Marsha Chartrand

Kids Concert this week at the Gazebo!

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Kitty Donohoe will open this year’s gazebo concert season with a concert especially for children and families this Thursday, June 15 at 7 pm.

This year’s Gazebo Concert series will kick off, as is its tradition, with a Children’s concert. This week’s featured performer is Kitty Donohoe, who is bringing a concert program that focuses on Michigan history–“Bunyan and Banjos.”

The concert will be held at 7 pm (one-half hour earlier than all the other concerts), since the following morning is the last day of school.

According to her website, in 1987, as Michigan celebrated its 150th birthday, Kitty Donohoe wrote a number of songs about the state’s history and heritage to present to the public. Called “Bunyan and Banjos,” the collection of mostly original material became enormously popular, and was turned into a successful book and CD project which kept Kitty busy performing almost continuously for a couple of years.

The songs in the Bunyan and Banjos collection cover a variety of uniquely Michigan activities, from making maple syrup to the logging and lumberjack era; as well as the voyageurs, the rivers, and waterways of Michigan, the Mackinac Bridge, and more. Most of the stories include the classic tales of Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox.

Over the years, many of the songs Kitty recorded for Bunyans and Banjos have become standard material in elementary music classes. Kitty’s sense of humor, her rapport with audiences, and a natural storytelling ability have made her a favorite on the elementary school, library and museum circuit. The retinue of instruments she uses in her family programs can include the banjo, guitar, mountain and hammered dulcimers and concertina.

The Michigan Humanities Council has awarded Riverfolk Music and Arts Organization, the umbrella organization for the gazebo concerts, a grant of $4,000 to sponsor outreach and educational projects in the 2016-17 grant year. The grant is helping to support Kitty Donohoe’s concert this week, but local support is always needed and appreciated. Come to the gazebo on Thursday and hear this unique voice of Michigan history! Bring a chair or a blanket, a picnic or a beverage if you wish, and enjoy this kick-off to summer in Manchester. Freewill donations will be accepted at the intermission.

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