two day outdoor and indoor event at the official SnowBlast Winter Festival site. What a great way to celebrate the arts!

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Planning Begins for 2018, Make Music Upper Perk!

Yes, even with snow predicted to fall tomorrow, we are thinking about the first day of summer – June 21st – which most importantly for us is the day for Make Music Upper Perk; all free, all day, for all ages, all over the Upper Perkiomen Valley, celebration of music, music festival!

The first meeting between Make Music Upper Perk organizers and representatives from various venues where musicians will be playing this year (including local businesses, non-profits, and churches) was held on January 11, 2018, in preparation and anticipation for this year’s Make Music Upper Perk (MMUP), which will be held on Thursday, June 21, 2018. (If you are curious as to main locations where musicians played last year, check out the 2017 venue map!)

Volunteers, those who’ve been part of MMUP in the past, and newcomers who’d like to get involved, will be meeting for the first time this year on Saturday, February 10, 2018 at 9:30 a.m. at Java & Bake Company, 231 Main Street, East Greenville, PA. If you are curious as to some of the volunteer options, or unable to attend the meeting but would still like to be involved, take a look at the our volunteer page and/or sign up to volunteer online!

Starting this Thursday on February 1st, through April 20, 2018, one can sign up online to perform at this year’s Make Music Upper Perk. Sign up options include live music performance (concert, gig, session, jam etc), participatory events such as workshops, and public gatherings for music participation (sing-alongs, drums, guitars, kazoos, etc).

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).

Our roving photographers, Kristi Morris of Littlewing Studio (Pennsburg, PA) and Art Olsen have taken many wonderful photos during Make Music Upper Perk over the years. Photographs from last year’s event, Make Music Upper Perk 2017, may be viewed online by filing the links below (anyone interested in digital copies or prints should contact the photographers);

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. Donations may be made with MMUP 2018 donation form or via our Kickstarter campaign in March. Make Music Upper Perk is in the process of seeking non-profit 501c3 status.

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MLK Day – special art events!

In celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr Day, many museums which are usually closed on Mondays are open today (and are offering free or discounted admission).

The Allentown Art Museum is free and open from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. today, Monday, January 15, 2018. Visitors of all ages can enjoy art, music, poetry, monologues, film, and also have an opportunity to create art from noon to 4 p.m. and sing out at 3:30 p.m., as part of the special events scheduled for today’s Martin Luther King, Jr Day Celebration!

11 a.m.
Muhlenberg College gospel choir

Be transported by the vocal music of Rejoice, the Muhlenberg College gospel choir. This spirit-filled musical ensemble comprised of students from various places, races and creeds expresses their love of music and passion to praise through song.

Reading of Faith Ringgold’s children’s book

Gather around Faith Ringgold’s print Here Comes Moses to hear Museum public engagement manager Dianne Smith read from Ringgold’s book Henry Ossawa Tanner: His Boyhood Dream Comes True. Tanner’s work, Lion Licking Paw (1886, below), is on display in Trexler Gallery.

1 p.m.
Meet the filmmaker: Mr. Civil Rights: Thurgood Marshall & The NAACP 

Following a screening of his film at 1 p.m. and a 10-minute short with Supreme Court justices Elena Kagan and John Paul Stevens, filmmaker Mick Caouette will take questions about Mr. Civil Rights.

2 & 2:45 p.m.
Nikki Powerhouse performs!

3:30 p.m.
Imani Uzuri’s Revolutionary Choir teach in and sing out

Come sing with Imani Uzuri’s Revolutionary Choir, all voices are welcome! This is a singing session for anyone who wants to learn traditional protest songs or create new songs of resistance and resilience.

The Philadelphia Art Museum is also open today for Martin Luther King, Jr’s birthday and holiday – admission today from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. is “pay what you wish.” The museum is also offering visitors a chance to participate in community service at the museum today;

Artmaking for MANNA
10:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m.
Great Stair Hall
MANNA will collect your artwork to distribute with the meals they deliver to those in need.

Conversation of Kings: Strength to Love, a Call to Action
11:30 a.m.–3:00 p.m.
South Terrace Conference Rooms A & B
Dive deeper into the work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with a youth-focused conversation on how his legacy can inspire today’s social movements.
​Presented in collaboration with NewCORE

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Piano Party for a Snowy Weekend

Today was a grand day to stay inside to read a book (or listen to music, or make music, or make some art, or knit a scarf, or watch a movie, or……). Of course, some may have had to battle the elements and go to work, in which case I hope you’ll take advantage of the cold night to stay inside and read a book (or listen to music, or….)

By tomorrow, the streets should be clear, and the weather slightly warmer, which means if one is getting cabin fever, this may be your chance to escape. Escape to take a walk, or go skiing, or go out and hear some live music. (Yes, no doubt there are other options, but I am limited by space and time to describe them all.)

Tomorrow night, Friday, January 5, 2018, the young musicians of the Grace Notes Piano Studio (students of Susan Royer) will perform at their annual winter Piano Party. This year, the event will be held at 7 p.m. in the Sanctuary of New Goshenhoppen UCC (1070 Church Rd, East Greenville, PA) as part of the church’s 290th anniversary.

Each Grace Notes student will be preparing a selection to share that evening, which we will enjoy. Then we will mosey on down the hall to the snack area for some yummy treats. Everyone is invited, there is plenty of room.

And on Saturday night, January 6, 2018, you have your choice of being part of the audience or of making music yourself at Open Mic at Wing Man Bar and Grill (Route 29, East Greenville, PA – by Walmart) from 7:30 p.m. – 11:30 p.m.

Come out and showcase your musical talents at Open Mic Night hosted by Phil Stahl!  PA system, lights, bass amplifier are supplied.

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