Thursday February 14, 2013

BELLOWS FALLS -- Local musicians will come together in a concert to benefit Greater Falls Warming Shelter and remember one of its benefactors, on Saturday, Feb. 23 at 7 p.m. at Immanuel Episcopal Church.

The concert features Vermont Timbre, made up of Mike Mrowicki on guitar and vocals by Amelia Struthers; guitarist, composer and singer Jesse Peters; and the 10-member Westminster West Congregational Church choir.

The concert will also honor and celebrate the memory of guitarist Julie Waters, who organized and performed in two benefits for the shelter before her untimely death last year. Waters believed that part of the mission of the arts is to support and give back to the community that allows it to thrive.

Struthers and Mrowicki have been singing together since 2004 and will be sharing songs from a work-in-progress celebrating the soothing spirit in music. "Songs to Light the Way" adds to a growing body of music through the ages that hopes to help, entertain, and lead the listener on their way forward in life. With gentle guitar rhythms, soaring harmonies and lyrics, the duo’s music attempts to round out the rough edges in life, creating a quiet, deep pool outside life’s whitewater.

Peters blends all his formative experiences into a musical approach that includes many different styles. He is flexible enough to play instrumental dinner music one day and jazz-rock with his trio the next.


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His writing style is similarly broad, with modern groove numbers interspersed with more traditional finger-picked tunes and a few rockers thrown in.

According to Charlotte Gifford, a member of the Westminster group, the choir will sing songs in the shape note, folk, swing and church traditions. Each of its singers has experience as a member of another musical group such as House Blend, the Blanche Moyse Chorale or the Brattleboro Concert Choir.

More than 60 volunteers provide some kind of support to the shelter, including staying overnight, bringing in meals, laundering, cleaning, donating furniture, providing supplies or helping with the fundraising concert.

Since it opened in November, the warming shelter has provided a temporary spot for an overnight stay for more than 35 guests at its location at 23 Church St. in North Walpole, N.H. It will remain open until April and is staffed seven nights a week by volunteers who serve in two shifts from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. and 1 a.m. to 7 a.m. New volunteers are urged to contact the shelter on Facebook, at gfwarmingshelter@gmail.com or leave a message at 802-463-2567 to learn about the shelter and the ongoing training provided. Members of the shelter steering committee will also be at the concert to provide information.

Monetary contributions to the shelter may be sent to the shelter’s fiscal agent, Southeastern Vermont Community Action, 91 Buck Drive, Westminster, VT 05158, with Greater Falls Warming Shelter in the memo line.