Around South Hadley: Eighth-grade rockers to give free concert on the Town Commons

Last modified: Wednesday, June 11, 2014
Paper City Exile, a band of three middle school students mentored by veteran musician Brian Conway, will give a free concert Friday night at the gazebo on the Town Common.

Conway appeared at the Select Board last week seeking permission to use the venue, telling them that this will be the first time the young rock and rollers, one of whom is his son, will be playing in public together.

“We are just trying to get the commons a little more active. We feel it is underutilized and we’d like to see more stuff like this happen for the youth,” said Conway, 50, who performed in several punk bands when he was younger and is now a member of the rowdy Irish pub duo Ireland Parish.

The band members are Daniel Conway, Mike Holmes and Ryan Kennedy. They are all 8th-graders at the Michael E. Smith Middle School.

The concert, which begins at 6 p.m., is free. Conway is asking the public to bring a non-perishable food item that the group will donate to the South Hadley Food Pantry.



Eleven bands will take the stage at the FallsFest, a free one-day music and arts extravaganza to be held at the Beachgrounds on July 26.

Activities will start at 11 a.m. with a family concert led by Bill Shontz. He will present new work and revive some of the material he performed with his late musical partner, Gary Rosen, as part of the nationally acclaimed RosenShontz.

Closing the festival, which ends at 10 p.m., will be Buckwheat Zydeco, which has been playing Cajun music from Louisiana for the last 30 years.

Rounding out the musical entertainment will be Cottonwood, Nowhere Men, Meghan Beaudry, Kris Delmhorst, The Midlife Crisis Band, Jeff Pitchell and Texas Flood, Lindsey Labelle, The Eric Olsson Band with Kim Zombik, and Jamie Kent.

There will also be activities for children throughout the day as well as food and crafts vendors from around the region.

According to the website set up for the event (www.shfallsfest.com), people interested in volunteering should email contact@shfallsfest.com or call Sue Brouillette at 535-8861.

Co-sponsors of FallsFest 2014 are the South Hadley Recreation Department, the South Hadley Granby Chamber of Commerce and the South Hadley Falls Neighborhood Association, which was organized two years ago with a goal of revitalizing the Falls neighborhood.


And more music

A Thursday night free concert series in the gazebo on the Town Common will run from June 26 through Aug. 28, except July 3.

The shows will run from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

The lineup for the nine Thursdays, in order, is: The South Hadley Community Band, The Midlife Crisis Band, Trailer Park, Out of the Blue, Nowhere Men, 7 Bridges Road, The Charlie Galvin Band, The Vallan Brothers and Route 66.

Sponsors of the series are The Village Commons, Peoples Bank, Tech Fab, Village Eye Care, Easthampton Savings Bank and the South Hadley Cultural Council.



Five Girl Scouts were recognized by the Select Board recently for achieving Gold and Silver awards for community service.

The Gold Award recipients are Alexandra Fusari, who made a website as part of her work with children dealing with grief; Lyndsay Pisano, who was recognized for her work with Alzheimer’s patients at the Soldiers’ Home in Holyoke, which included bringing them music from their youth to rekindle memories; and Elyssa Katz who was recognized for her work with children at the Plains Elementary School focused on integrating books that interest them into the curriculum.

The Silver Award recipients are Lael Dratfield, who built nesting boxes for the American kestrel and gave a presentation on the bird to a Grade 4 class; and Sarah Tucker, who worked on renovating the book shed at the recycling center.

The Gold Award is the Girl Scouts’ highest honor bestowed for initiating a community service project that will continue into the future. The recipients must devote at least 80 hours to the project.