Editor’s letter: Girls rock, and so does June Millington of Fanny fame

  • June Millington, at Whisky a Go Go in Hollywood, circa 1970 Linda Wolf

Friday, July 14, 2017

Hi, friends:

Hope you’re having a great summer. As a kid, I spent some time at a couple of different sleepaway camps in the Carolinas. They were wilderness-themed, which in retrospect seems… wrong. I don’t like to camp. I don’t know how to put up a tent or make a fire, though I will gladly roast my marshmallow in yours.

Anyway, I went to these outdoorsy camps for years because the other option was to do something sports-related (even more wrong). I forged great friendships, and enjoyed myself in spite of myself, but had June Millington and Ann Hackler’s rock ’n’ roll camp for girls existed when I was a preteen or teenager, I would have loved it! I played classical piano, but worshipped at the altar of Tori Amos, and happily would have traded in my cabin for a yurt in the woods like the ones at the Institute for the Musical Arts (IMA), in Goshen, where the camp is based.

I spent an afternoon there last Friday for our cover story, “Play Like a Girl,” and I was so impressed with the camper-students and staff, which includes June and her cofounder and partner, Ann Hackler (also IMA’s executive director), as well as instructors Evelyn Harris (voice) and Dena Tauriello (drums/percussion). Also impressive: the awesome photos taken by Gazette intern Caroline O’Connor, who caught the campers on film during a rehearsal and reported back, “Those girls can really wail!”

Check them out for yourself. A couple of the campers — Lane Moore of Sunderland and Kim Chin-Gibbons of Amherst — will be performing with their band Parlicium TONIGHT (Friday, July 14th) on The Green River Festival’s Next Wave Stage. Also on the bill are four other bands: Paper City Exile, Kalliope Jones, Court Etiquette, and Nomad vs. Settler. The show starts at 5:30 p.m. (Parlicium takes the stage at 8:30 p.m.), and anyone 18 and under can go for free.

Speaking of minors, girls as young as five and six took the stage during the Miss Latina Western Mass 2017 Pageant held last Sunday at the Academy of Music Theatre in Northampton. Gazette staff photographer Sarah Crosby was there, and her photos of the mini contestants are the subject of “P.S.” on the back page. 

Being young has its pleasures, but so does getting older. In this week’s “Friday Takeaway,” Ilan Stavans eloquently explains what he enjoys about aging. 

Finally, we have another “People Watching” feature for you to enjoy: an interview with plumber George D’Astous. Turn to page 5 to read about his favorite tool and the most unusual thing he ever found in someone’s sink.

Brooke Hauser