The Harold J. Crosby Community Band of Dexter, Maine, would like to announce its inaugural HJ Crosby Band Camp, set for Friday, September 16th, through Sunday, September 18th. This annual camp for adult musicians will feature the music of, Dexter native Harold Josiah Crosby, and other Maine composers and arrangers such as Heywood S. Jones and Roger Snow, composer of the State of Maine Song. The band will be under the direction of Dr. Earl Lord, one of the founders of the H.J. Crosby Band and its current musical director.
The Band Camp will be using the Ridgeview Community School for practices as it is large enough to handle an anticipated 50-member band of all ages and playing abilities. Practices will begin on the evening of Friday, September 16th, continue on Saturday, and culminate in a free public concert Sunday afternoon at 2 PM in the Dexter Town Hall.
Dexter has always embraced and supported her band for many years and is opening up the community for its musical guests. “The Town of Dexter is happy to welcome all of the participants of the inaugural H.J. Crosby Band Camp,” says Dexter Town Manager Shelley Watson. “This is truly an exciting endeavor which will showcase the talent that abounds in this community and the dedication of all the musicians.” The free concert is the band’s way of expressing their appreciation for that support.
The H.J. Crosby Band Camp is sponsored by the Carl R. Cuthbert Community Band Foundation, dedicated to “promoting music education…with performance opportunities for any ages at any stage of musical experience and competence.” There are no fees for attending this camp. The Community Band Foundation wants it to be known that no one will be refused registration for any monetary reason; “we believe in sharing and want to share our love of music and the beauty of playing music together in Maine’s autumn season with anyone who wants to join us. There are no costs to musicians and their guests.” Meals and snacks will be provided by donations and sponsors throughout the Penquis region.
Though the dates for this adult band camp are fast approaching, there is still room for any other musicians who might want to attend and play with this inaugural band, regardless of their level of musicianship. If you are interested in joining this group for a weekend of music, contact the Foundation at (207) 924-6235 to register. Even if you do not see yourself as a musician, you are cordially invited to share in the achievements of the HJ Crosby Band Camp participants. Join the band at the Dexter Town Hall at 2 PM on Sunday, September 18th for a free concert.
Susan Ramsey and the North Country Strings will be playing at the Wayside Theatre on Saturday, September 10th at 7 PM. Doors open at 6:30 PM with tickets costing $10 each. No reservations will be accepted or required. There will be desserts and coffee sold at intermission.
This performance will feature “Fiddlehymns,” traditional hymns and tunes interpreted "North Country" style. Susan Ramsey and the North Country Strings is a six to eight piece string band, that features upright bass, cello, viola, violins/fiddles, guitars, bodhran, Irish whistle and chimes along with vocals in three and four part harmonies.
Students of the North Country Strings Music Studio, also participate, so there may be as many as 12 to 14 fiddlers, (and one cellist), performing with the group. Members of The North Country Strings are Susan Ramsey, Peter McGuire, Deb Maynard, Ruth Fogg, Chelo McGuire, Caleb McGuire, and Joshua McGuire.
"It has been a labor of love to arrange these traditional pieces of music into a new groove...a North Country groove, and to celebrate our faith by sharing our music with audiences around the State of Maine and beyond," said Susan.
Ramsey plays and records all around the state and parts of New England with internationally known folksinger/songwriter David Mallett, and was featured on Mallett’s latest album, “Celebration.”
In 2015, Susan joined her sister Mary to record pieces for the Why Hunger Project and for the 10,00 Maniacs album “Twice Told Tales.” Susan and Mary are currently putting together an album of “Fiddlehymns,” hearkening back to the days when they would play together in church.
The greatness and beauty of Maine’s natural environment is what gives Susan the inspiration to teach, perform, and compose music. With a degree in Music Performance from Smith College, Susan directs the Foxcroft Academy String Program, operates the North Country Strings Music Studio, is the violinist for the Highlands Classical Trio, and serves as Music Director for the Methodist Church in Dover-Foxcroft.
The Wayside Theatre is located at 861 North Dexter Road, Route 23 in Dexter. For more information contact Joe Kennedy at 277-3733, Chester Bekier at 924-5711, or just Facebook Wayside Grange.
“Northeast by Eastern” will be presented at 2 PM on Sunday, September 11th at Center Theatre. Created by filmmaker and composer Sumner McKane, “Northeast by Eastern” combines Eastern Illustrating and Publishing Company’s comprehensive collection of early 20th century photographs of rural New England and upstate New York with archival film footage, interviews, oral histories, and a musical soundtrack featuring period music, as well as an original score by McKane performed live during the event.
The stories and images in this film and live presentation illustrate an era unlike any other in American history. Interviews and oral histories not only detail the history of the Eastern Illustrating and Publishing Company, and the postcard craze of the early 1900s, but also unfold tales from a quieter, simpler, yet stirring and enterprising time period. The audience gets to hear first-hand accounts of smuggling during prohibition, of river drivers brawling for fun, of growing up without worry and without constant adult supervision, and of slop buckets spilling on tourists’ pies, all woven together against a backdrop of archived films and Eastern Illustrating’s exceptional work.
“I’m excited to have a new show by Sumner coming to the Center Theatre,” says Patrick Myers, executive director. “Being here on the edge of the great north woods, I think many of us feel a connection to those that worked the woods in years gone by. We’ve had great response to Sumner’s previous works ‘In the Blood’, and ‘The Maine Frontier’ and personally, I’m really looking forward to seeing his newest work.”
Tickets are $10 for the general public; $8 for students, seniors, and Theatre members. The Center Theatre is a nonprofit performing arts center dedicated to making the arts a part of life in the Maine Highlands. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Center Theatre reopening its doors to produce affordable entertainment, arts and education.
For more information on the Theatre or its programming, call the Center Theatre at 564-8943, stop by their 20 East Main Street location in Dover-Foxcroft between 10 AM and 3 PM on weekdays, or visit
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