By Marilyn Delk
Darke County Center for the Arts’ 2021-2022 “Re: Vision” season is rapidly winding down — but excitement is building for all that’s to come when the new season of exciting programming begins, starting with bringing back DCCA’s participation in the world-wide celebration of Make Music Day on the first day of summer, June 21. And you can be a part of the celebration!
Make Music Darke County is seeking all types of soloists and groups of musicians to celebrate the sunny promise of summer days while also demonstrating the joy derived and received through the power of music. If you’d enjoy participating in the music-making, send a description of your music, the number of people in your group, your preferred time and location to perform, along with any available samples of your work to [email protected]. Last year’s participants ranged in age from very young to — well, quite mature, and included professional musicians, experienced amateurs, and some who had never before performed in public. All performers delighted enthusiastic audiences who turned out to support the efforts of their friends and neighbors at various accessible outdoor local venues.
Among my favorite memories of last year’s celebration of Make Music Day is the rousing performance by a chorus formed of Darke County employees who stood on the courthouse steps at noon to sing a wide range of songs including “Bicycle Built for Two,” which entertainingly featured a County Commissioner and the husband of one of the performing public servants gaily riding — what else — a bicycle built for two around the downtown sidewalk. But that was not the only memorable moment as music filled the air locally and globally; I can hardly wait to see what transpires this year.
And I can hardly wait for DCCA’s annual summer celebration “Barbecue and Blues,” which will be brought back to the spacious lawn of Greenville Public Library on Friday, July 8. Truthfully, following last year’s stunning performance by one of the world’s greatest blues guitarists, I felt that whatever was planned for the next year couldn’t help but feel like a let-down. But the feeling turned around completely when I learned that the headlining performers will be the world-renowned artists Terrance Simeon and his Zydeco Experience!
An eighth-generation Louisiana Creole, Terrance has earned two Grammy Awards during his career and is an annual performer at the New Orleans Jazz Festival, the gold standard for showcasing and celebrating the best of traditional American Roots music. Early musical influences include Bob Dylan, Simon and Garfunkel, Sam Cooke, and the Commodores; by age 20, the talented and effervescent Terrance was sharing the stage with the likes of Fats Domino and Sarah Vaughn. Since then he and his skilled bandmates have performed with Stevie Wonder, Taj Mahal, Alan Toussaint, and the Dave Matthews band, among others. Terrance’s warm smile and open, friendly demeanor invite audiences to enjoy themselves as he engages and mightily entertains them with his dynamic music. Being with Terrance is always a guaranteed good time, a condition that can also be said about “Barbecue and Blues,” which also offers a variety of good food and drink in a welcoming festive atmosphere. Don’t miss it!
And the fun doesn’t stop there! Monday, August 1 at 10 a.m., students entering grades 1 to 12 are invited to audition for a role in Missoula Children’s Theatre’s production of The Emperor’s New Clothes. Rehearsals begin immediately following tryouts, and continue throughout the week at Henry St. Clair Memorial Hall in Greenville, where the fully developed musical starring local youngsters will be presented on Saturday, Aug. 6 at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Generations of local youngsters have enjoyed the thrill of participating in an MCT musical, where everyone has a chance to shine; DCCA annually brings back to our community this fun-filled opportunity at no cost to participants, who learn lasting life skills while having a great time with the arts.
DCCA has so much to celebrate; to find out more about how you can join the celebrations, contact DCCA at 937-547-0908 or [email protected].
Marilyn Delk is the former executive director of the Darke County Center for the Arts and can be reached at [email protected]. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.