2013-09-06 / Front Page

Arts group ends summer with a bang

By Alex Acquisto
Staff Writer


Members of the Kennebunk High School Peer Helpers pose outside the lunch room Tuesday, Sept. 3 during freshman orientation. Comprised of sophomores, juniors and seniors, the Peer Helpers, as one senior put it, “help make their (freshman) days a little bit better.” The orientation also included remarks by Principal Sue Cressey, a breakfast and a tour of the school. (Alex Acquisto photo) Members of the Kennebunk High School Peer Helpers pose outside the lunch room Tuesday, Sept. 3 during freshman orientation. Comprised of sophomores, juniors and seniors, the Peer Helpers, as one senior put it, “help make their (freshman) days a little bit better.” The orientation also included remarks by Principal Sue Cressey, a breakfast and a tour of the school. (Alex Acquisto photo) KENNEBUNK — River Tree Arts is ending summer with a big bang as they host the big band, The Fogcutters, Saturday, Sept. 7 at the Kennebunk River Club for the annual fundraiser Dance by the River. River Tree Arts’ aim is to provide arts for all, which includes providing after school classes and enrichment programming in visual arts, theater, voice, dance and music for children and adults.

“Dance by the River boosts our fundraising before the winter season. It’s our boost to help us get ready for the winter season before our Prelude fundraiser,” said Juliette Coldreck, director of River Tree Arts. “The money we will raise goes toward things like helping kids with after school classes, paying the art and music teachers,” Coldreck said.

River Tree Arts connected with The Fogcutters through Emmitt Harrity, a piano teacher at River Tree Arts and a member of the big band.

The Portland-based, 20-person band was formed three years ago by co-leaders John Maclaine and Brian Graham. Typically, said Graham, “a standard big band has around 17 members. We added a few extra vocalists and a percussion player. Now, we’re pretty much capped.”

To call The Fogcutters a pastiche of talent from all corners of the Portland music scene would not be an understatement, said Graham. “You could pretty much walk in any bar or club hosting live music in Portland and find a member of our band performing,” Graham said. “We’ve been around the music scene for seven to eight years. Our average age range is between 23 and 36.”

The Fogcutters first met at the Clash of the Titans, a crowd-pleasing performance series in Portland between two bands representing, for example, Ella Fitzgerald and Frank Sinatra, and battling it out to see who could perform the most creative covers. The winner is determined by the crowd. “That’s how we all met. We had such a blast playing, we were like, ‘We should do this again,’” Graham said. “We then put the band together and just started playing.”

When asked his opinion about what River Tree Arts offers to the community, Graham said, “We are supportive of anyone who supports music, especially teaching kids music.”

“That’s what we do; it’s our livelihood,” Graham said. “If we didn’t have teachers or people that supported us when we were younger, we wouldn’t be doing what we do today. We are definitely supportive of anyone who’s going to raise money for a cause like this,” said Graham.

Said Coldreck, “River Tree Arts was founded with the purpose of providing arts for all — for adults and children. The general fund that the money will go in to supports that. Without that support we would not be able to do what we do.”

Of the event, Coldreck said, “It’s a great chance to see The Fogcutters in a great venue. One can enjoy a really nice night out while helping the after school education programs.”

Dance by the River will include a cash bar and optional raffle prizes. Admission is $40 per person or $75 per couple. Doors open at 7:30 p.m.

Other upcoming events at River Tree Arts include Bagels and Books beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 7 and lasting six weeks. Bagels and Books is part of the newest gallery exhibition at River Tree called “Spark,” comprised of illustrations from popular Maine children’s books illustrators. Each week a new author will read aloud from his or her displayed illustrations. The weekly event is free to the public.

For more information about Dance by the River, visit www.rivertreearts.org.

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