‘Leven & Sorellanza Valentine’s Concert

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WHAT TO EXPECT‘Leven and Sorellanza performed in concert together for the first time at the Gloucester Meetinghouse in February 2015 and return this year with the Valentine’s Day theme.  They began their debut by flying a long banner over the audience as they produced ethereal sounds that set a magical tone to the whole evening.

The varied repertoire of these talented women and their evident exuberance for singing a cappella was hugely entertaining as well as moving for the audience with playful solos, duets and rhythmic gymnastics adding spice to their superbly blended ensembles.  Prepare to relax, laugh, remember, and allow the theme of love to permeate your soul with music sung from the heart. 

WHAT’S SPECIAL? Two Cape Ann a cappella  women’s vocal ensembles raise their voices in songs of Love…and Home…and Love…and Work…and Love…and Life…and Love…and Strength…and Love…and Peace…and Love some more…

WHEN:  Saturday, February 11th 2017, 7:30pm

WHERE:  The historic 1806 Gloucester Meetinghouse (home of the Gloucester Unitarian Universalist Church), corner of Church & Middle Street, with accessible side entrance at 10 Church Street.

COST:  Free admission.  Voluntary donations gratefully accepted for the two womens’ ensembles and the Meetinghouse Preservation Fund.

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‘Leven is an enduring ensemble of Cape Ann womens’ voices founded in 1991 inthe eleventh month, at 1111 Washington St., under the leavening influence of Dawn Pratsonand ten similarly enlightened ladies.

Various combinations of ‘Leven singers have continued to bring powerful, poignant and eclectic a cappella repertoire to Cape Ann audiences for the past 26 years.  In this Valentine season they sing songs for the love of “home” – whether keeping the home fires burning, departing for far off places, or returning back home again.

‘Leven members: Sue Bonior, Pat Maloney Brown, Caroline Haines, Anne Hyde, Kristina Martin, and Sheryl Reed

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Sorellanza is a women’s a cappella group based on Cape Ann and directed by Rockport resident, Patti Pike.  Founded in 2006, Sorellanza draws enthusiastic audiences with varied and upbeat repertoire.  For this concert many songs are a blend of old and new: ancient lyrics set to modern music, a blend of Rumi text with Psalms, and homage to our grandmothers.

Their eclectic repertoire includes a love song from West Side Story, a Lullaby from Billy Joel, an honoring of the One, and some just plain fun songs.  Songs from the Heart is a unifying theme that includes them all.

Sorellanza members:

Patti Pike – choral director, Karen Koerth, Jen Fuller, Peggy Duff, Jenny Sonia, Andrea Coates-Vinson, Kate Stevens, Ruth Maassen, Jane Woodman, Kathy Eckles, Marianne Thompson, Caitlin Cannon, Nancy Goodman

Gloucester Civil War Coat Preservation Plan Wins Statewide Recognition, Grant Money

GLOUCESTER, Mass., Feb. 1, 2017 – Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken and Committee of the Arts Board Member Catherine Ryan announced that Gloucester has been awarded a statewide grant of $6,620 from the Massachusetts State Historical Records Advisory Board (SHRAB) to help with conservation and historical education for a Civil War uniform coat.

“I’m proud of our city volunteers, students and residents who came together to help raise awareness of this American artifact that has history to our country and to our local community,” said Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken. “With this SHRAB grant, as well as Awesome Gloucester and online fundraising monies, the education and heritage will live on for years to come.”

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The SHRAB program is an extension of grants awarded by the Massachusetts Sesquicentennial Commission of the American Civil War with supporting services from the Secretary of the Commonwealth William F. Galvin and Massachusetts Archives Department, which features a rigorous and competitive qualifying process. The program reviewed hundreds of applications across the Commonwealth, but the ten-page application overview designed by two young activists, Charles King and George King, was “enthusiastically” selected by Commonwealth Archivist Dr. John Warner and his committee.

Both Charles and George King joined Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken and Director of Communications and Constituent Services Christopher Sicuranza in late January for a conference call with Archivist Dr. Warner to reveal the grant award, which was the culmination of months of work for advocacy and awareness for the conservation project. In addition to the monies provided by the SHRAB program, Charles and George led efforts across Gloucester to raise awareness through local media and manage fundraisers through online sites and the Awesome Gloucester program.

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Charles and George high-fived upon hearing the approval of their grant proposal from Commonwealth Archivist Dr. Warner in Mayor Sefatia Romeo-Theken’s office.

Plans to create an innovative and attractive display case are currently being developed, but a special emphasis on mobility was factored into the funding request so that the artifact can be easily transported to other museums, including the aim of bringing the feature at a Smithsonian National Museum as part of a regional or national ambassador program.

About Civil War Coat

Over 80 years ago, the Civil War coat was installed in the then new Gloucester High School through Albert W. Bacheler who fought in the Civil War and later served as principal of Gloucester High from in 1884-1914, using the coat in his lessons. Years later, a former student , noted businessman and philanthropist, Roger Babson, donated an enshrinement memorial at the school to help preserve the coat, but over the years the coat’s condition became fragile. One parent, Kim Minnaugh, asked Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken to assist with recovery efforts, which gained assistance, support and financing through various offices including Chief Administrative Officer Jim Destino, City Archivist Sarah Dunlop, Veterans Affairs Director Adam Curcuru, Sawyer Free Library Assistant Valerie Marino, Catherine Ryan and The Committee for the Arts, Massachusetts Historical Commission Director of Preservation Planning Michael Steinitz, Superintendent Dr. Richard Safier, Principal Cook Gloucester High School, and Allison Cousins and Principal Lucey at O’Maley Innovation Middle School.