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In May the members of Artreach along with a host of community volunteer musicians put on their annual Music Showcase known as the Come Together Coffee House. These music productions bring local volunteer musicians and vocalists with the members of Artreach to make an evening of music entertainment.

 

When the project first started in the 90s, the music event had a very coffee house vibe. We’d set up card tables in a church basement and play songs that we had rehearsed for months. We had a concession stand and because the church had a kitchen, we had a ‘build your own taco bar.

 

Over the two and a half decades of the annual show, the performer base has grown. Music Director Dick Pape brings in some local outstanding musicians to work in one of two full bands. Participants rehearse for several months, learning lyrics, timings, and sometimes filling in background vocals or harmonies with other singers in their rehearsal group.

 

This year the music showcase was performed in Norwich at The Chestnut Street Playhouse, a local venue in a converted Victorian fire house. It’s a great way to bring members of the public to the project, and for family members to share the music.

 

We decided to set up our recording equipment in the theater lobby to get people to know more about our new podcast by sitting down, putting on the headphones, and speaking with us about why they came to the show.

 

Some of these people are family members or friends of the performers, and some are performers or musicians themselves.

 

We then took some time a few days after the show to speak with Artreach members about their experiences as performers in the music showcase.  We have split these interviews into two parts. This episode features the recordings we made in the lobby before the show and during intermission. Next week we will post part two featuring post show interviews with some of the Artreach members who sang in the coffee house.

 

 

 

 

 

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